Our Family’s Favorite Hike: Las Conchas Trail


Last summer I created a reel on our family’s favorite hike in the Albuquerque area, Las Conchas Trail. The reel instantly went viral, and you all agreed it was your favorite as well. It’s time to create a dedicated post to this amazing trail and share some tips and tricks.

Our Family's Favorite Trail: Las Conchas TrailheadLas Conchas Trail is located approximately 1.5 hours north of Albuquerque on the beautiful James Pueblo reservation in Jemez Springs. You’ll take 1-25 north and exit at Bernalillo/Hwy 550. Then take Hwy 550 to San Ysidro and begin on Hwy 4. Remain on Hwy 4 until you come across Las Conchas Trailhead approximately 35 miles in. (Do not get this confused with the Las Conchas East Fork Trail. This is the other end of the trail and isn’t the one we are looking for.) The trail is easy to miss, but you should see vehicles parked along the road. This is where the trailhead is and where you’ll begin to look for parking.

Our Family's Favorite Trail: Las Conchas Trailhead

The trail is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, but dogs must be on a leash. The trail is 5.6 miles out and back if you choose to go the entire way. Our turnaround point is usually around the 2-mile mark near the waterfall. My kids can handle this distance at their age without too many complaints. We spend a minimum of four hours here each visit. There is minimal incline, so you don’t have to worry about a large elevation gain.

» » » » » » » » » » » » » »  RELATED READ: This Hike Is a Hug from Nature  « « « « « « « « « « « « «

The trail is rocky in some areas, so wear appropriate footwear. The trail runs along a creek the entire way. The creek crossings are all equipped with bridges to prevent you from soaking your shoes. The trail is very well maintained and highly traveled. This trail is open year round, but conditions are best in the summer months. The trail is also popular for rock climbing, so keep an eye out for climbers!

Top Tips

1. Go early.

This trail is very popular, and you can generally spend a good chunk of time here, so don’t get there too late. This trail is nestled in a forest canyon so the sunlight will go quickly.

2. Dress in layers.

The weather is very unpredictable in this area. It is generally a cooler area, however, some areas are in a valley where it gets pretty warm.

3. Be VERY cautious when parking.

Parking is mainly along the main highway, and it is a very busy road. Hold onto those littles tightly.

4. Leave no trace.

Stay on the designated trail. This trail sits on ancestral land, so let’s be respectful.

Favorite Things to Pack

1. Water shoes or sandals

The bridges are nice for me, however, my kids prefer to walk in the water sometimes. Be prepared, nobody likes wet socks.

Our Family's Favorite Trail: Las Conchas Trailhead2. Picnic and blanket

There are so many great spots to sit and take a break and enjoy a snack/lunch. This is what my kids look forward to. (We’ll usually turn around after this.)

3. First-aid kit

Don’t worry if you don’t have this, bandaids and some antibacterial cream are usually all we’ve ever needed.

We hike this trail about two times a year, and it is always such a fun time. The scenery alone is beautiful. If you aren’t sure if your little can do a hike just yet, I think this is the perfect trail to test out. The trailhead has a nice meadow with the creek. Just hanging out here is a perfect afternoon if the hike doesn’t work out! No matter what you decide, this trail does not disappoint.

For info on more of our favorite hikes, check out our Guide to Family-Friendly Hikes and Trails in and Around Albuquerque.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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