“A nice 5.0-mile loop south of Tijeras.”
— Pete Gomez
Birding · Views
This is a short loop run that's easy to get to, well signed, part shaded, and only gains 500 feet in 2.5 miles.
Need to Know
As always, have sun protection and lots of water if you attempt this in the summer heat. In late summer, watch the weather. A monsoon storm might suddenly be upon you in the afternoon. If there is lighting, descend immediately.
There are some rocks and roots on GNasty and Blue Ribbon.
Begin at the Otero Trailhead on Rt. 337. Head south on pavement which quickly switches to dirt as you veer left to the Otero Canyon Trail
. Otero Canyon Trail
goes in and out of shade as you gently ascend 300 feet on your way to Gnasty Trail
. At the turn, there are trail signs and also Air Force property warning signs. Please heed the signs for safety. At the trail junction, you make a sharp left and continue on Gnasty.
rises another 200 feet where you'll leave the shade and approach the height of land. As you travel eastward, there are great views of the area. Watch your footing; there are rocks and roots.
Take a left turn on Blue Ribbon Trail
. The elevation will go up-and-down a little. After about 0.5 miles (3.6 mi. into the run), you'll again reach the height of land before your 2.0 miles of descent. There will be plenty of trees around you but they don't provide any shade.
Blue Ribbon Trail
drops you at the intersection where you took the Otero Canyon Trail
. Turn right (north) to return to your vehicle.