If you are looking for the best hiking trails in Albuquerque, then this article will help you. In this article, we will discuss everything about Albuquerque’s high desert landscape.

Do you know why New Mexico is called as “Land of Enchantment”? There is a reason behind that.

It is because of the varying trains that offer hiking trails. Moreover, Albuquerque’s eye-catching views and high desert landscape make it a perfect spot for hiking.

If you are an active hiker, then hiking in Albuquerque should be one of your top priorities.

You will enjoy volcanic terrains, dirt trails in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Moreover, the shaded bosque paths along the Rio Grande will further make your journey adventurous.

You will be glad to know that the trail system in Cibola National Forest is suitable for all skin levels.

If you are impatient to feel the fresh air and experience enchanting views of treks, then why not take a look at some of Albuquerque’s best hiking trails.

What is the Best Time for Hiking in Albuquerque?

If you’re not busy doing the higher hikes, then that is the best time to go hiking in the best hiking trails in Albuquerque.

You should know that in the summer season, the New Mexico desert is too hot for any hiker there.

But the good news is that you will feel the less hot temperature in the surrounding mountains of the New Mexico desert. Moreover, the reason why Albuquerque’s hiking trails are suitable for all seasons is that they go through a shady forest.

The forest will provide you with enough shade to keep you safe from direct sunlight during summer hiking adventures.

On the other hand, if you want to go hiking in Albuquerque during the winter season, you will experience icy trails.

So, I will recommend you to bring your hiking shoes accordingly. Moreover, you can also purchase some good-quality microspikes for your hiking shoes.

It was all about the best time to go hiking in Albuquerque. Now, let’s move on and review some of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque New Mexico.

10 Best Hiking Trails in Albuquerque – Compared

Hiking Trails in Albuquerque

Following are the top 10 hiking trails in Albuquerque. You can also make your decision based on the comparison table below.



Elevation Gain


Pino Trail Short Version

3.3 Miles

6.6 Feet

Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (Albert G. Simms Park)

The Volcanoes Trail

3.2 Miles

374 Feet

Petroglyph National Monument

Travertine Falls

1.1 Miles

249 Feet

Cibola National Forest

South Piedra Lisa Trail

4.4 Miles

1309 Feet

Sandia Mountain Wilderness

Eye of the Sandias Loop Trail

3.9 Miles

1295 Feet

Sandia Foothills Open Space Park

Embudito Canyon Loop

3.9 Miles

1204 Feet

Sandia Foothills Open Space Park

La Luz Trail #137

13.3 Miles

3572 Feet

Sandia Mountain Wilderness

Domingo Baca Trail #230

8.0 Miles

3543 Feet

Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (Albert G. Simms Park)

Sandia Crest Trail

26.5 Miles

4904 Feet

Placitas, New Mexico

Paseo De La Mesa Trail

4.12 Miles

531 Feet

81st Street and Atrisco Vista Blvd

Pino Trail Short Version

Pino Trail Short Version is located in Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (Albert G. Simms Park).

It is an easy trail and covers a distance of 3.3 miles. Additionally, the maximum elevation gain of the Pino Trail Short Version is 616 feet.

If you want an easy hiking trail with some traffic, then Pino Trail is best for you. It is not much far from Albuquerque. Moreover, if your kids also enjoy hiking on trails, then it is a perfect spot for them.

Besides hiking, Pino Trail is also famous for other activities. The most popular activities on this trail involve hiking, running, and horse riding.

Moreover, if you are one of those people who like to cherish the beautiful views of nature, then you should go during the summer season.

During summer, you will also experience the enchanting views of beautiful flowers alongside the trail. Nature is something that everyone wants to enjoy.

One of the best things about Pino Trail is that you can also bring your dogs with you.

I know it’s wonderful and sounds great, but you will have to keep your dogs on leash – that’s a compulsion.

If we talk about the park charges, then there is a small fee of $1 during weekdays and $2 on weekends. However, you should keep in mind that you must pay the fee in cash form and place it in an envelope.

Lastly, if we talk about the winter experience, then it’s also an excellent trail for winter hiking too. You will easily manage to hike in Pino Trail during the winter season as well.

