We spent a lovely autumn Sunday afternoon trekking 4.7 miles at elevation in Cibola National Forest, southeast of Albuquerque. Our hike began at approximately 7,500 foot elevation and included 936 feet of change over the entire trail route.
The loop begins at the 4th of July Canyon Campground, climbs through the canyon before intersecting with the Cerro Blanco Trail. From there the loop turns left and leads down the Cerro Blanco Trail to a rugged gravel and dirt roadway that after another left turn will bring you back to the campground.
Cerro Blanco is a scenic 8,370 foot mountain and the fall colors were strikingly beautiful, including unexpected pinks and oranges from the maple trees found at this altitude.
The loop trail is a nice and welcoming introduction to hiking at elevation near Albuquerque. That said, the climb from the campground trailhead can be rather steep and will likely make newbies to the area winded. So, take your time, be prepared for variable weather and terrain, and don’t forget to take in the lovely landscapes along the way. Enjoy!
If hiking in and around Albuquerque sound like fun to you, here are a couple of book options to consider through Amazon.com*.
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