“Most stunning in the autumn, this short hike is one of the most well-shaded and accessible hikes in New Mexico.”
— Kristen Arendt
Fall Colors · Views
This short hike is most stunning in the autumn due to the leaves changing on the maple and oak trees. From wildflowers in the spring and summer, to colorful leaves in the fall and icicles and snowdrifts in the winter, this short hike offers some stunning views throughout the entire year.
From NM 337 in Tajique, take Forest Service Road 55 about seven miles to the Fourth of July Campground. The road to the parking area can be difficult during wet or cold months.
At the east end of the parking lot, the trailhead points east into the Manzano mountains, following the path of a small creek for several miles. Bigtooth maples line the canyon for the majority of the loop, exploding into brilliant oranges, reds, yellows, and purples in the fall.
Though the hike is moderately strenuous, there are some rocky spots which may be slippery due to the moisture from the creek. The total hike includes around 800 feet of elevation gain.