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Las Conchas Trail

Looking for the perfect summer day hike in the mountains?  This one has it all including a gently running stream, tall ponderosas, and handy foot bridges along a well marked trail.  The Las Conchas trail winds its way up river for two miles before heading up out of the canyon.  This hike tops the list of summer Sidetracks in central New Mexico.


Northwest of Albuquerque near Los Alamos, NM

The Scoop

We have spent a lot of time up in the Jemez Mountains. The Jemez is so appealing in the summertime because temperatures tend to be cooler than in Albuquerque, there are many rivers and streams, and the trails tend to be partly shaded. 

Recently, my son and I went on a mom/son hike along the Las Conchas Trail with a good friend of mine and her son. We love taking adventures with them and we always have fun together. 
It had been years since I had explored the trail, and I was excited to take my son because I knew he would like it. He shares my love for any hikes that involve water and we always have a great time out on hikes exploring.  

It was a beautiful sunny summer day. We packed up snacks, drinks, water shoes, first aid kit, and sunscreen into our day pack and hit the trail.  There is a small parking area at the Las Conchas Trailhead with a sign indicating the starting point. On weekends, it is not uncommon to see many rock climbers in this area, as well.  The boys were immediately drawn to the East Fork River. They had a ball walking in the shallow river down the canyon as the moms took the "mom trail". That would be the dry path adjacent to them. We were not in a hurry and the kids enjoyed the slow easy pace. 

We worked our way into the canyon crossing a few well maintained foot bridges.  Sunflowers and tadpoles were in abundance. There were lots of natural rocks that made great rest spots.  We made a new friend along the trail.  We had fun with a very friendly chipmunk who was interested in our snacks as well as playing with the boys during a rest on a foot bridge.    Though the trail is easy to follow, there are not any mileage posts along the way. You will want to be mindful of how long you have been walking and remember you have the return trip back to the car.  Summer monsoons can bring afternoon thunderstorms, so be sure to check the weather and be prepared for changing conditions.    

There is camping nearby at Jemez Falls Campground. Please see our Jemez Falls Sidetrack for more information.

As I have mentioned in other sidetracks, we enjoy wrapping up our fun day trips in the Jemez with green chile cheeseburgers at the full service casual restaurant/bar, Los Ojos, in Jemez Springs.  There is an old saloon type bar in front, and a restaurant in back that is family friendly. The boys certainly worked up a big appetite after a day of trekking and this was the perfect stop before heading back to Albuquerque.