LLAMA DAY HIKES

This is a partial list of trails we use for day hikes. Each has its own character and appeal. Flowers on some, forest on others, creeks or dry, open or secluded, easy or not, the choice is yours. We are your Adventure consultants.

We have included an index called Level Of Effort (L.O.E.) which will help you choose. An L.O.E. of 1 is like a walk on the sidewalk...flat and smooth, while an L.O.E. of 10 is rough and steep, but hike-able. We will not expose you to technical conditions. The L.O.E. takes into consideration the hiking skills needed and the stamina required and as a general rule1-4 is easy, for the novice hiker; 5-7 is moderate, for the intermediate hiker; 8-10 is strenuous, for the advanced hiker. Also listed is the elevation range of the hike and the length of the hike. These last two factors can vary for each trail listed as partial hikes are a possibility.

Day Hikes are offered from March to the end of November. Sometime in the Fall we move into the lower mountains or the Wild River Recreation Area and hike there until the warm weather of the Spring melts the snow and we can move back into the higher mountains. These hikes encompass five of the six life zones: Upper Sonoran (under 7,500 Ft.), Transition (7,500 to 8,500 Ft.), Canadian (8,500 to 10,000 Ft.), Hudsonian (10,000 to 11,500 Ft.) & Arctic-Alpine (11,500+ Ft.).

 

On this page you will find:

 FULL DAY HIKES

 

 HALF DAY HIKES

 


Full Day Hikes

Hiking above the tree line.

Great views in all directions from the top.

COLUMBINE CANYON 1: L.O.E. 1-4, 7800- 9900 (2100 ft.), 5 miles each way. The first 2.5 miles of the trail is smooth, flat and easy. The last 2.5 miles sees the trail get a bit steeper and rougher but still easy all the way. Lunch is served in a mid-way meadow and the hike reaches a picture perfect meadow.. a 10 on the landscaping scale. (Tevas or sneakers for fording the stream are required)

DEER CREEK CANYON: L.O.E. 1-4, 7800-11400 (3600 ft.), up to miles each way. An easy trail to hike but long so we can do a portion. This trail is unique in that it climbs up out of the canyon early on and gives us spectacular views and scenery over most of the distance. Not for the acrophobic. Lunch is served on the trail.
Deer Creek Canyon is a National Recreation Trail featured in Backpacker Magazine.

DEVISADERO/CAPULIN TRAIL: L.O.E. 2-4, 7200-8500 (1400 ft.) 3 to 5 miles each way. The hike follows the northern portion of Devisadero trail with great views of the Taos valley and the Taos Pueblo. On most days you can see 90 miles from this trail. A southern exposure and a relatively low altitude in the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones makes for a more desert like environment with piñons, cedars and yuccas at lower levels and a mixed forest of piñons, firs, ponderosas and scrub oaks at higher levels as we reach the bottom of the Canadian life zone. Pleasant hiking in the early and late seasons… too warm from May to early September. Lunch is served on the trail and the hike continues on Capulin trail. The return hike is back along Capulin and then follows the southern portion of the Devisadero loop. THIS TRAIL IS ACCESSIBLE FOR LATE WINTER HIKING

EAST FORK TRAIL: L.O.E. 1-3, 9600-11300 (1700 ft.), up to miles each way. An easy trail… mild pitches and smooth with bridges…boulevard hiking in deep stands of firs and spruces. Lunch is served in a variety of possible locations.

ELLIOT BARKER TRAIL: L.O.E. 1-3, 8400-9300 (900 ft), up to 4 miles each way. A smooth, easy and wide trail. A 6 mile loop is built in to this trail. This one gets the wildflower award in late spring and early summer. Beautiful aspen foliage in the fall. Very nice views of the Moreno Valley, Eagle Nest Lake and Angel Fire. Lunch is served in Bull Spring Meadow which is usually covered with Blue Flag Irises and yellow Potentilla.

GAVILAN CANYON 1: L.O.E. 4-7, 8800-11700 (2900 ft.), mile loop. The initial portion follows a stream through shady woods to an alpine Vega. From there, we ascend to the peaks for lunch. A great view of the world in all directions. The hike continues along the peaks and descends through alpine meadows and a wooded trail to finish the loop.

GOOSE CREEK AND LAKE: L.O.E. 1-6, 9000-11800 (2800 ft), 3 to 6 miles each way. A varied trail with many aspen lined meadows, thick forests, deserted cabins and mines, streams, and the lake. It can be done in part or its entirety depending on your stamina.

