This site describes hikes and scrambles in New Mexico and areas nearby.

Each post describes a single trip to a mountain range or to an interesting desert feature. A round trip of about 12 miles and an altitude gain of about 2500 feet might be considered typical. Each post is dated, important in a region where fires and floods destroy trails and wipe out roads every year. Most, but not all, of the trips are day trips.

Aside from the first few posts, most hike descriptions have a common format. There is an Overview that highlights the best (or perhaps the worst) features of a hike, Driving Directions that almost always begin in Las Cruces, Albuquerque or Santa Fe. There is a Trailhead section to let readers know what services are available and a Data section which maps the hike and estimates the trail length and altitude gain. The Hike Description has photos taken on the trail and text to record the notable features of the tread (especially the navigation challenges). The Recommendations section essentially holds information that doesn’t fit anywhere else and the Links section offers an easy view to what other hikers are saying about the trail.

Some of the hazards that are prominent in New Mexico hiking include extreme temperatures, poor water availability, venomous reptiles, astonishingly thorny vegetation and high altitudes. I try to comment on any feature that is particularly prominent in a given hike.

Some hikes are assessed as being easy, moderate or hard. That kind of assessment is entirely dependent on the physical condition of the hiker and may not be useful to those who are in either better shape or worse shape. Be deeply skeptical.

I’m very appreciative to the authors of guidebooks who have been instrumental in much of my hiking career.  To get going, I’ve picked up the following guides to New Mexico:

Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces – El Paso Area
Greg Magee
Copyright 2004
Southwest Environmental Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ISBN: 0-615-12763-0-51295

Hiking New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness
Bill Cunningham and Polly Burke
Copyright 1999
Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT
ISBN: 978-1-56044-738-2

Hiking New Mexico’s Aldo Leopold Wilderness
Bill Cunningham and Polly Burke
Copyright 2002
Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT
ISBN: 0-7627-1103-5

100 Hikes in New Mexico
Craig Martin
Copyright: 2010
The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, WA
ISBN: 978-1-59485-078-3

Typical But Important Cover-Your-Bases stuff:

This blog is a record of casual observations. They are intended to help me remember lessons learned in places that are usually high, often cold and frequently lonely. There are no warranties or assurances that the information is timely, accurate, sane or in any sense useful. I try not to lie to myself, but the site will include factual errors, sarcastic asides, litotes, abstractions, oxymorons, legalese, sequipedalianisms and other potentially confusing verbiage.

Your safe return is not guaranteed. Let’s be careful up there.