Day Hikes in the Albuquerque Area


While some of the hikes listed below can be turned into overnight trips, as an "old dog" I prefer daytime rambles. Each hike is, at most, an all-day hike, in the sense of including driving time, going slowly enough to appreciate where you are, and saving a little daylight in case things don't go as planned. Each hike can be done by an experienced hiker in decent shape. Before doing any of the hikes, be sure to read my "caveats" at the bottom of the page.

Jemez Mountains via San Ysidro

Jemez Mountains, Guadalupe Mesa, Santa Fe National Forest, Jemez Ranger District
Guadalupe Mesa at the southern gateway to the Jemez Mountains.

Joan Delaplane Trail at Jemez Springs

Upper Virgin Canyon via Jemez Springs and La Cueva

Calaveras Canyon via Jemez Springs and La Cueva

Barley Canyon via Jemez Springs and La Cueva

Hay Canyon via Jemez Springs and La Cueva

El Cajete in the Valles Caldera

Sulphur and Alamo Canyons in the Valles Caldera


Holiday Mesa via Gilman Tunnels

Stable Mesa via Gilman Tunnels

Schoolhouse Mesa via Gilman Tunnels

San Miguel Mountain via Gilman Tunnels


Astialakwa and Patokwa (archaeological hike)

Amoxiumqua (archaeological hike)

Kwastiyukwa (archaeological hike)

Tovakwa (archaeological hike)

Kiatsukwa (archaeological hike)

Schoolhouse Mesa (archaeological hike)

Boletsakwa (archaeological hike)

Sayshukwa (archaeological hike)


To the Northwest via U.S. 550

Mesa Portales, Cabezon, Rio Puerco, New Mexico
View from the top of Mesa Portales. Cabezon Peak is left of center on the horizon.

Sandia, Manzanita, and Manzano Mountains

Sandia Mountains, winter storm, snow, Cibola National Forest near Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sandia Mountains in winter

For a list of the medallion trees (monument trees) in the Sandias, click here. I show an example of a medallion tree in this blog.


Juan Tabo Canyon in the Sandia foothills

Jaral Canyon in the Sandia foothills

Chimney Canyon loop via the Tramway Trail

TWA Canyon in the Sandias

Pino Trail in the Sandias

Embudito Trail in the Sandias

Embudo Trail in the Sandias

Mano Trail loop hike in the Sandias

Eye of the Sandias

A quick jaunt to the Aluminum Yucca

Three Gun Spring Trail in the Sandias

Carlito Springs Open Space in the Sandias

South End of the Crest Trail and CCC Trail in the Sandias

South Crest-Faulty Trail loop hike in the Sandias

Ojito de San Antonio Open Space in the Sandias, and a trail map.

Loop hikes in the Doc Long-Sulphur Canyon-Cienega Canyon area of the Sandias

Challenge Trail in the Sandias

Tree Spring Trail in the Sandias, and the inside skinny on Tree Spring.

Tecolote Trail in the Sandias

An easy trail to Capulin Peak in the Sandias, including a connector route from Balsam Glade

An easy trail to an overlook for upper Las Huertas Canyon

Rocky Point Trail-Crest Trail Loop in the Sandias

The "delightful mess of trails" below Crest House in the Sandias

Gravel Pit Trail in the Sandias

Crest Spur Trail loop hike in the Sandias

North Crest Trail, North Sandia Peak, and the Survey Trail

A note on the "Crest Spur Route" that parallels the North Crest Trail

Notes on the Ellis Trail and a Power Line Route in the Sandias

10K Trail north from the Sandia Crest Highway

10K Trail south from the Sandia Crest Highway

The No-Name Trail from the 10K Trailhead to the Upper Tram Terminal

North Faulty Trail in the Sandias

A note on the new access route for the Del Agua Trail.

There is no direct public access to the Cañoncito Trail and Bart's Trail (but consider using the Casa Loma route).


Golden Open Space in the East Mountains

Milne-Gutierrez Canyon Open Space in the East Mountains, and a trail map

San Antonito Open Space in the East Mountains, and a trail map

Ojito de San Antonio Open Space in the East Mountains


Tunnel Canyon loop hike in the Manzanita Mountains

Otero Canyon in the Manzanita Mountains

Notes on Cedro Peak in the Manzanita Mountains

David Canyon in the Manzanita Mountains

Bear Scat and Rocky Top Trails in the Manzanita Mountains

A trail map for the Manzanita Mountains


Fourth of July High Loop in the Manzanos 

Driving instructions for getting to the trailheads at the old JFK Campground.

Salas Trail and Salas Cabin in the Manzanos

Monte Largo Canyon in the Manzanos


To the West via Interstate 40

Mount Taylor, CDT, Continental Divide Trail, hike, hiking
Aspens on Mount Taylor

 Mesita Blanca near Tohajiilee

"Mesa Olvidada" near Mesa Cocina, north of Tohajiilee

 A bit of CDT on Mount Taylor near Grants

Lobo Canyon Trail (and petroglyphs) in El Malpais National Conservation Area.


To the South via Interstate 25

Plus Ultra

Close to Home

Navajo Draw hike, Rio Puerco, desert landscape, mesas, near Albuquerque, New Mexico
Looking west from the Navajo Draw hike.

Albuquerque Bosque and Corrales Bosque along the Rio Grande

The Sacred Spiral in the Placitas Open Space.

For a truly different ramble in the Albuquerque Bosque, check out the Glass Garden.

Navajo Draw near Rio Rancho


Try an adventure on state trust land.

Whose woods these are, I think I know, they're managed by the SLO
Whose woods these are, I think I know, they're managed by the SLO

If you're looking for alternative places to ramble, including during federal forest closures, consider New Mexico's state trust lands. To find out more, including about some specific adventures, check out the SLO's Open for Adventure web page. 


By law, every private use of state trust must generate revenue to support New Mexico's educational system. Because of that, recreational use of state trust land requires a $35.00 annual permit, which can include multiple family members.  As you fork over the dough, think about the kids whose education you're advancing.


There are rules to follow, and some state trust lands are closed to recreational use.  Be sure to read the online instructions (and your permit) carefully before going anywhere. The SLO's online interactive map will help you find the trust lands scattered across the state.



I'm in my seventies now, and it may have been years since I last did a hike described on this web site. Routes, conditions, and access may have changed. Don't blindly trust any single online source of information.


Most of the hiking pages assume that you have a GPS unit and know how to use it. While I provide coordinates for waypoints, errors are possible. Before you do any of these hikes, plot the waypoints (in Google Earth, for example) and study the route. Also, no hiking guide is a substitute for past experience, the right gear, and common sense.


Many of these places don't have cell phone coverage so if you get yourself into trouble, be ready to get yourself out of it.


Most hikes in the Southwest require that you carry all the water you will need. Water sources listed in a hiking guide may be dry when you get there. If you find water in the wilds, purify it before using it.


Some of my hikes are to isolated archaeological sites. By law, the locations of most sites are kept confidential to protect the sites from vandalism. For hikes to those sites, the access route is described on a password-protected page. Those with a legitimate reason to visit the sites can obtain the password by contacting me. 


Even on non-archaeological hikes, it's common to encounter archaeological remains in New Mexico. Keep in mind that unauthorized disturbance of sites, even keeping "just" one artifact, is a crime. This applies to historical artifacts as well as prehistoric ones. For ethical hikers, the only "artifacts" to be taken from the landscape are other peoples' recent trash.

Abandoned adobe ranch house, Ojito Wilderness near San Ysidro, New Mexico
A crumbling adobe ranch house in the Ojito Wilderness