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The Canyon Rim Trail is a 2.5-mile bike-pedestrian pathway along East Road (SR 502) in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The trail offers grand views into Los Alamos Canyon, of the Jemez Mountains to the west, and across the Rio Grande Valley to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east. The trail is open year-round to users ranging from hikers and cyclists, to dog-walkers and birders. (Fido is welcome on the trail, as long as he remains leashed.)
If you’re in the mood for a longer excursion, you can cross SR 502 near the western end of the Canyon Rim Trail (at the Los Alamos Fire Station), head into East Park, and connect to the Los Alamos Mesa Trail, which stretches eastward. Alternatively, near the east end of the trail, you can cross the highway to connect to the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail, a dirt trail.
Los Alamos is home to an extensive network of trails: nearly 58 miles of trail crisscross the surrounding canyons and mesas, ranging from the leisurely and family-friendly to the adrenaline-pumping. Be sure to stop in the Los Alamos Nature Center (2600 Canyon Road), located only about a mile from the Canyon Rim Trail, to learn more about these trails. With its interactive exhibits, a wildlife observation room, indoor and outdoor play areas, and a full-dome planetarium, the nature center is the place to learn about the county's unique environment. Nature walks, birding opportunities, wildflower tours and a “passport” program to encourage travel to local trails—by taking rubbings of metal plates at trailheads—are among a slate of activities aimed at educating people about the local geology, plants, and animals.
Future plans call for an extension of the Canyon Rim Trail from its west end to Trinity Drive and 20th Street to make a connection with the developing Urban Trail, which will run through Los Alamos’ core. Another key improvement for the Canyon Rim Trail is also underway on its east end near Entrada Business Park: a tunnel under busy State Route 502, which will provide a safe crossing for trail users to reach more trails on the north side of the main thoroughfare.
The trailhead is found at the eastern terminus of the Canyon Rim Trail, across SR 502 from the Los Alamos Co-op Market (located at 95 Entrada Drive). There is parking for about 15 cars. Reach the trailhead by traveling east on SR 502 about 1.8 miles from downtown Los Alamos. The trailhead and parking is on the south (right) side of the road about 200 yards before you reach the entrance to the Co-op Market and Holiday Inn Express.
Access the Knecht Street Trailhead on the west end of the trail by turning south on Knecht Street at the traffic signal on Trinity Road (SR 502) and following the street to where it dead-ends. Park on-street or in the Smith's parking lot.
You can also access the trail from the Los Alamos Fire Station south of SR 502, located across the highway from East Park (300 East Road). There is parking at East Park, which serves as the trailhead for the Los Alamos Mesa Trail.
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