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Rinconada Canyon Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 3.6 (14) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quick lollipop loop with hundreds of petroglyphs.


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.6

KM

Loop

5,249' 1,600 m

High

5,178' 1,578 m

Low

108' 33 m

Up

108' 33 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Family Friendly This is an easy trail with views of hundreds of petroglyphs.

Overview

The north side of the loop follows the volcanic escarpment where up to 300 petroglyphs can be viewed.

Need to Know

As with any desert hike, take plenty of water. There is no water available anywhere along the trail or at the parking lot. Biking is not permitted on the trail. Bring binocular to view some of the more distant petroglyphs, though this is not necessary for viewing.

Description

Trailhead parking is located on Unser Blvd NW, at the junction with St. Joseph Ave. Parking and trail use are free but the gates close at 5pm. Be sure to park outside the gate if planning to hike after 5!

From the parking lot, head through the trail entrance and follow the sandy trail until you come to a fork in the path. This fork is clearly marked with a sign. Head to the right to follow the escarpment and view petroglyphs all along the northern part of the trail. There are a number of informational signs explaining the history and meaning behind the petroglyphs (when known).

Continue along the trail until it loops around and eventually moves away from the edge of the canyon. This southern part of the trail is much more level than the northern half and makes for an easy and relaxing return back to the parking lot.

History & Background

It is believed that the volcanoes in the area last erupted some 200,000 years ago. At that time, lava flowed from a fissure three miles west of this canyon. When the sand beneath eroded, the rocks tumbled down and created the escarpment where the petroglyphs were carved between 400 to 700 years ago.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jennifer Holik

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 14 votes

#3035

Overall
  3.6 from 14 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#39

in New Mexico

#3,035

Overall
41 Views Last Month
2,127 Since Aug 20, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

54%
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46%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Looking for petroglyphs.
Nov 4, 2018 near Lee Acres, NM
Rinconada Trail
Nov 4, 2018 near Lee Acres, NM
Rinconada Canyon Trail (half way).
Nov 4, 2018 near Lee Acres, NM
Along the north side of the loop, looking west
Aug 20, 2017 near Lee Acres, NM
Rinconda Canyon Trail, nearing the end of the loop.
Aug 20, 2017 near Lee Acres, NM
Solo hiker on the Rinconada Trail.
Nov 4, 2018 near Lee Acres, NM

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Check-Ins

May 10, 2020
Ally Heredia
Without ty 2.2mi
Feb 20, 2020
May Ang
Dec 21, 2019
Josh B
Dec 5, 2019
Debbie Hanson
Aug 20, 2019
Miguel Ferreira
Aug 13, 2019
Catie Colgin
Picturesque, a little sandy...take water and wear shoes . Well marked and very interesting. We saw a couple of jack rabbits, butterflies, and a snake. 2.2mi — 0h 52m
Nov 5, 2018
C B
Jul 23, 2018
Eugene Staley
Really straightforward trail, easy to follow. If you do take a pet, there is a long stretch of sand on the ‘end’ of the loop that gets really hot.