So, if you liked this trail, then get your things packed up. You have a wonderful journey ahead of you!

The Volcanoes Trail

The Volcanoes Trail is another short trail among the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. It is located in Petroglyph National Monument and has a distance of 3.2 miles. Moreover, the maximum elevation gain for Volcanoes Trail is 374 feet.

If you are fond of loop trails with beginner-level hiking experience, then The Volcanoes Trail is suitable for you. It is also a highly trafficked trail and suitable for experienced as well as beginner-level hikers.

The best thing about The Volcanoes Trail is that it is open throughout the year. As you will hike through this trail and Petroglyph National Monument, you will get wonderful views of wildflowers and birds.

The most common activities of The Volcanoes Trail and Petroglyph National Monument include hiking, bird watching, running, and enjoying wildflowers.

If your dog also loves to hike with you and wants to enjoy nature, then this trail is a perfect spot for your dog. However, you must put on a leash on your dog while on The Volcanoes Trail.

You can visit The Volcanoes Trail any time during the year. If we talk specifically about winter, then it’s not the hardest trail for winter hikers.

If you want to see the Volcanoes, then let me tell you that the main trail (east from the parking lot) will lead you to the first Volcano. 

The first Volcano is named “JA Volcano.” After passing through the first Volcano, you will easily locate the other Volcanoes too.

However, if you want to visit The Volcanoes Trail or Petroglyph National Monument, you should first check their website.

Routine maintenance and restoration are common in this trail. So it is important to check beforehand whether the trail is open for hiking or not.

Travertine Falls

Travertine Falls is another one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. The elevation of this trail is 249 feet and is located in Cibola National Forest. The total distance of the Travertine Falls trail is 1.1 miles.

The Travertine falls trail is heavily trafficked out and back near Tijeras. As you can understand with its name, it is a new Mexico waterfall hike.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a skilled hiker. The Travertine Falls Trail is suitable for all skill levels hikers. Most of the hikers use this trail for walking, running, and hiking.

If you are looking for the best time to be on this trail, then I will suggest you visit between March and October. 

Additionally, if you love to take your dogs on a hike with you, then this is the best trail for you. You can take your dog to the Travertine Falls trail, but they must be leashed.

You will begin your hike from S. Crest Trail 130 from Canyon Estates. On your way towards the fall, you will experience that the walk is almost forested. It is, in fact, half a mile walk to the fall and half a mile back.

If you have kids and they also love to cherish nature, then this is the best trail for you. However, if you think that you will get a surprising view of the waterfall, then it won’t happen to be honest. 

The waterfall is not something that you can say is “breathtaking,” although it is a nice treat when you finish your hike.

South Piedra Lisa Trail

South Piedra Lisa Trail is another one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque NM. It is located in Sandia Mountain Wilderness and continues up to 4.4 miles. The maximum elevation gain of the South Piedra Lisa Trail is 1,309 feet.

The best thing about being on South Piedra Lisa Trail is that you will enjoy the attractive views of the city. Surrounded by trees on a rugged climb will make you cherish the beauties of nature. 

South Piedra Lisa Trail can be a bit difficult for beginners. The reason behind this is that the trail is a steady climb. A professional or experienced hiker will hike it in no time, but the mildly rocky, loose surface can cause trouble for beginners. 

However, if the trail isn’t adventurous, then what’s the point of it? So, the beginners should definitely hike on this trail to get maximum exposure to trails like this.

The next best thing about this trail is that dogs are always welcome here. However, you will need to leash them on the trail; that’s a compulsion!

The 4.4 miles of South Piedra Lisa Trail hike is renowned for its wildflowers. Besides that, it is highly trafficked and ideal for hiking, birdwatching, forest views, and running.

If you want to visit the South Piedra Lisa Trail, then the best time is from March to October. If you go there during fall, you will experience cold nights. However, if you want to see the snow at the top, then you can visit in winter.

