The Best Outdoor Activities in New Mexico

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

New Mexico / Tent Rocks Trailhead

Hiking at Tent Rocks is a must-do for anyone in the northern New Mexico area. It's an accessible trail that gives you incredible rewards with little effort.

Explore White Sands National Monument

New Mexico / White Sands Visitor's Center

The White Sands National Monument is one of the most surreal locations in the southwest. Located just north of Las Cruces, NM, White Sands is about a 45 minute drive from the city of Las Cruces.

Chris Mongeau
402 Saves

Climb Down into the Depths of Carlsbad Caverns

New Mexico / Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center

The Carlsbad Caverns is an experience like no other. There is a seven mile scenic road that leads into the park, which will direct you towards the ranger station and entrance to the caves.

Lucas Pols
309 Saves

Hike to the Trampas Lakes in Carson National Forest

New Mexico / Trampas Trailhead Campground

This hike is worth its weight in gold. By far one of the most beautiful places in all of New Mexico. Located in the Carson National Forest, the options for camping are limitless.

Andrew Miller
277 Saves

Hike to Williams Lake and Wheeler Peak

New Mexico / Williams Lake Trail

This hike is conveniently located at Taos Ski Valley and offers two primary options: a fun 4-mile round trip hike to beautiful Williams Lake, or a 7-mile round trip hike all the way to the Wheeler Pe.

Brian Heifferon
220 Saves

Backpack to Lake Katherine in the Pecos Wilderness

New Mexico / Ski Santa Fe

Accessible June through October, snow lingers on the trail late into the summer. This is a very popular, well-marked route so if it's solitude you're seeking, you'll probably be disappointed.

Jessica Schultz
173 Saves

Camp at White Sands National Monument

New Mexico / White Sands National Monument Backpacker's Trail

Spend a night under the stars in one of the more beautiful places to take it all in.

Lucas Pols
154 Saves

Hike to Alcove House

New Mexico / Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center

Start your hike from the Visitor's Center and head out on the Main Loop Trail to begin.

Hike to the Summit of Lake Peak

New Mexico / Winsor Trail, Santa Fe Ski Basin

Lake Peak is an accessible day hike to one of New Mexico's 12er peaks, located close to Santa Fe and within the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

Photograph the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

New Mexico / Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

This is one of the most photographed festivals in the world.

Lucas Pols
139 Saves

Hike to Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch

New Mexico / Ghost Ranch Visitor Center

Start your adventure by checking in at the Ghost Ranch Visitor Center, then find the trailhead just behind the building. You'll quickly drop down through an arroyo and then walk through a gate.

Snowshoe to San Antonio Hot Springs via Thompson Ridge Route

New Mexico / Thompson Ridge Rd.

Although you can reach these hot springs via the main trail in the winter, the Thompson Ridge route is a shorter option that comes in from above the springs rather than below.

Hike at Kitchen Mesa

New Mexico / Kitchen Mesa Trailhead, Ghost Ranch

Kitchen Mesa is arguably one of the most beautiful hikes in northern New Mexico. The trailhead starts off from the back end of Ghost Ranch, just north of Abiquiu.

Hike the Main Loop Trail at Bandelier National Monument

New Mexico / Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center

Bandelier National Monument encompasses over 33,000 acres of public land, including Frijoles Canyon, the home of the Ancestral Puebloans that once lived in the area.

Johnathan Valdez
105 Saves

Hike Santa Fe Baldy

New Mexico / Winsor Trailhead

Starting at an elevation of 10,000 feet at the Santa Fe Ski Basin, a right turn at the Winsor trail starts a steep climb for .5 miles until the wilderness boundary gate.

Sheena Neese
98 Saves

Camp at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

New Mexico / Wild Rivers Visitors Center

Created in 2013 from partly existing public lands, The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument encompasses a large amount of land along the Rio Grande River from the Colorado border to south of Taos.

Jason Hatfield
83 Saves

Hike to McCauley Hot Springs

New Mexico / Battleship Rock

Turn right off of the 4 onto Camp Shaver Ln. This takes you to a parking area with a sign for Battleship Rock Campsite. This is where the trail begins. It will take you to hot springs and Jemez falls.

Explore the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary

New Mexico / Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is an incredible place that has 3 main focuses: rescue, sanctuary and care, and education.

Brittany Weber
80 Saves

Backpack the Vacas Trail Loop

New Mexico / San Gregorio Lake Trailhead

You start at the hiking at base of the the San Pedro Wilderness at the San Gregorio Lake Trailhead! This particular hike is called the Vacas Trail loop.

Lisa Merino
78 Saves

Hike or Bike Aspen Vista

New Mexico / Winsor Trail, Santa Fe Ski Basin

Aspen Vista Road (Forest Road 150) starts at an elevation of 10,000 feet and climbs up through a large stand of beautiful aspen and pine trees to the summit of Tesuque Peak at an elevation of 12,045 .

Jo Stein
71 Saves

Hike at Tsankawi

New Mexico / Tsankawi Trailhead

Tsankawi is a great option for a shorter adventure and is one of the many wonderful areas of Bandelier National Monument.

Photograph the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

New Mexico / Rio Grande Gorge Rest Area

Completed in 1965, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the seventh highest bridge in the United States. The design is a steel deck arch bridge than spans 1280 feet and sits 565 feet high.

Jason Hatfield
59 Saves

Hike to San Antonio Hot Springs

New Mexico / San Antonio Hot Springs Trailhead

There is an adventure posted by Gemina Garland-Lewis where she describes how to snowshoe to the hot springs from the top down.

