Saturday ยท July 8, 2023
New Mexico: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

New Mexico is a haven for equestrian enthusiasts with its diverse landscapes ranging from deserts to mountains. The state  offers an array of scenic and well-maintained trails that cater specifically to horseback riders. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride through canyons, a thrilling adventure in the mountains, or a dip in natural hot springs, New Mexico has something for every equestrian. In this article, we will explore some of the top equestrian trails in the Land of Enchantment.


1. Cibola National Forest - Sandia Ranger District:

Located just east of Albuquerque, the Cibola National Forest's Sandia Ranger District boasts a network of well-marked trails suitable for horseback riding. The Ojito de San Antonio trail is particularly popular among riders, providing breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains, deep canyons, and vibrant wildflowers. The diverse terrain offers various difficulty levels, making it accessible to riders of all skill levels.


2. Santa Fe National Forest:

Covering 1.6 million acres, the Santa Fe National Forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and equestrians are no exception. The cool mountain air and stunning landscapes make this area perfect for horseback riding. The Aspen Vista Trail, just outside of Santa Fe, offers a picturesque ride through aspen groves and leads to expansive vistas and breathtaking mountain views.


3. Carson National Forest:

Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico offers miles of groomed trails and horse-friendly campgrounds. Riders can explore the Valle Vidal, a spectacular lush meadow region framed by towering mountains. The Middle Fork Trail is particularly beloved, taking riders through alpine meadows and dense forest before reaching pristine lakes.


4. Gila National Forest:

Situated in southwestern New Mexico, Gila National Forest is an equestrian haven with its rugged mountains, deep canyons, and wilderness areas. The Continental Divide Trail, which passes through the forest, is a coveted trail among equestrians. This trail offers stunning views and the opportunity to ride alongside the Continental Divide itself.


5. El Malpais National Monument:

El Malpais National Monument, located in the western part of the state near Grants, provides unique and dramatic volcanic landscapes. The Zuni-Acoma Trail allows riders to traverse this mesmerizing terrain, offering expansive views of lava flows and sandstone cliffs. The trail winds through open meadows and ponderosa pine forests, creating a diverse riding experience.


6. Jemez Mountains:

The Jemez Mountains, located just north of Albuquerque, offer a unique combination of stunning scenery and exciting riding opportunities. Riders can explore the Jemez Falls Trail, which takes them through captivating meadows, crossing the Jemez River, before reaching the mesmerizing Jemez Falls. The Jemez Springs area also offers horseback riding services for those looking for guided adventures.


Remember, it is essential to check trail conditions, obtain any necessary permits, and practice Leave No Trace principles while riding these trails. Additionally, respect any specific regulations regarding horse usage and pack out any trash to help preserve these beautiful landscapes for generations to come.


New Mexico's equestrian trails provide an ideal blend of natural beauty and exciting riding opportunities. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, these trails are sure to leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. So saddle up, and embark on an unforgettable equestrian adventure in the Land of Enchantment.