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Best Local Hikes Home | Mountain West Home
New Mexico Mountain Club (pages.swcp.com/~nmmc)
» Embudo-Whitewash Loop Need a break from dust-and-cactus terrain? Escape to the white cliffs and mountain air of this 9.5-mile loop. Start at the Three Gun Spring trailhead and bring binoculars in spring: The canyon lies on a migration route for more than 20 species of raptors, including the zone-tailed hawk and the black-shouldered kite. When runoff is high, follow a seasonal creek uphill (at .5 mile) to a waterfall. Miles from city center 16; Trip ID16919
» La Luz Trail, Cibola NF Ascend nearly 3,800 feet from desert floor to alpine forest on this 14-mile round-trip quad-burner. Granite fins and big vistas of the distant Sangre de Cristo Mountains make this the “classic, iconic hike in the Sandia Mountains,” says the club’s Will Hoffman. Drained at the summit? Save knees and halve the distance by descending on the Sandia Peak Tramway ($12; sandiapeak.com). Miles from city center 18; Trip ID775425
» Red Canyon/Spruce Spring Loop, Cibola NF This 7.4-mile hike through the lightly traveled Manzano Mountains offers blooming geraniums and pine drops in spring, ripe gooseberries and raspberries in summer, aspen colors in fall, and solitude year-round. “You get a break from the crowds in the Sandias, and fewer hikers means a greater chance of seeing wildlife—even bears,” says club president David Smith. Miles from city center 58; Trip ID775426