ITALIANOS CANYON 2: L.O.E. 4-7, 8600-11300 (2700 ft.), miles each way. (See Italianos Canyon 1 in the ½ day hike section) This hike goes to the ridgeline above the canyon. Spectacular views of the canyons and mountains all around us. Lunch is served while our eyes feast on the scenery. A moderate trail all the way with only a short steep pitch at the top.

LONG CANYON 2: L.O.E. 3-6, 9200-11300 (2100 ft.), 3½ miles each way. (See Long Canyon 1 in the ½ day section) This hike goes another l½ miles to the top of the canyon. Lunch is served in a lush meadow. Springs, flowers and miner's cabins add to the beauty. A short climb to the ridge above yields a panoramic view. The return is down Long Canyon.

KIDS CAN RIDE

You can take the kids.

A family hike in Mondragon Canyon.

 


 

Peak Grabbers Alert!
Give it your best shot. A premier Hiking Trail & A Local's Favorite. Not for the Effort Challenged.
Taos Ski Valley To Gold Hill via Long Canyon
Hike with llamas and you don't have to carry a thing.


LONG CANYON 3: L.O.E. 3-7, 9200-12700 (3500 ft.), 4½ miles each way. A continuation of Long Canyon 2. An additional mile hike above the tree line is the summit of Gold Hill. A tremendous view. Return is down Long Canyon.

LONG CANYON 4: L.O.E. 3-6, 9200-11500 (2300 ft.), 8½ mile loop. A variation on Long Canyon 2. Instead of returning down the canyon, the hike returns via the Gold Hill trail forming a loop. The return is either flat or down hill. Very nice.

MONDRAGON CANYON: 1-4, 8000-10300 (2300 ft.) up to 6 miles each way. This area has a network of old forest roads that wind around ridges and canyons through forests of Ponderosa Pines, Fir and Aspen trees. The trail is easy, wide and smooth and allows a great variety of hikes. Shady and cool for the most part (except in mid-summer), this trail is sure to please. The all day hike takes us as far as you are able, with great views as we climb. This is a nice hike for distance. Lotsa wildlife in this area as human usage is not high. There are loop hikes available in here. Best hiked in the Spring and Fall.

PLACER FORK CANYON: L.O.E. 1-6, 7800-11000 (3200 ft.), 5 miles each way. This trail is not very steep but is rough and primitive. Several water crossings require Tevas or sneakers. Lunch is served on the trail and the hike reaches a meadow surrounded by towering ridges. Great for the adventurous.

SAN CRISTOBAL CANYON: L.O.E. 2-5, 8400-10400 (2000 ft.), 3 to 5½ miles each way. A somewhat hidden trailhead keeps this trail relatively quiet. Deeply wooded western facing slope with several water crossings.. Tevas or sneakers required. Lunch is served on the trail. The trail reaches the ridge for amazing views.

SAWMILL PARK TRAIL: L.O.E. 1-3, 9600-10500 (900 ft.), 3 to 5 miles each way. An easy hike that follows the East Fork trail for 1½  miles before branching off in an easterly direction. Piece of cake. This mountain park features lush meadows, wild flowers and sparkling streams.

SOUTH BOUNDARY TRAIL 2: L.O.E. 2-4, 7200-9600 (2400 ft), 3 to 5 miles each way. A continuation of South Boundary 1 in the ½ day section. After the easy climb to the ridge, the trail continues along the ridge passing through meadows, forests and parks for 20 miles. We can do as much as you'd like on the day hike.

YERBA CANYON 1: L.O.E. 4-8, 8000-10500 (2500 ft.), 3 miles each way. An unusual trail. The first mile of the trail crosses the stream 19 times. Stepping stone crossings put in place by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp will keep your feet dry if you have a reasonable sense of balance.  This portion of the trail passes through a temperate jungle forest ecosystem…flowers, ferns and other plants form a lush undergrowth. Further along we pass through stands of aspen and firs. A real mountain trail…narrow with many steep pitches. Lunch is served at Barely Flat meadow which has a wonderful spring. Good stamina required. (Do not attempt this one if you have any knee problems.)

Peak Grabbers Alert!
Give it your best shot. A premier Hiking Trail & A Local's Favorite. Not for the Effort Challenged.
Yerba Canyon from NM Rt. 150 to Lobo Peak.
Hike with llamas and you don't have to carry a thing.

