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These 5 Hikes along the Enchanted Circle will Knock Your Socks Off!

New Mexico's 84-mile Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway levels through the towns of Eagle Nest, Angel Fire, Taos, and Red River.

Along with a few special breweries like Comanche Creek and Red River Brewing, the Enchanted Circle (EC) offers prime access to hiking trails and boasts some of the country's most stellar mountain biking!

The EC circles around the tallest point of the state- Wheeler Peak, standing at 13,159 feet.

1.  WHEELER PEAK

Hike this almost-14er from a fun variety of trail options which can be found here. Bring your rain shell and prepare for a windy climb as you ascend closer to summit. Storms roll through daily in the early afternoon, especially during monsoon season.

Mileage:  14.5 or 7.9 miles Round Trip, depending on trail

Elevation Gain:  4,550 ft/2,979 ft

Rating:  Difficult

Adventure Pickle says:  "Bag peaks like your mom bags groceries!"


2.  Clear Creek Falls

Just when you think you have hiked to the end of the trail, it keeps going! Catch it early into summer and you are in for lush-flowing creek crossings and adventurous leaps from rock to rock. The waterfalls get bigger and bigger the further you go, so don't quit early on this one.

Mileage:  4.6 miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain:  895 ft

Rating:  Easy/ Moderate

Directions to Cimarron Canyon State Park

3.  Devisadero Loop Trail #108

Traverse from desert scenery to vibrant national forest along this 5.6 mile loop (or make it a there and back to the summit halfway). Beware of cacti if you bring the doggos along, and be amazed at this transition in landscape!

Mileage: 14.5 or 7.9 miles Round Trip, depending on trail

Elevation Gain:  1,335 ft

Rating: Difficult

AllTrails gives it 4.5/5 stars

4.  Middle fork Lake Trail

This trail rocks, literally. Access the trailhead from Red River and if you're 4WD capable- shave off the first mile of flat/ muddy road to the Middle Fork dirt parking lot. Hike switchbacks 1.5 miles in to a waterfall that lies at a fork in the trail. Head left to access Lost Lake or go right another mile to take in backdrop views of Wheeler Peak from Middle Fork Lake.

Mileage:  3.3- 4.3 miles (Longer if you do Lost Lake)

Elevation:  1,240 ft

Rating:   Moderate

Pro-Tip:  Great trail to hike-a-kid up in a backpack or bring the pups to play in the creek; Take side trails that veer downward for bonus waterfall action.

5. The Enlightenment Trail

Hike or bike this windy trail throughout great depths of woods and singletrack. Steal views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and immerse yourself into nature only steps away from the Angel Fire Resort Chile Express. Consider options like hiking up and riding the chairlift down and vice versa (Local Hint- there is a disc golf course at the top if you're feeling ambitious). This is why they are calling Angel Fire the "The Last Affordable Ski Town in America."

Mileage: 5.8 miles Round Trip

Elevation: 1,123 ft

Rating: Intermediate/ Difficult from MTB Project

Pro-Tip:  Do it in September to catch the aspens transition into bright hues of yellow.

Click the Pickle for more Adventure News!

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