Great Hikes: Canyon Rim Trail, Los Alamos, New Mexico

Updated on April 6, 2019
Tom Lohr profile image

Tom Lohr lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he explores the region with his canine sidekick, Ella the Brown Wonder.

Canyon Rim Trail
Canyon Rim Trail

The Quick and Dirty

DIFFICULTY: easy

TYPE: out and back

LENGTH: 4 miles

TIME: 2 hours

ELEVATION GAIN: easy

DOG FRIENDLY: yes, leash required

Los Alamos is the Bomb

Northern New Mexico is full of great hiking. It is also the location of the facility that invented the atomic bomb. The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is situated among one of the most spectacular regions in the southwest. Bandolier National Monument, also the site of great hiking, is nearby. Visitors to the area usually put the town Los Alamos on their itinerary. That allows tourists to take in a little history along with outdoor activities.

View from the trail
View from the trail | Source

Getting There

The trail head is one of two places. The first, and recommended, is on the east end of town across from the airport. It has a small parking lot and toilet. The other is in the Smith's Marketplace grocery parking lot at 751 Trinity Drive. The recommended hike is to park at the trail head across from the airport, hike to Smith's, grab a light snack and hike back. If you need to pickup some water for the hike, starting at Smith's is a good option.This leisurely hike allows those in Los Alamos for a short stay to get in some hiking, or is a good first day stroll to help your body acclimate for more strenuous hikes on subsequent days.

Trailhead parking lot
Trailhead parking lot | Source

Los Alamos is Breathtaking

There is one issue that nearly all travelers to Los Alamos from other parts of the world experience: altitude. Los Alamos sits just above 7,000 feet above sea level. Anyone who visits, hoping to hop out of their vehicle and hit the mountain and canyon trails are setting themselves up for failure. If the lack of oxygen doesn't make you sick, it will certainly sap your endurance.

All higher altitude hikers and climbers know there is only one thing that will allow them to be successful in their adventures: altitude acclimation. Spending time at altitude allows your body to produce more red blood cells to help transport more oxygen to the rest of your body. Unfortunately, many visitors to Los Alamos do not have the time to acclimate before they need to be on their way.

Viewing spot along the trail
Viewing spot along the trail | Source

Take It Easy

Only an easy, flat hike is normally achievable during a one or two day visit. There is a way to take in some nice vistas while spending a short time in Los Alamos. The Canyon Rim Trail is tailor made for those who either have issues with the altitude, are in less than ideal shape, or have mobility issues.

Great spot for a break or snack
Great spot for a break or snack | Source

No Excuses

The Canyon Rim Trail is a two mile long, asphalt paved hike/bike/walk way that hugs the edge of of canyon and offers satisfying views. It is two miles long, but is an out and back hike for a total of 4 miles. The trail is also suitable for wheelchair navigation. A paved trail with zero elevation gain means visitors have no excuse to grab some exercise and scenery.

The Canyon Rim Trail is Ella approved
The Canyon Rim Trail is Ella approved | Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        This is a very useful and well-illustrated guide to anyone planning a hike along the trail.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, skyaboveus.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://skyaboveus.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)