Nature June 18, 2017
8 Amazing New Mexico Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love
One of the best rewards of living in the Land of Enchantment is the sheer number of hiking trails and open spaces to explore. However, you don’t need to be an advanced hiker to take advantage of the great outdoors. There are numerous short yet lovely trails for you discover. These 8 hikes all clock in at under 3 miles.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve (Santa Fe)
Although this preserve is affiliated with the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, it’s in a completely different section of Santa Fe. That’s a bonus, because fewer people have discovered it. This 35-acre, marshy area contains well-marked trails that you can take for as long or short a distance as you’d like. There are set opening hours for this preserve, so visit
the official website
before you head out. The preserve is located at 27283 I-25 West Frontage Road in Santa Fe.
2. The Desert Upland Trail at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (Roswell)
Fancy hiking with quail? You might be in luck if you take the 1-mile long walk along the Desert Upland Trail, which is lined with native plants. While you’re in the refuge, add on the Butterfly Trail – it’s only 0.25-miles in length but, as the name indicates, it is designed to attract butterflies.
Here is information relating to the refuge’s opening hours.
Bitter Lake is located at 4200 E Pine Lodge Road in Roswell.
3. Lake Roberts Loop (near Silver City)
Meander around this tranquil lake on a 2.5-mile long loop trail that offers lovely views. There’s no starting or ending point – just begin walking along the dirt path that edges the 75-acre lake. This dog-friendly hike is off NM-35.
4. JA Volcano and the Albuquerque Overlook at Volcanoes Day Use Area (Albuquerque)
This national monument contains five cinder cone volcanoes. The main trail is a 1-mile jaunt, round trip. It affords great views over Albuquerque and it’s easy to extend your hike by venturing a little way along the Black Volcano Loop trail. This hiking spot is located off Atrisco Vista Boulevard in Albuquerque, and it’s open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Leashed dogs are welcome.
5. Heron Lake State Park (Los Ojos)
The East Meadow Trail stretches for 2.4 miles, running parallel to Heron Lake. Since this is an out-and-back trail, you’ll want to turn around near the midway point to keep it under 3 miles – or else persuade a member of your group to pick you up at the other end! For these views… it’s worth it. The trailhead for this easy hike is at the visitor center and the park is located at 640 State Road 95 in Los Ojos.
6. Leasburg Dam State Park (Las Cruces)
Since there are only 2.25 miles of trails in this state park, you can easily explore the whole place without breaking the 3-mile mark. The dam itself is pretty and, during warmer months, you can cool off post-hike in the Rio Grande. This state park is located at Leasburg Dam Road in Las Cruces.
7. Galisteo Basin Preserve (Lamy)
There are 50 miles of hiking trails winding through this preserve. The views are expansive – you can see for miles - the hills are gentle, and the earth tinged with red. Make up your own route when trekking through this beautiful area or follow the Cowboy Shack Trail. This out-and-back trail is 3-miles long total, so not quite under but close enough. Leashed pets are allowed in the preserve, which is located off US-285, just north of the turnoff to Lamy.
8. Coyote Call Trail (near Los Alamos)
Tucked away in Valles Caldera, this 2.9-mile long trail features meadows, forests, and picturesque scenery. To reach the trailhead, pull off NM-4 near mile marker 41. Dogs are permitted, providing they’re on a leash.
Which short hike in New Mexico appeals to you?
You may also be interested in our past article: “
8 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List In New Mexico.”