Canyon Rim Trail

New Mexico

3 Reviews

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Canyon Rim Trail Facts

States: New Mexico
Counties: Los Alamos
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: Knecht Street (south of SR 502/Trinity Drive) and Across SR 502 from the Los Alamos Co-op Market
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 9576232

Canyon Rim Trail Description

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.

Parking and Trail Access

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.


Canyon Rim Trail Reviews

Beautiful ride

We only rode a part of this trail, but the view beautiful. It was definitely worth our time to stop on our drive to check it out. We parked at the small lot on the east end. We were the only cyclists, but it seemed popular with walkers and runners.

Nice Easy Sunday Ride

This is a good trail for beginners or those who want a leisurely pedal in the mountain town of Los Alamos, NM. The west end of the trail starts at the giant parking lot for the Smith's Marketplace (groceries, Starbucks, deli and hotbar, and wine & cheese tasting bar) and winds along the Los Alamos Canyon rim through ponderosa and pinon pine and juniper forest, with great views of Los Alamos Canyon, the Rio Grande Valle, the Jemez Mtns to the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mtns to the east. There is a smaller parking lot with a nice clean indoor pit toilet at the east end of the trail, and if you would like to pedal a little further for some healthy refreshments, you can continue east on NM502 about 1/4 mi., then turn left (twice) and go to the end of Entrada Dr. (past Holiday Inn Express) to the Los Alamos Coop Market (organic and local groceries, soup and salad bar, deli, custom made sandwiches and fresh squeezed juices, and on Sunday between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. you can get and awesome omelet breakfast for $10!). This is one of the few bike routes in Los Alamos that requires no major hill climbing and boasts 2 separate "million dollar bridges" - one spanning a narrow deep canyon. This trail is a wide, asphalt multi-user trail so there are walkers, joggers, baby strollers and dogs, as well as the gamut of non-motorized cyclists. Great way to be introduced to outdoors Los Alamos!

Nice Easy Sunday Ride

This trail is very nice for beginners and those just looking for a leisurely pedal in Los Alamos. At the west end of the trail you can park in the giant Smiths with lot and at the west end is a smaller parking area with a clean pit toilet “relief station. You can continue east on NM 502 at this point..

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