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Cañon de Valle Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (3)

Some of the sweetest singletrack in Los Alamos County. It parallels a small stream in the upper canyon.


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Map Key

4.0

Miles

6.5

KM

Point to Point

9,503' 2,896 m

High

7,750' 2,362 m

Low

1,753' 534 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The last mile or so of the Cañon de Valle Trail is in the Valles Caldera National Preserve and dogs are not allowed. Turn around at the rusty, metal pipes (just before an old, mostly knocked down barbed wire fence marking the Valles Caldera boundary) along the trail if you have a dog.

Description

The singletrack is a perfect grade for hiking...not too steep and very consistent. Most commonly this is used as an out and back from the trailhead to the saddle between Cerro Grande and Pajarito Mountain. However, from the saddle, you have options.

First, you can continue west and down into the Valles Caldera on a solid singletrack into the meadow and down to the dirt VC04 road. Turn right on VC04, hike the road for a few miles and turn right on the dirt road VC09 (signed.) Hike VC09 for a mile and change ending with either a steep, loose ascent up the old pipeline road or a more enjoyable ascent out of the caldera via an old jeep road just south of the old pipeline road.

Then follow the Guaje Canyon Trail #282 south to Pajarito Mountain, up and over Pajarito Mountain to the Lower / Upper Pajarito Canyon Trail to its trailhead and then along Perimeter Trail back to the Cañon de Valle trailhead.

Second, from the saddle you can head cross- country north up the south slope of Pajarito Mountain and work your way across the top of Pajarito Mountain to the Lower / Upper Pajarito Canyon Trail to its trailhead and then along Perimeter Trail back to the Cañon de Valle trailhead.

Third, from the saddle you can head south up Cerro Grande via an old, semi-washed out trail on Cerro Grande's north slope, and then return the way you came, back to the Cañon de Valle trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Bear, bighorn sheep, elk, ponderosas, and aspen. Some wood ticks are common.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Halladay

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#3

in Los Alamos

#6903

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Los Alamos

#97

in New Mexico

#6,903

Overall
14 Views Last Month
2,166 Since Jun 5, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
67%
0%
33%
0%

Photos

Running the sweet singletrack near the saddle of Cañon de Valle. The saddle is between Cerro Grande and Pajarito Mountain and allows easy access into the Valles Caldera.
May 24, 2017 near Los Alamos, NM

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jul 9, 2017
Erica H.
Trail in good shape.