New Mexico Horse Trails

(Villa Vidal Horse Trail, Colorado Border) (Bosque Trail, Albuquerque Area) (Amole Canyon, Taos) (Silver City Trails) (Caja del Rio) (Riodoso)
(San Pedro Wilderness) (
Cerrillos Hills Historic Park)
(Trails in So. New Mexico at Fort Staton)

Horse Property in NM for Sale

Amole Canyon, Taos Area below,

Above, Trail Ride in Amole Canyon, off Hwy 518, 20 minutes out of Taos; Miles and Miles of Gorgeous fairly gentle trails for most part
Dave and Marie Griffith above on Sheik and Rhea; It is the favorite riding place for the Taos Saddle Club. Also, unlimited trails nearby off Hwy 518 on Forest Farm Roads, US Forest, and State Parks:
also great horse camping in several of the state parks --some even w/corrals, water, and
one near Santa Rosa Lake with elec. & sewer nearby and corrals.

Angel Fire-Eagle Nest Area Trails

Eagle Nest Ranch

Other: Also for great riding, San Pedro Parks Wilderness is gentle and welcoming, lush with verdant marshes, tiny streams, and rolling meadows punctuated by aspen groves and conifer forests. This NM wilderness trail destination is just one of the many places to ride in Northern New Mexico that is improved/maintained by the volunteers of the popular organization,
The Back Country Horsemen of Santa Fe/Taos (see picture below). Photo Courtesy of
Debbie Spickermann, Former BCH-SF President, and Equine Escapes.

Back Country Horsemen are very active in New Mexico
preserving our trails.

Albuquerque's 16 Mile Bosque Trail
Rio Grande

The 16-mile bosque trail along the Rio Grande in the Albuquerque area has been successfully serving local residents and visitors for many years.  The Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) is taking the lead to extend the existing bosque trail in Albuquerque north to Bernalillo and south to Belen. Extending this trail north and south from Albuquerque will result in about 40 miles of high-quality Rio Grande Trail.  In October 2005, State Parks entered into a $3 million contractual agreement with the MRCOG.  Preliminary route/design studies, plus several pilot trail construction projects will likely result from this agreement.
Since the best opportunities for publicly accessible trail development are on the riverís central and southern stretches, State Parks hopes to coordinate and prioritize efforts on the stretch between Belen and Las Cruces.  State Parks is beginning now to identify trail development opportunities both in and between state parks along the southern portion of the river.  For example, State Parks owns land at seven different places along the southern section of the Rio Grande (from Elephant Butte to Las Cruces).  The trail could link all these sites and tie into the new Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park in Las Cruces.  Communities in southern New Mexico, such as in Dona Ana County, are already actively pushing trail planning and development locally.


In 1877 McCarty (Billy the Kid) moved to Lincoln County, New Mexico, and by 1881 he was awaiting execution by hanging in the Lincoln County jail when he escaped, shooting and killing two guards. Less than three months later - while on the lam in Fort Sumner, New Mexico - McCarty, alias William H. Bonney, was shot by Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett. This year the Billy the Kid Trail Ride backtracks the better than 125-mile route that Billy took when he escaped from the Lincoln County Jail and ran to Fort Sumner.

An eight-day horseback ride traverses the Pecos River, high-desert grasslands, alkali flats, and mountains, passing relics from New Mexico's pioneer days as well as places where The Kid once stayed. Ranch camps along the way provide food and lodging. The eighth annual ride is set for May 9-17. You may bring your own horse or arrange to rent one of the excellent mounts provided by the Burnt Well Guest Ranch. The ride is limited to 25, so call well in advance to make reservations.


Cerrillos Hills Historic Park, Horse Friendly


Cerrillos Hills Historic Park, in Cerrillos, NM, south of Santa Fe,  on Highway 14, about 20 minutes from the junction of 599 and Highway 14.  This park has an incredible history as part of an old mining area, and had astounding views of the surrounding mountain
The northern Caja has around 100 miles of mapped trails, including several loop trails of sufficient length to accommodate endurance rides. One mapped trail leads from the rim down to the Rio Grande. Other trails exist but are not mapped, primarily because their condition makes them unsafe for average trail users.


Caja del Rio ride, Santa Fe Greater Area

Just out of Santa Fe, NM; There is room to camp. Caja del Rio,  but No facilities.
There is horse (cow) water in stock tanks.
Ride about 4 miles to the base of a mesa (Twin Hills)  Folks who want to do a loop trip will proceed with on a 13-mile loop. Should take about 4-5 hours.
Directions: Click Here

Wikipedia: The Caja has been managed for many years by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, both of which lease grazing rights. Consequently, the Caja has numerous fence lines, gates, water tanks for use by cattle, trails, and trailhead corrals. Many of these improvements are decrepit and the meadows are severely damaged by overgrazing, with abundant cholla. From 2004, the Caja has been the focus of a grass roots campaign to develop recreational trail uses, not in place of grazing but in addition to it. It is used primarily by mountain bike and horse riders.

