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The Best Hiking in the Carson National Forest

The view of fall foliage from a hiking trail in Carson National Forest in New Mexico

If you want to enjoy some of the most scenic hiking trails in New Mexico, consider heading to the beautiful Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. The Carson National Forest encompasses more than 1.5 million acres of land and is the northernmost of five state forests in New Mexico.

Carson National Forest is a true hiker’s and outdoor lover’s paradise. Elevations here start at 6,000 feet and extend to Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico, which towers at an impressive 13, 161 feet. There’s diverse terrain here for several pursuits, and it’s also within easy reach of our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast, rated as one of the best places to stay in New Mexico.

The majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains surround our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast, and accordingly, you’ll find some of the best hiking in New Mexico right around us. The landscapes are diverse, and all are genuinely breathtaking. While enjoying some of the best hiking in New Mexico at Carson National Forest this fall, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover at our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast. Book your room today!

A hiking trail leading through the evergreens at Carson National Forest in New Mexico

Great Hikes in the Carson National Forest

New Mexico is known for many things, including diverse cultures, art, history, and, perhaps above all else, its scenic natural beauty. New Mexico, especially northern New Mexico, is a true outdoor lover’s paradise filled with amazing places like Carson National Forest.

Hiking through Carson National Forest is a great way to spend some time immersed in the natural beauty of northern New Mexico. As the temperatures cool this fall, it’s also the perfect season to head out and explore the stunning Carson National Forest – and there are more than 330 hiking trails in the Carson National Forest to explore.

Below, we’ve listed 10 of our favorite hiking trails in New Mexico within the boundaries of the Carson National Forest. We hope you find time to get out and adventure with us this fall!

  1. The Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area is one of the best parts of the Carson National Forest to hike in. It’s home to several trails, including the Horseshoe Lake/East Fork Trail 56. Horseshoe Lake sits at an elevation of just under 12,000 feet, and there’s a nearby vista point from which you’ll get a sweeping view of the valleys below.
  2. Another popular trail in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area is the Lost Lake Trail 91. Like Horseshoe Lake, Lost Lake is a beautiful alpine lake and is surrounded by meadows with some aspen and scattered stands of spruce and rocky outcroppings. It’s lovely in the fall.
  3. If you want to summit Wheeler Peak itself, prepare for an adventure and head to the Wheeler Peak Trail 90. This hike is considered challenging at 7.3 miles, but on a clear day, the views will more than balance the difficulty of getting here.
  4. One of the most popular hiking trails in the Carson National Forest is the Williams Lake Trail 62. The lake and surrounding meadows are beautiful, and you get a great view of Wheeler Peak from here. You can even continue hiking and reach the peak if you’re so inclined.
  5. If mountain lakes are among your favorite things to see while hiking, don’t miss the Lake Fork Trail. It follows Cabresto Creek north to Heart Lake, Baldy Mountain, and the Latir Mesa. Apart from the lakes and mountain views, highlights of the trail include mixed conifers, aspen groves, and small meadows.
  6. Another great hike in the Carson National Forest is the Trampas Lakes Trail 31. The trail is considered challenging, but depending on which way you go, you’ll end at one of three beautiful mountain lakes.
  7. The Chimney Rock Trail is another fun hike to take in the Carson National Forest and rewards hikers with stunning views of the Piedra Lumbre basin.
  8. Near the Angel Fire area, you’ll find the Lady Slipper hiking trail in the Carson National Forest.
  9. If you’re an experienced hiker looking for a big adventure this fall, you might want to consider the Gold Hill Trail, which is part of Taos Skil Valley. The views from the top of this trail are sensational, and hikes here can be combined with the Long Canyon Trail for an even longer trip.
  10. Finally, don’t miss the Rim Vista Trail in the Carson National Forest. Here, you’ll find some of the best views of the Abiquiu area, framed by the landscapes that inspired famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Our Northern New Mexico Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay while exploring the Carson National Forest in New Mexico

The Best Place to Stay in Northern New Mexico

After a long day of hiking, you’re going to need somewhere to rest, relax, and recover from your day’s journey. For that, there is nowhere better than our top-rated northern New Mexico Bed and Breakfast. We’re located in the beautiful and artistic town of Chimayó, best known for the miraculous Santuario de Chimayó.

There are many great reasons to stay with us at our Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico, including our pet-friendly and comfortable guest rooms, the welcoming hospitality and attentive service, and a delicious breakfast each morning of your stay. Moreover, we’re conveniently located between Santa Fe and Taos and close to places like the Carson National Forest, which means the best of northern New Mexico is at your fingertips.

This fall is the perfect time to plan some adventures. We can’t wait to see you! Book your room at our Chimayó Bed and Breakfast today!

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