This short trail is extremely easy and less a “hike” than a short stroll to see some petroglyphs. Worth the side-trip as it lends important reference to indigenous history in the area, but don’t make this the only activity in one day; perhaps just in one hour.
Taos is a world-class ski area, but the fun doesn’t stop when spring arrives, as beautiful trails reveal themselves as the snow melts. This relatively long and difficult hike feeds you gorgeous views the entire way but you’ll be taking plenty of photos when you reach the top where you’ll find Trampas Lakes; a serene alpine lake collection that few others will reach.
Non-adventurers need not read further. This trail is for those who are eager to climb up cliff faces with nothing more than old wooden ladders. Explore ancient ruins and challenge yourself on the many hikes within this 30,000-acre canyon. BTW, this photo is of one of the much shorter ladders.
Maybe save this hike for after you’ve proven yourself with some of the more pedestrian (ha!) options on this list; it is a near 20-mile hike with altitude gain of 3,000ft and summits two 13,000ft peaks. You’ll be treated with Horseshoe Lake along the way, and sweeping views of the landscape.
Near Taos is this lovely hike that is lightly trafficked and great for families. It’s 6-miles out and back and gives you a rewarding view of the river confluence. Past hikers recommend bringing a water filter (you can buy bottles with them built in) for a taste of nature when you reach the river below.
This year-round trail is a 5-mile loop which is heavily visited. You ascend into bluffs overlooking the canyon for some amazing panoramic views but come prepared with water, particularly in the summer, as most of this hike is completely exposed with little to no shade along the way.
Near Cuba, New Mexico is your best chance to trace the impactful continental divide, where rivers flow either to the east/southeast coasts or west coast. It’s more a direction than it is a “trail” as there are a number of sections in which you just make your way along the mountains. Some people decide to tackle this as a multi-day trip, or you can just do a nice 8-mile loop in the spring/summer to experience it without needing a tent.
Set aside a half to full day for this excursion but with difficulty comes seclusion, so it should be well worth the effort. The variety of terrain on this hike is rewarding enough in its own right but you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of sky-piercing peaks and the namesake alpine lake at the end of this trail.
Forget traveling to the Sahara for iconic photos of rolling sand dunes by going to White Sands National Monument. There are a number of “trails” (term loosely used here) with which you can explore the ever-changing landscape but pace yourself as each step in sand is not the same as a step on normal ground.
This six-mile hike rewards you with waterfalls, beautiful forest, and a relaxing hot spring soak. There are several natural hot spring pools along the way and the average temperature tends to be around 92F. This hike truly is for that friend who has been questioning why the rest of us love nature.
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