Wild horses--The United States Forest Service has designated Caja del Rio a Wild Horse Territory, and manages a herd of mustangs there. A separate band of feral horses in the vicinity is not managed; its members are thought to be domestic horses recently turned loose to fend for themselves.

Villa Videl "Horse Trail Paradise"

An Incredible Gift
In 1982, the Pennzoil Company donated 100,000 acres of Vermejo Park to the People of the United States, through the Forest Service. It was the largest and most valuable donation of private land to the Forest Service. The area became known as the Valle Vidal unit, named after what the Indians and Spanish referred to as, "The Valley of Life."

Click Here for Villa Videl Horse Camping Pictures

Intent of Pennzoil's Donation
Pennzoil's donation of the Valle Vidal stated that the area was to managed primarily for its prized wildlife resource (the Valle's elk herd), and for its outstanding scenic value and recuperation opportunities.

The area is currently managed by the Carson National Forest, as a Multiple Use Area, as required by the original intent of the gift, in order to serve the sportsmen, recreation enthusiasts, cattle ranchers, wildlife viewers, and Boy Scouts that all enjoy the Valle Vidal's unique blend of wildland resources.
The Valle Vidal is a lush mountain basin located in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in northern New Mexico consisting of 100,000 areas.. Donated to the American People in 1982, the Valle Vidal is managed by the Carson National Forest primarily for it's wildlife, as well as it's outstanding scenic and recreational opportunities.

Pictures of Horse Camping Facilities in Valley Videl

The Valle Vidal is a veritable Rocky Mountain paradise, with abundant populations of Rocky Mountain wildlife, including mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, bald eagles, and native Rio Grande cutthroat trout. In addition, the vast alpine meadows of the Valle Vidal provide critical habitat for the largest herd of elk in New Mexico

Ft. Stanton Trails

Fort Stanton NCA has 60 miles of horseback, mountain biking, and hiking trails that wind through open meadows and canyons. Trails are marked with flexible fiberglass markers with the trail name or an arrow attached to the marker. Cross-country horse and foot travel is allowed. Mountain bikes are strongly encouraged to stay on established trails to protect the rider as well as the landscape. The trails offer great views of the surrounding Sacramento and Captain Mountains. The majority of the trails start at the equestrian trailhead on NM 220 where you will find hitching rails, water for your animals, and a vault toilet. 

Ruidoso Area Trails

There is a good place to ridewith trailhead and campground is located in the White Mountains north of Ruidoso, New Mexico. From NM 48, take Hwy 37 for 1 1/3 miles and turn left towards Bonita Lake. This will be on Forest Road 107, but it is not marked so watch for the sign directing you to Bonita Lake. Go past Bonita Lake and stay on this road all the way to the campground. The first half is paved and then it turns into a rough dirt road. The road will end at the campground. I think it was about 7 miles (maybe 10) from Hwy 37 to the campground.

This is a nice primitive campground with vault toilets and a few corrals. It would be a good idea to take picket lines or electric corrals with you in case you can't get a corral. There is no charge to camp here. The only drawback to this campground is that there is no water. There is a small creek along the edge, but it is often dry, so you will need to haul water for yourself as well as for the horses. There is a campground, South Fork Campground, located between the Bonita Lake and Argentina-Bonita where you can fill your water tanks for a $10 fee. Horses are not allowed in that campground.

The campground elevation is about 7,600 feet and the trails go up from there into the White Mountain Wilderness which contains 48,143 acres. Most of the trails tie into the Crest Trail 25, which has an elevation close to 10,000 feet. There are several small creeks and some springs on the trails that your horses can drink from while you are riding. Most of the trails are well marked. Because this is a wilderness area, you won't have to contend with 4-wheelers or bikes, but there are a lot of hikers. Most of the trails are safe for horses, but there are some that are suited for hikers and not for horses. Also watch out for elk trails that may look a lot like horse trails. The hiking/horse trails climb along forested canyons to the ridge that the Crest Trail follows. On one side of the Crest, there is mountain scenery and the other side looks down into a desert type basin. In some areas, you can see the White Sands in the far distance. In the summer, you can expect daytime temps in the 70's and night-time temps around 50. Summer also brings frequent afternoon showers or storms.

There is a lot of wildlife in this area and you will probably see several elk and deer. The real Smokey the Bear was found in this area and some of his friends may pay you a visit, so it is important that you keep a clean camp.

You can contact the Smokey Bear Ranger District in Ruidoso for more information and to request a map of the trails.

All trail information on this page deemed correct
but not guaranteed

New Mexico Horse Properties

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Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. The listings presented here may or may not be listed by the Broker/Agent operating this website. Neither listing broker(s) nor RNI or Marie Griffith or Garden Valley Enterprises shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless.