Santa Fe: Caballo Mountain

Trek 14.4 miles on less-traveled trails to a 10,000-foot summit over the Valles Caldera, a giant volcanic bowl in the shadow of the Jemez Mountains.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Trek 14.4 miles on less-traveled trails to a 10,000-foot summit over the Valles Caldera, a giant volcanic bowl in the shadow of the Jemez Mountains.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.5

Waypoints

Grassy Slope

Location: 35.9087448120117, -106.392189025879

The trail is joined from the right as you emerge from the trees into Cañada Bonita. ©Scott Valentine

Valley Views

Location: 35.9244384765625, -106.391639709473

©Scott Valentine

Pitched Ascent

Location: 35.9473495483398, -106.378532409668

©Scott Valentine

Local Color

Location: 35.9528427124023, -106.371711730957

©Scott Valentine

CAB001

Location: 35.895881652832, -106.393402099609

Hit the trail early to beat the afternoon heat; hike NE from car

CAB002

Location: 35.8985786437988, -106.388198852539

Bear L onto slight uphill

CAB003

Location: 35.9089698791504, -106.392303466797

Keep straight as two trails merge; leave scrub pines and aspens and enter sun-bleached Cañada Bonita Valley

CAB004

Location: 35.9143104553223, -106.398498535156

Views from Valles Grande to Cañada Bonita Valley; stay on trail

CAB005

Location: 35.918571472168, -106.396202087402

Pass two gates

CAB006

Location: 35.9217758178711, -106.393432617188

Hike N through clearing where maintenance roads branch out; continue to Guaje Trail, a few hundred yds. ahead

CAB007

Location: 35.9244728088379, -106.392112731934

Bear L, staying on trail. To W is 15-mi.-wide Valles Caldera, created by the Jemez Volcano, now home to NM's largest elk herd. Go L onto unmarked forest road

CAB008

Location: 35.9392623901367, -106.389205932617

Arrive at narrow ledge; Caballo Mtn. rises to the NE with the city of Los Alamos to the S. Continue hiking W down long switchbacks

CAB009

Location: 35.9378204345703, -106.382102966309

Trail levels; vegetation is lush when creek is running

CAB010

Location: 35.9373207092285, -106.374000549316

Bear L @ Y; trail is spotty, aim E toward Caballo Mtn.

CAB011

Location: 35.9461517333984, -106.378196716309

Bear N past spur trails while hiking a steep, tree-littered slope

CAB012

Location: 35.9529685974121, -106.372497558594

Enter Santa Clara Indian Reservation (stay off private land); head E up 45° slope to views of Los Alamos

CAB013

Location: 35.9539413452148, -106.364601135254

Hike through thick growth; nearby, glimpse 10,496-ft. Caballo