Best Hikes Near Albuquerque  by JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner

Best Hikes Near Albuquerque Guide Book

by JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner (Falcon Guides)
Best Hikes Near Albuquerque  by JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner
This guidebook will show you some of the best trails the Albuquerque area has to offer. Whether you are visiting Albuquerque or just exploring your own hometown, you will be surprised by the variety of trails offered in this unique area. This guide lists easy, moderate, and more challenging hikes within 100 miles of the Albuquerque metropolitan area that can meet the needs of new and veteran hikers alike. Some of the hikes can be found within the city of Albuquerque, while others will require a day trip to the surrounding areas.

© 2013 JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes Near Albuquerque" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 35.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 35.

Named for one of the pioneers of the modern conservation movement, the Aldo Leopold Trail offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing within the city limits of Albuquerque. The Aldo Leopold Forest Trail was dedicated in 2009 in honor of Leopold and his love of the Rio Grande and the Rio Grande Valley. This short and easy day hike celebrates a leader in the conservation movement. Widely acknowledged as the father of modern-day wildlife conservation, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, writer, and outdoor enthusiast.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
The Alcove House Trail in Bandelier National Monument is a 3-mile out-and-back hike that can be combined with the Main Loop Paved Trail if so desired. The trail takes hikers through Frijoles Canyon to a dwelling that includes a reconstructed kiva that just so happens to require a 140-foot climb up four ladders. Once known as the Ceremonial Cave, the Alcove House was believed to have housed around twenty-five people.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
The Cerro Grande Route in Bandelier National Monument offers hikers a beautiful stroll through a wildflower meadow, a heart-pumping climb to the highest point in the park, and breathtaking views of Valles Caldera National Preserve and the surrounding mountains. This 4.4-mile out-and-back hike can be accessed from one of the more scenic drives in central New Mexico along NM 4.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4
The Falls Trail to the upper falls in Bandelier National Monument is a 3-mile out-and-back hike that descends about 400 vertical feet on the way to the falls. The trail can be quite rugged in places and includes several spots where there are steep drop-offs. Like all hikes in Bandelier National Monument, be sure to bring plenty of water.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
The Main Loop Paved Trail in Bandelier National Monument is just 1.25 miles of over 70 miles of trail that the park has to o?er. The trail takes hikers into Frijoles Canyon and allows them to explore a kiva and the Tyuonyi Pueblo, as well as two amazing sets of cli? dwellings. It is probably the most popular trail in the park but well worth the crowds, as the trail winds you through the cli? dwellings for an up-close look into the history of the park.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.25
Visiting one of the most recognizable landmarks along US 550 in New Mexico, Cabezon Peak Trail offers a short, but rugged hike around the base of this massive volcanic cone.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
A trip to Cerrillos Hills State Park could satisfy several interests for some hikers. A drive along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway will take you through some of New Mexico’s ?nest scenery, a few ghost towns, and even a couple of artist destinations. If the drive isn’t satisfying enough, the 4.8-mile hike will take you through several rolling volcanic hills that were once successfully mined for silver, iron, and lead. The rolling hills that the trails cross over are relics of the volcanoes that were active in the area nearly 30 million years ago. Iron, lead, and silver were deposited here during that time. Millions of years later, Native American and Spanish explorers and settlers would come here to mine those minerals and turquoise from the area, which experienced a brief mining boom in the 1880s. However, it was largely disappointing because very few people actually made money.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.8
The Boundary Loop Trail uses a combination of the East Jaral Canyon Trail and the West Jaral Canyon Trail to create this typical desert hike. The route follows an arroyo up to its beginning where hikers can catch a great view of the Juan Tabo Canyon before returning via another arroyo. The Boundary Loop Trail is a fun and easy day hike in the western foothills of the Sandia Mountains. This trail is best traveled in early morning when the days are warmer, as there is little to no shade here. For this reason, it is an ideal choice during the winter months, when trails at higher elevations may be covered with ice and snow.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
The Cedro Creek Interpretive Trail is a unique opportunity for hikers in New Mexico. Riparian areas like Cedro Creek are rare in the state, accounting for only 2 percent of the land. This 2-mile out-and-back hike takes hikers through meadows, marshes, and woodlands that are ?lled with lush vegetation and wildlife in the middle of a very arid landscape.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
The Cienega Trail is one of the shorter hikes to access the Crest Trail. Cienega is Spanish for “wet meadow,” and the trail o?ers plenty of lush meadows for hikers to pass through on their way to the crest of the Sandias. This 4.6-mile out-and-back hike o?ers hikers an opportunity to reach the Crest Trail and enjoy the view west of the Rio Grande Valley.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
