New Mexico is known for its many outdoor wonders especially the many hiking trails. Got the itch to take your family outdoors hiking? Check out these family friendly hiking spots in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Remember that it is best to over prepare by bringing extra water, thin layers of clothing, snacks, sunscreen, hiking hats and solid shoes. Mark your path if you happen to go off the trail. Happy hiking to you and your family from TLC.
Albuquerque Hiking Trails
Elena Gallegos Park located in north east Albuquerque off of Simms Park Road. Bring a couple of bucks for parking, $1 on weekdays and $2 on the weekends. This open-air nature area features a pond, multiple hiking trails, wildflowers and breathtaking views of the Sandias. You’ll have lots of different trails to choose from. This is a great place to have a picnic or meet up with friends in the Foothills. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain bikers and as always bring more water than you expect. This spot is home to the acclaimed Pino Trail for those of you who are feeling moderately ambitious. Open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the summer.
The Volcano’s Trail is part of Petroglyph National Monument on the Westside of Albuquerque. The full trail is 2.9 miles but can be customized for a shorter trek to one, two or all three of the volcanoes. The moderate incline and frequently covered benches for resting are a bonus for those of you with children. Wear layers to prepare for the wind while you take in spectacular city views. Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. On leash dog-friendly.
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located in mid-Albuquerque right off of Candaleria. Open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. $3 per vehicle for parking and no pets allowed. Enjoy both the nature center filled with educational material and the expansive well-groomed walking and biking trails. The wide paved paths are perfect for a family bike ride. Or go on foot to get down close to the water’s edge of the Rio Grande. Year long this is a beautiful walk with no strenuous inclines. See birds, ducks, cranes, and turtles and maybe even catch a hot air balloon or two floating over the water.
Santa Fe Hiking Trails
Randall Davey Center Audubon Society. Don’t let the image of stuffy bird watchers deter you. This is a prime hiking spot for those with small children. About 15 minutes from the plaza at the tail end of Upper Canyon Road. Start your adventure at the Audubon Center itself for trail maps, fun facts and to chat up extremely experienced hikers that work at the center for just $2.00. The trails around are very easy and feature some small creeks and a pond. Keep your eyes peeled for beaver dams and other wildlife. Bring water, friends and a flashlight if you think you might get caught out after sundown.
Chamisa Trail is rated easy and close to Santa Fe as you head towards the Ski Basin. This mountain trail takes your through the forest and then opens into a breathtaking meadow with wildflowers. The trail runs along the Tesuque Creek a major selling point for any of you craving a natural water source. The full trail is 4.8 miles. Feel free to turn around at any point though for a shorter hike. As you head towards the ski basin, 5.6 miles up Hyde Park Road look for a sign on the left side of the road for the Chamisa Trail. Bring snacks, water, and allergy medicine.
Hyde Park Circle Trail is well marked and a short drive from Santa Fe. The trail is mostly an easy hike with the option of some steeper jaunts. Take Artists Road north until you see the sign for Hyde Park and the Ski Basin. Then pull in at the Hyde Memorial State Park Headquarters, the parking fee is a couple of dollars and can be dropped into the payment box. Directly across from the stone store look for the “Hiking Trail” sign and set off5-milee 5 mile trail. Take lots of breaks and soak in the beautiful views of the ski basin and mountains.