Best Backpacking in New Mexico

This list represents the most popular backpacking in New Mexico. Use this list to plan your next New Mexico backpacking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Lake Katherine


A long day hike or overnight trip to a high alpine lake at the base of Santa Fe Baldy.…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Pecos, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 16.4 miles Best Trail in nm - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Bandelier National Monument


Of all the major archaeological parks in New Mexico, only Bandelier National Monument offers opportunities for true backcountry hiking. Beyond the visitor center, and easily accessible ruins near it,…
From the guidebook "Hiking Ruins Seldom Seen"
Los Alamos, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 21 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Stewart Lake


Stewart Lake is a beautiful small lake created by glaciers during recent ice ages. A small earthen dam enlarges the natural lake somewhat. Unlike the much higher Lake Katherine (see the Lake Katherine…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Pecos, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 13 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Capitan Peak


A two- or three-day loop backpack through lush old-growth forest into one of the least visited wildernesses in New Mexico.…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Capitan, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 19.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Bandelier Wilderness


A two- or three-day loop hike deep into the scenic Bandelier Wilderness.…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
White Rock, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 18 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Camp Wilderness Ridge


This is a spectacular overnight hike from the Texas desert into the New Mexico mountains. The trail starts in the mouth of McKittrick Canyon at the Park Service information station. From there, the t…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Whites City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 15 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. San Pedro Parks


A two- or three-day hike into the lush meadows and forests of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness.…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Cuba, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 15 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Sheep Corral Canyon


This is the fastest, most direct hiking access into the remote central reaches of the lower Gila River. The lower reaches harbor a scenic valley in a rugged canyon with jagged volcanic formations. W…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Silver City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 12.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Sacramento Rim


A two- or three-day backpack following the high western rim of the Sacramento Mountains.…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Cloudcroft, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 28 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Sandy Point - Willow Creek


This hike follows the crest of the Mogollon Mountains in the Gila highlands with expansive high-country vistas thanks to openings created by the Whitewater-Baldy Fire. A short side hike reaches the to…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 14 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Sapillo Box


This route includes dramatic overlooks into the box of Sapillo Creek canyon, which in itself is well worth exploring. There is ample solitude and scenery in this remote and rugged corner of the Wilder…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Silver City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 19.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Sandy Point - West Fork Gila


The crest of the Mogollon Range offers spectacular vistas, especially along the many openings created by the Whitewater-Baldy Fire. The route traverses a diverse cross section of the Gila Wilderness f…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 40.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Skunk Johnson Cabin


The route includes wonderful vistas of Sheridan Gulch and Dry Creek Canyon. The historic cabin on a remote stream is an interesting destination in its own right. Fishing might be a possibility along w…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Fishing, Hiking - 10.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Zuni-Acoma Trail


This is a long day hike or overnight trip across the rugged lava flows at El Malpais National Monument. The trail is part of an old Indian trail that connected the villages of Zuni and Acoma. It cros…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico"
Grants, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 15 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Aeroplane Mesa - Trotter Meadow


This is a quick, short route to the Middle Fork from the north, providing access to a vast array of wilderness trails and outings. The mesa, with its own interesting history, opens to wide mountain vi…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 8.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Alum Camp


This short but exhilarating hike begins with expansive vistas from the upper end of the trail. Soon colorful canyon formations come into view. The remnants of the historic cow camp and mining cave are…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Silver City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 3.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Buds Hole


There is year-round vehicular access to this lower-elevation trailhead to Mogollon Creek when high-country routes are still snowbound. The payoff includes panoramic views of the Mogollon Range along w…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 13.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Brushy Mountain


This route offers a good cross section of the center of the Wilderness, from the Gila River canyon to sweeping mountain vistas. Solitude, scenic vistas, and a chance for wildlife sightings can be foun…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Silver City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 17 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Cliff Ruins


This hike offers a short and relatively easy way to view a Mogollon cliff ruin adjacent to a large cave entrance in a remote setting. It’s interesting to imagine what its purpose may have been so far…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Silver City, NM - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Whitewater Baldy


This high ridge hike along the crest offers spectacular vistas of Whitewater Canyon and the Mogollon Mountains, with many more open views due to the huge Whitewater-Baldy Fire. Whitewater Baldy is the…
From the guidebook "Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness"
Alma, NM - Backpacking, Hiking - 12 miles
Published by Falcon Guides