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The Best Backpacking in New Mexico

Looking for the best backpacking in New Mexico? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around New Mexico. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near New Mexico

  • Chamisal, New Mexico

    Hike to the Trampas Lakes in Carson National Forest

    4.9
    11 mi / 2400 ft gain
    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. Did I mention this is ranked one of New Mexico's best hikes yet it rarely gets done. The potential for solitude is ver...
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  • Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Backpack to Lake Katherine in the Pecos Wilderness

    5.0
    16 mi / 1450 ft gain
    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. At least on the weekend.The trailhead is at the parking lot for Ski Santa Fe. You'll climb from 10,250 to...
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  • Questa, New Mexico

    Camp at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

    4.3
    2.4 mi / 800 ft gain
    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. Far from any major city, you'll likely enjoy trails to yourself in the morning and few other visit...
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  • Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

    Backpack the Vacas Trail Loop

    4.0
    15 mi / 1000 ft gain
    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.For directions: Take US 550 to Cuba (north west of Albuquerque), turn east on NM 126 and go for about 9 miles. Just past the community of Deer La...
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  • Catron County, New Mexico

    Hike to Jordan Hot Springs via Little Bear Canyon Trail

    13.5 mi / 1500 ft gain
    The Gila Wilderness is the oldest wilderness area in The United States, and Jordan Hot Springs rests right in the heart of Canyon of the Middle Fork of the Gila River, along a stretch of the Continental Divide Trail and some 7 miles from the nearest road. The most direct road by either car or tra...
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  • Cloudcroft, New Mexico

    Camp at Bluff Springs

    5.0
    0 mi / 100 ft gain
    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 dirt road that arrives at Bluff Springs Waterfall (camping is free on all dirt roads). There you'...
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  • Farmington, New Mexico

    Camp in the Bisti Badlands

    4 mi
    After driving down some dirt roads to the marked location, park in the main parking area. Free car camping is allowed here. Look across the blank landscape to the east. A compass may help you keep your bearing while out hiking because there are no trails or trail markers. Exit the parking area by...
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  • Silver City, New Mexico

    Mountain Bike the Picnic Loop

    2 mi / 350 ft gain
    Called the "Berg Trail" by Silver City locals in honor of Gary Berg who pioneered the extensive trail system around Gomez Peak, the Picnic Loop beginning at the Little Walnut Creek picnic area is a great way to be introduced to the incredible mountain biking trails to be found in the area. Beginn...
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  • Red River, New Mexico

    Hike Colombine Trail

    8.5 mi / 1935 ft gain
    This moderate trail is accessed from the Columbine campground on Highway 38. It will be on your right side when traveling east from Questa. Drive to the back end of the campground, where there are several spaces for parking. The moderate version of this hike will travel about 4 miles south into t...
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  • Jemez Springs, New Mexico

    Jemez Falls to McCauley Hot Springs

    3.17 mi / 738 ft gain
    Jemez Falls to McCauley Hot Springs is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a hot spring located near Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
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  • Jemez Springs, New Mexico

    East Fork Trailhead to Battleship Rock Trailhead via East Fork Trail

    5.21 mi / 492 ft gain
    East Fork Trailhead to Battleship Rock Trailhead via East Fork Trail is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
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  • Pecos, New Mexico

    Hike the South Pasture Loop Trail

    3.8 mi / 196 ft gain
    The South Pasture Loop trail, while part of the Pecos NHP, isn't in the main park. Currently, this trail is only open on the weekends and the road gate closes at 1pm. The trail itself closes at 3pm, and takes about 2-3 hours unless you plan on hiking for speed. No pets allowed. 0.7 miles down th...
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  • Las Cruces, New Mexico

    Rabbit Ears Plateau

    6.18 mi / 2825 ft gain
    Rabbit Ears Plateau is an out-and-back trail that provides a good opportunity to view wildlife located near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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  • Silver City, New Mexico

    Rocky Canyon Trail

    17.17 mi / 2228 ft gain
    Rocky Canyon Trail is a loop trail that provides a good opportunity to view wildlife located near Mimbres, New Mexico.
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  • Catron County, New Mexico

    West Fork Loop

    12.46 mi / 2031 ft gain
    West Fork Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Pinos Altos, New Mexico.
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  • Catron County, New Mexico

    Little Bear Canyon Middle Fork Gila Loop Trail

    11.1 mi / 1033 ft gain
    Little Bear Canyon Middle Fork Gila Loop Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Pinos Altos, New Mexico.
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