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Backpacker Magazine – June 2010

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Glorietta Ghost Town, NM

Hike to a hotel with no visitors.

by: Robert Todd Felton

Up the way from modern Glorieta lies the site of a ruined town that flourished alongside the railroad. In the 1860s, Glorieta sprouted a hotel, two saloons, and four sawmills that employed 250 men, and it became a sportsmen’s headquarters for trips to the north Pecos River basin. Survey the town’s heaped remnants on this 6.4-mile round-trip. From the trailhead, you’ll pass the turnoff for the Glorieta Baldy and Broken Arrow Trails before the path narrows and winds back and forth over a small creek. Watch for an old rusting auto and decrepit equipment from a silver mine before emerging into the last in a series of meadows at mile 3.2. Head right to explore the ruins of the Glorieta House, a two-story wooden hotel built in 1883 that finally collapsed on itself 75 years later.

The Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe has a green chili cheeseburger that’ll chase your demons away. (505) 983-5319

The Way
From Santa Fe, take I-25 north 17 miles to exit 299 and follow signs to the LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center. Ask the guard in the gatehouse for free hiker parking.

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Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star


Len in Upstate NY
Apr 27, 2011

My wife and I hiked this last week as our first warm-up hike for our climbing vacation visit to Santa Fe. It is a great trail and the old town remnants are interesting. There are a couple of mine shaft entrances nearby as well. They are not particularly dangerous as the shafts were cut into solid rock and there is no danger of collapse. We continued on the trail past the town and linked up with the road that goes to the summit of Glorieta Baldy and hung out at the old fire tower for awhile. All in all a great New Mexico hike.

Paul in SF
Aug 06, 2010

My wife and I hiked this a couple of weeks ago in late July. Nice, gentle hike and very interesting to look at the old abandoned cars and ruins of the old town. Another great hike from the same trailhead is Glorieta Baldy.
We like to stop at Harry's Roadhouse after hiking in the Pecos area. My wife finds the Sangria to be quite rejuvenating!

David "wanderingpops" Sims
Aug 05, 2010

My wife and I did the hike just a few weeks ago. Pretty interesting and a fun hike. We got rained on a couple times but that just makes it a bit more of an adventure. "Ghost Town" is a bit of a stretch but it is interesting to hike along and look at the old building and car remains.

We were there on Sunday and Bobcat Bites was closed, but the option we found that day was superb. Backroad Pizza, 1807 Second St in Santa Fe. We're new to the area but we found it using our GPS. Excellent pizza and great atmosphere. I highly recommend. And just one added comment about the chilis, around here people don't ask do want chili, they will simply ask "Red, or green?"

Jonathan Kniskern
Jul 19, 2010

Bob is right - the NM State "Question" is Red or Green? meaning what kind of Chile do you want? Chili is good in Chicago.

I can vouch for Bobcat Bite's burgers too. We plan to do this hike soon with our 7 and 8 year olds since we live a few miles away. Thanks for the info BP mag.

Bob Tilley
Jul 12, 2010

Bobcat Bite has a green CHILE cheeseburger. Chile is the NM state vegetable. Chili is something you find at a Texas chili cookoff or in a can from Hormel.


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