Kevin Abernethy
52 Saves

Hike Perk Canyon

New Mexico / Perk Canyon Trail

Starting out at 7,200 feet you walk through 2 miles of relatively flat, beautiful forests and streams - at mile 2 you begin the ascent to the trail ridge with about an 800 foot elevation climb.

Dawson Russell
50 Saves

Ride to the Top of Sandia Peak

New Mexico / Sandia Peak Tramway

Start at the Sandia Mountain base terminal where you can purchase your tickets to ride the tram (Tip: If you make reservations at the peaks restaurant, High Finance, you can get a discount on your ti.

Nick Garcia
48 Saves

Snowshoe on the Winsor Trail

New Mexico / Winsor Trail, Santa Fe Ski Basin

The Winsor Trail is 22.

Hike to the Upper Falls in Bandelier National Monument

New Mexico / Bandelier Visitor Center

Park at the Bandelier Visitor Center. The trailhead is down the road (the direction you came from).

Hike the Pueblo Alto Trail

New Mexico / Pueblo Alto Trail

Starting on the floor of the San Juan Basin and behind Pueblo Bonito, follow the signs up a twisty and dusty path that leads to a narrow gap between a very large boulder and the mesa wall.

Kim Morris
44 Saves

Hike to Nambé Lake

New Mexico / Ski Santa Fe

Starting at the ski basin above Santa Fe, where parking is ample and the drive to reach it is staggeringly beautiful, you head north from the bottom of the parking lot from a well marked trailhead.

Tristan Willey
43 Saves

Hike the Alkali Flat Loop

New Mexico / Alkali Flat Trailhead

From the US 70 pull into the White Sands Visitor Center. Then continue along Dunes drive. Eventually Dunes Drive turns into Loop Drive. At the end of this road you will find the Alkali Flat trailhead.

Hike the Piedra Lisa Trail

New Mexico / Piedra Lisa South Trailhead

Up near the iconic La Luz Trailhead is a smaller and somewhat hidden trail a little farther up the road, Piedra Lisa Trail.

Tristan Willey
39 Saves

Hike La Luz Trail

New Mexico / La Luz Trailhead

Leaving from the foothills above Albuquerque this trail leads you from the desert up to the peaks of the Sandia Mountains.

Tristan Willey
28 Saves

Hike the Pino Trail

New Mexico / Pino Trail Trailhead

Take Simms Park road (continue straight through the roundabout) all the way until it ends. There is a parking area right by the trailhead. Enjoy the views of the Sandias Mountains and the pines.

Climb Las Conchas

New Mexico / Las Conchas Trailhead

75 minutes north of Albuquerque, Las Conchas is a trailhead that sits right off the highway with two accessible, although small, parking lots.

Tristan Willey
22 Saves

Hike the The Gila Loop Trail

New Mexico / Gila Cliff Dwellings

Park at the end of the 15 in the parking area. Walk all the way to the end of the road where you will find the trailhead.

Hike the Windsor Trail

New Mexico / Winsor Trail Head

Follow Hyde Park Rd all the way to its end. At the end of this road you can find space for parking and the Winsor Trailhead. The trail is 10.9 miles long with some switchbacks and mild elevation gain.

Hike the Pine Tree Trail Loop

New Mexico / Pine Tree Loop Parking Area

Park in the Parking area at the end of Aguirre Springs Loop. The trailhead is across the road. The trail will take you in a loop. Enjoy the diversity of plant life and the varied landscape.

Hike the 10K Loop

New Mexico / 10k Trailhead

10K trailhead springs from it a whole handful of beautiful trails.

Tristan Willey
16 Saves

Hike the Zuni-Acoma Trail

New Mexico / Bonita Canyon Parking Lot

There is a parking area just east of where the Continental Divide intersects the 53. Park here and walk west just a short distance to hop onto the Continental Divide/Zuni-Acoma Trail.

Camp at Bluff Springs

New Mexico / Bluff Springs, Lincoln National Forest

A mile up in elevation and only a few miles into Lincoln National Forest from Alamogordo, take off on the scenic Sunspot Highway that leads to the solar observation center before a short detour off a.

Tom Johnson
11 Saves

Rock Climb at Sugarite Canyon

New Mexico / Soda Pocket Road

Most ratings range from 5.7 to 5.11 with fewer 5.12. Only one climb in the whole area is bolted-- and that is a 5.10a.

Claire Alexander
11 Saves

Hike to Picacho Peak and Atalaya Peak

New Mexico / Cerro Gordo Trailhead

Begin this trail from the Cerro Gordo Trailhead which is only about 10 minutes from Santa Fe Plaza. You can park in the lot near the intersection of Cerro Gordo and Upper Canyon Rd.

Sarah Levant
10 Saves

Hike the Alkali Flat Trail at White Sands National Monument

New Mexico / Alkali Flat Trailhead

This trail takes you from the rolling dune fields of White Sands National Monument to the interdunal zone on the edge of an ancient lake bed.

Danielle Alling
5 Saves

Hike the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Trail

New Mexico / Rio Grande Gorge Rest Area

Drive 12 miles west of Taos, New Mexico on US Hwy 64, and you'll drive directly onto the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge that spans 1,280 feet.

Rosa Perham
3 Saves

Hike Little Bear Canyon to the Middle Fork of the Gila River

New Mexico / TJ Corral Trailhead

After driving the winding mountain road from Silver City to Gila Hot Springs, I knew I had to do more than just see the Gila Cliff Dwellings (which are stunning, don't miss them).

Sara Sheehy
2 Saves