YERBA CANYON 2: L.O.E. 6-9, 10,500-12100 (4100 ft), 1 miles each way. This one is for the enthusiast!! After completing  Yerba Canyon 1 (above) and eating lunch, we park our llamas to graze while we hike the last  mile to Lobo Peak. This part is steeper than the morning hike. The views from the peak are worth the effort…the Taos Valley spreads out 5000 ft. below us and on a clear day, you can see over a hundred miles and the Sangre de Cristo mountains are arrayed in all their glory. This is a scene that only peak grabbers get to see! To do this hike in one day, very good stamina and physical condition are required but it is do-able and a feather in the hiker’s cap. Plan on a long and glorious day and reserve the hot tub. (Do not attempt this one if you have any knee problems, altitude problems, or are not in great physical shape.)

WILD RIVERS RECREATION AREA: Full day hikes in this area are listed on the Wild Rivers page.

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Half Day Hikes

COLUMBINE CANYON 2: L.O.E. 1-2, 7800-8100 (300 ft.), 2 miles each way.  This trail is smooth, flat and easy, a walk in the park... no stress, no strain.  Lunch is served in a large meadow while the llamas munch on the grass. The trail follows a wonderful stream which is crossed four times. There are bridges for those who don't want to get their toes wet. If you feel adventurous, bring some Tevas or low cut canvas sneakers and you can ford the stream...it's easy, fun and refreshing. This trail is available for the 1/2 Day fun hike.

DEVISADERO TRAIL: L.O.E. 2-4, 7200-8300 (1100 ft.), 2 miles each way. This trail is open and over looks Taos…great views of the town and the valley. A southern exposure and a relatively low altitude in the transition life zone makes for a more desert like environment with piñons, cedars and yuccas at lower levels and piñons, firs, ponderosas and scrub oaks at higher levels. Pleasant hiking in the early and late seasons… quite warm from May to September. This trail is available for the 1/2 Day fun hike.

DEVISADERO TRAIL MAKES A GREAT LATE WINTER HIKE

ELLIOT BARKER TRAIL: L.O.E. 1-3, 8400-9300 (1100 ft), 2 miles each way. A smooth, easy and wide trail. This one gets the wildflower award in late Spring and early Summer. Beautiful aspen foliage in the Fall. Very nice views of the Moreno Valley, Eagle Nest Lake and Angel Fire. Lunch is served in Bull Spring Meadow which is usually covered with Blue Flag Irises and yellow Potentilla. This trail is available for the 1/2 Day fun hike.

GAVILAN CANYON 2: L.O.E. 3-7, 8800-10200 (1400 ft.), 2 miles each way. This trail is moderately rough with easy water crossings. Occasional short steeper portions. Hike ends in a large alpine meadow with stands of aspen and carpets of flowers. A panoramic view.

ITALIANOS CANYON 1: L.O.E. 4-6, 8600-10200 (1600 ft.), 2¼ miles each way. A beautiful trail in a narrow canyon following the creek for the first ½ mile. Newly rebuilt by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp...thanks! The pitches are moderate and the trail is easy to walk on. Lunch is served in a lovely meadow with a striking view of the canyon and the ridges above.

LONG CANYON 1: L.O.E. 3-5, 9200-10300 (1100 ft.), 2 miles each way. The first ½ mile is the L.O.E. 5 portion, the remainder is a wide smooth trail through firs and spruces following century old remnants of a mining road. One easy water crossing. Columbines grow along the trail in spots and wildflowers grow in profusion in season. Lunch is served in a secluded meadow that contains the remains of several miner's cabins. Charming.

MONDRAGON CANYON: 1-3, 8000-9000 (1000 ft.) 2-3 miles each way. This area has a network of old forest roads that wind around ridges and canyons through forests of Ponderosa Pines, Fir and Aspen trees. The trail is easy, wide and smooth and allows a variety of hikes including loop hikes. Shady and cool for the most part (except in mid-summer), this trail is sure to please. This trail is available for the 1/2 Day fun hike.

SOUTH BOUNDARY TRAIL 1: L.O.E. 2-4, 7200-8100 (900 ft), 1¾ to 2¼ miles each way. This trail winds through piñon and juniper and cedar and an easy climb to an overlook where the vastness of the Taos Valley and Northern New Mexico can be seen and appreciated.

WILD RIVERS RECREATION AREA: Half day hikes in this area are listed on the Wild Rivers page.

 

LET A LLAMA TAKE YOU
TO A GOURMET PICNIC LUNCH

A fun all day hike for the grand vistas.

Happiness is a  hike high in the mountains above Gavilan Canyon.

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