The Domingo Baca Trail goes high into the Domingo Baca Canyon near an old TWA plane crash site. This 4.2-mile out-and-back hike begins in the Elena Gallegos Open Space Park. It does not take hikers to the crash site—that requires some o?-trail bushwhacking—but does take hikers into a rugged part of the Sandias. The Sandia Mountains o?er a wealth of recreational opportunities just minutes from the largest urban center in the state. Nearly 150 miles of trails crisscross the mountains, which allow hikers access to some relatively wild and remote locations. The Domingo Baca Trail (#230) is the perfect example of this.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
The Fourth of July trail offers hikers access to some of the premier fall foliage in the great state of New Mexico. New Mexico is not known as a destination for viewing the fiery red leaves that autumn provides, but when hikers are looking for a fall hike they are usually directed here.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
The Hawk Watch Trail and the Three Gun Trail share the same trailhead and parking area. The trail was constructed for Hawk Watch International (an organization that studies raptors) to study and band raptors during their migration period from late February to early May. This 3.4-mile out-and-back hike takes you up a steep climb to a lookout area where the raptors can be viewed. From the Three Gun/Hawk Watch trailhead, begin hiking north on the obvious gravel trail. After a very short distance, come to a trail sign for the Three Gun Trail (#194) and continue north through the wide-open canyon. Yuccas, one-seed junipers, cholla and prickly pear cacti, and a variety of desert grasses dominate the landscape. There is little opportunity for shade on this trail, which makes it a nice hike during cooler weather.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
The Pino Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Sandias and for good reason. The trailhead sits at the edge of the city but takes hikers deep into the mountains. The Pino Trail travels all the way from the foothills to the top of the Sandias to connect with the Crest Trail. The 9.4-mile out-and-back hike is on a well-traveled trail that o?ers easy access, provides a great workout, and rewards hikers with beautiful vistas.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.4
A short and easy hike to an important archaeological area. Sandia Man Cave contained artifacts from some of the ?rst humans to inhabit the continent of North America. The Sandia Man Cave is located on the north end of the Sandia Mountains high up on the steep cliff walls of Las Huertas Canyon. First excavated in 1935, archaeologists discovered artifacts that showed that the cave, like several other areas in New Mexico, had been used by the Folsom Culture about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. In 1936 a young archaeologist named Frank Hibben uncovered artifacts from a much earlier culture.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This 3-mile out-and-back trail takes hikers along the ridge of the Sandia Mountains. Beginning at the Crest House and ending at the Sandia Tramway, the hike’s highlights include stunning 100-mile views, a spur trail to the historic Kiwanis Cabin, and several wildlife-viewing opportunities in the Kiwanis Meadow area. he trail begins near the Sandia Crest, the highest point in the Sandia Mountains at 10,678 feet. Located near the trailhead is the Sandia Crest House, a privately owned gift and snack shop. There is also a visitor center in the Crest House that has information on trail conditions, wildlife, and the surrounding forest area. An outhouse is also available just south of the parking area.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
The Three Gun Trail is an ideal trail to hike to get you into the middle of the southern Sandia Mountains. The trail o?ers hikers access to the Embudo Trail, Embudito Trail, Hawk Watch Trail, Whitewash Trail, and Crest Trail. This 8-mile out-and-back hike will take you up the gradual ascent through Tijeras Canyon to a saddle at the head of Embudo Canyon. The Three Gun Trail, also known as Tres Pistolas, offers hikers an ideal outing in the wintertime to get that hiking. Supposedly, three Spanish conquistador pistols were found in the canyon, which gave the trail and a spring in the area their name. The trail and Tijeras Canyon, which the trail runs through, face south and receive plenty of sunshine in the winter months, keeping the majority of the trail snow and ice free.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
The Tramway Trail is one of the more popular foothill trails. It is located near the Lower Tram Terminal, and many hikers use it as an access trail to the La Luz Trail. Because of its lower elevation, it is a great choice for a winter hike, when many of the other trails in the Sandia Mountains are icy or snow-packed. This trail takes that statement literally, as it balances on the one line between urban trail and wilderness trail. There are several spots near the beginning of the hike where the trail scoots around a small neighborhood, and it may be hard to believe that you are actually in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area. As the Tramway Trail begins to gain elevation, it acquires a more wilderness feel, and it may be hard to believe that civilization is so close.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
The Tree Spring Trail is a popular trail in the Sandia Mountains. Hikers can reach the 10K Trail and the Crest Trail via the Tree Spring Trail without the steep challenge that many of the other trails require. This 3.7-mile out-and-back hike will take you up the gradual ascent to the 10K Trail, where hikers can return via the same trail, explore the 10K Trail, or continue on to the Crest Trail.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.7
The Tunnel Canyon Trail, shown on some maps as the Grand Enchantment Trail, is actually better known as a mountain-biking trail to locals. Hikers and trail runners get just as much enjoyment out of the trail as mountain bikers do, though, especially due to the good amount of shade that is provided along the trail. This 4.4-mile outand-back hike will take you up the gradual ascent of Tunnel Canyon over to Cedro Creek and back.
Albuquerque, NM - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4