Eye of the Sandias Loop Trail

The Eye of the Sandias Loop Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. The Eye of the Sandia Loop Trail is located in Sandia Foothills Open Space Park. The maximum elevation gain of this trail is 1,295 feet. It is a loop-type trail with a total distance of 3.9 miles.

It appears to be a rocky hill at first, but soon you’ll notice a clearly defined path. This is the most difficult part of the climb. The route will begin to wind around the hillside as it rises above the drainage. 

To get to some of the rocky outcroppings, you’ll need to take a route that leads you there. There are several hills to navigate on the path, although it is not as steep. The route heads south into an open area after curving around the final hill.

After a short distance, you’ll reach an old fence and the trail T’s. Turning left (east) at the T will lead to a steep rise through some rocks that will last for a while. 

To find the “Eye of The Sandias” geocache, you’ll need to go beyond a steep hillside. Just past the “Eye,” you’ll be able to have a clear view of the rest of the path.

As you approach the peak, you’ll see a route circling around the side. Turn right when the trail comes to an end. The summit is only a few feet away, and it’s a very simple hike. 

There is some scrambling at the summit, so make sure you have proper footwear. Inexperienced hikers should avoid this path, as it can be dangerously steep.

If you want to find the “Eye of Sandia,” you’ll have to climb to the peak. This Albuquerque trek is perfect for anyone seeking a little calmness.

Embudito Canyon Loop

Embudito Canyon Loop is another Albuquerque hiking trails Sandia foothills. It is among the hiking trails in Albuquerque. It is located in Sandia Foothills Open Space Park. 

The maximum elevation gain of Embudito Canyon Loop is 1,204 feet. It is mainly a loop-type shape with a total distance of 3.9 miles.

The Sandia Mountains and the city of Albuquerque can be seen from the top of this trail, which is reachable by several variations.

On the eastern side of Albuquerque, near the Embudito Trail trailhead, there is parking available for visitors to park their vehicles. Leaving the parking lot, travel east on the middle trail, which is the most direct route. 

After 0.1 miles, this path will intersect with another trail that runs north to south. Take a left at this point. You have arrived at the Oso Ridge trailhead.

There are various variants of trails, but this one runs in a clockwise pattern, up the ridgeline and down a canyon stream bed, and is one of the most popular. The Oso Ridge portion has a total elevation gain of 1.2 miles.

At the end of this loop, there are numerous areas where the route is overgrown and difficult to follow. When you get to a T in the walkway, take a right turn. As you begin to descend the slope, you should keep your back to the west.

The Embudito Canyon Loop is an excellent site to observe wildlife such as birds, deer, and little rodents in their natural habitats.

One thing to keep in mind about this route is that it is rocky and needs a little scrambling to get through. Someone with a stumbling stride or who isn’t capable of walking this route should avoid it.

La Luz Trail #137

La Luz Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. It has a maximum distance of 13.3 miles. It is located in Sandia Mountain Wilderness with a maximum elevation gain of 3,572 feet.

The La Luz Trail #137 is a popular out-and-back hiking trail in the Albuquerque area that receives a lot of traffic and is highly rated.

However, exercise caution since this trail is best used from April to October, when most of the wildlife may be seen there. La Luz is famous hiking, running, and wildlife trail that attracts a large number of visitors. Dogs are permitted, but they must be kept on a leash.

This trail in the Sandias begins at the base of the mountain and gives views over the Albuquerque Valley to the west. It is a great place to get some fitness. Please keep in mind that the terrain is rugged and overgrown and that it takes prior experience. Therefore, if you’re not an experienced hiker, you should avoid going there.

If you opt to take the tram from the top, there is a price of $3 to park your car, and the tram ride down costs $15.

You should be aware that you will be at a high height and that you will need to dress appropriately. 

Despite the fact that it is only recommended until October, this path is a popular winter trek in Albuquerque, and there will be snow and wind at the peak. When there is a lot of wind, the tram will not operate.

The length of the trail, as well as the lack of maintenance, make this a difficult hike. The height climb is modest, with only a few switchbacks.

Domingo Baca Trail #230

Located in Elena Gallegos Picnic Area (Albert G. Simms Park), Domingo Baca Trail #230 is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. It covers a maximum distance of 8.0 miles with a maximum elevation gain of 3,543 feet.

