Why Hiking In New Mexico Is Awesome
Whether youre heading out on trails for the first time or youre a seasoned hiker, New Mexico has a little bit of everything and a lot of the unexpected for you to enjoy. The state is easily among the places that those who enjoy hiking should add to their bucket lists.
After all, where else other than New Mexico could you hike along trails where youll see hot springs, glacial lakes, gorges, and geological shapes such as hoodoos that would make you think youre on an entirely different planet? The sites youll see are astonishing and unlike any other place on Earth.
Moreover, there are lots of opportunities to hike in New Mexico, since it is the state in sixth place for public lands. The trails are loved, but not crowded and can be easily accessed from small towns or large urban centers. This really does let you get the best of both worlds, particularly if youre traveling to the state from elsewhere.
Choose your trail based on the terrain that suits your fitness and the scenery you want to enjoy. They can include anything from alpine to high desert, so your options are as vast as the sights youll see.
Some of the trails are meant to be on the easy side, which means that they are well maintained and dont involve much in terms of increasing or decreasing elevation. More moderate trails will take you out for longer distances. They will have some changes in elevation, which means youll need to be more fit than you would for the easiest trails. Trails for expert hikers are more strenuous. They will need you to be in good shape because theyll cover quite a distance and will need you to take on some shaper changes in elevation.
Before heading out on a trail, make sure to consult any resources available to let you know its difficulty level, updates about the trail itself, facilities youll see along the way, the weather and other conditions that may vary while youre out.
Among the top places to hike in New Mexico include:
* The Rio Grande Gorge This year-round trail is well maintained. The full seven-mile loop at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area (located near Questa) is easy nearly the entire way around, with one expert level stretch available.
* The Continental Divide Trail This trail is available from spring through fall and has an eight-mile loop in San Pedro Parks Wilderness, not far from Cuba. It is a moderate difficulty level.
* The Pueblo Alto Trail This trail is open in spring and fall and provides a five-mile round-trip hike at Chaco Culture National Historic Park, close to Nageezi. It is also a moderate difficulty level.