Outing of the Week: Las Conchas Trail

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Sierra Club outings and in-person events have been cancelled through February 28th, 2021. While we’re all disappointed, we understand that everyone’s health and safety are most important. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and go for a hike! Our do-it-yourself outings are designed with you in mind and offer a range of difficulties and outdoor experiences. We hope you’ll climb the mountains and receive their good tidings during this challenging time.

Las Conchas Trail (Trail 137)

Location: Jemez Mountains
Difficulty: Easy, ~3.2 miles round trip, out and back
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Cost: $0
Dogs: permitted on leash
Map: All Trails | USDA Forest Serice

About this hike: This is the hike that you’ll want to take any of your friends or family that don’t like to hike because it will quickly change their minds. This picturesque canyon features the East Fork of the Jemez River, tall grasses, a wide range of wildflowers, and towering ponderosas all framed by sheer granite walls that range from 60-120 feet high. This may be just the right time to catch colors as autumn makes its approach in the high country. The drive to the Las Conchas trail from Los Alamos or Albuquerque along NM-4 is a treat in itself with several photo-worthy stops along the way making it the perfect day-trip. As a bonus, you can proceed North towards Los Alamos and visit Valle Caldera National Preserve.

Pro Tip: Bring a picnic lunch and chairs and reserve a front row seat to watch rock climbers on the Cattle Call Wall which is just 200 yards to the north of the trailhead and 25 yards off of NM-4 in a broad meadow. Or bring your own climbing gear and join them!

Getting there: From Albuquerque, take I-25 North to Bernalillo and proceed West on NM-550 for approximately 23 miles. At San Ysidro turn right and take NM-4 to the North. Watch out for speed traps, especially near San Ysidro and Jemez Springs.  Las Conchas Trailhead is between mile marker 36 and 37 with a parking area on your left. From Los Alamos, proceed South on NM-4 to between mile marker 36 and 37 and the trailhead will be on your right [google maps].

Don’t forget to Leave-No-Trace!

Outing of the Week: Las Conchas Trail