The river is the major attraction of this hike, and it is most enjoyable from June to October. However, even if it is overgrown and infested with mosquitoes at certain seasons of the year, it is well worth the effort.

One of the most interesting aspects of this hiking trail in Albuquerque is that it begins in the middle of the open desert and finishes up in mountain woods, providing hikers with a diverse range of environments and ecosystems throughout the trail.

Yet another intriguing aspect of the trail is the fact that, if you chose to continue on it, you may search for and locate wreckage from the 1955 TWA jet disaster that took place nearby.

The route to the location is difficult and steep, with a lot of loose soil and stones, but it is absolutely doable.

Sandia Crest Trail

Sandia Crest Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. It is a point-to-point 26.5 miles long trail with a maximum elevation of 4,904 feet.

The Sandia Crest Trail covers the whole range of the Sandia Mountains and maybe hiked in either direction.  While experienced hikers may complete the entire 22.1-mile shuttle trip in one go, there are a variety of routes that vary in duration and degree of difficulty to choose from.

The Tunnel Springs Trailhead is located at the northern end of the path, while the Canyon Estates Trailhead is located at the southern end of it. 

Some hikers prefer to complete this trek in a single long day, while others choose for a two-day hiking trip that includes a vehicle shuttle service from their starting point.

As a result, many of the most well-known trails in the Sandia Mountains, as well as all of the routes are extensions of or links to the main Sandia Crest Trail.

Paseo De La Mesa Trail

Paseo De La Mesa Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque. It continues for 4.12 miles with a maximum elevation gain of 531 feet.

Located on the west side of Albuquerque’s mesa, the Paseo De La Mesa Trail skirts the volcanoes and provides 360-degree views of the surrounding region and the west mesa. 

Despite the fact that the primary route is four miles of concrete path that is not interrupted by traffic, there are several shoot-off trails and intersections in the trail network that provide a variety of hiking experiences. 

In reality, the network of paths that link to the Paseo De Las Mesa Trail may provide hikers with a total distance of up to 20 miles. This trail is quite level and has minimal shade, making it a good choice for beginners.

On the trails, you may come across a variety of various types of folks. It’s likely that you’ll come across other bicycles, walkers, wheelchair users, in-line skaters, and probably even equestrians. 

Keep in mind that there may be repair trucks on the trail. Always keep in mind that being courteous and cautious are important aspects of enjoying a fun and safe trail ride.

Final Verdict

We reviewed and compared the 10 best hiking trails in Albuquerque in this article. I hope that you enjoyed reading this review of 10 different trails. If you have ever been to these trails, please share your experience with us in the comments section below!


Is Albuquerque good for hiking?

Yes, no doubt, Albuquerque is good for hiking. One of the reasons New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment is because of its high desert landscape and varied terrain, which provide hiking trails with some of the most enchanting views and treks in the state. 

The high desert landscape and varying terrain of Albuquerque’s hiking trails are particularly beautiful.

How many hikes are in Albuquerque?

There are 145 beautiful trails in the Albuquerque region to choose from, whether you’re planning a hike, a bike ride, a trail run, or anything else to do outside.

Where can I walk in Albuquerque?

You can hike on the following trails in Albuquerque:

  • Pino Trail Short Version
  • The Volcanoes Trail
  • Travertine Falls
  • South Piedra Lise Trail
  • Eye of the Sandias Loop Trail
  • Embudito Canyon Loop
  • La Luz Trail #137
  • Domingo Baca Trail #230
  • Sandia Crest Trail
  • Paseo De La Mesa Trail

Is La Luz Trail open?

Yes, the La Luz Trail is open. Approximately 7.5 miles one way, the trail takes you from a scorching desert scene to a refreshing Canadian woodland. It is one of the best hiking trails in Albuquerque.


Ken · January 5, 2022 at 9:34 pm

Which trail is good for biking??

    Abdul Moeed · January 6, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Paseo De La Mesa Trail is good for biking. However, if you really want to experience something challenging, you should go for Otero Canyon.

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