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Albuquerque, NM: Vacas Trail

Water is abundant here, compared to the arid high desert below. This 15.2-miler links fish-filled creeks with the forested hills of San Pedro Parks Wilderness.

Trip Tools

Wilderness is highlighted by meadows that open up around every corner. It’s a kid-friendly route with plenty of places to stop and camp near water. Start from the Vacas Trailhead at 9,300 feet; within the first 2 miles, you’ll hit the San Gregorio Reservoir and the Vallecito Damian, a large meadow with a seasonal creek. If your kids are a little older, continue 4 miles to the Anastacio Trail junction, passing wildflower meadows and several more creeks with small, native trout. At about mile 8, head northwest on the Continental Divide Trail toward San Pedro Parks, but bring water—it’s dry. Camp in aspen and spruce groves, listening for coyotes and elk as the sun sets over a canvas of tulip gentians, bushy cinquefoil, and native grasses.
Text provided by New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors:
-Mapped by Bill Velasquez

To Trailhead

Take I-25 N to exit 242 to US 550 N (toward village of Cuba). From Cuba, head E on NM 126 for 10.8 mi.; turn L onto FR 70. In 2.7 mi., park in lot @ trailhead.

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