New Mexico has a number of trails with minimal obstacles.  Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible.  Here are just a few of them.
Most of the links given were found through Internet search. Some places I have been able to visit and a few have been recommended to me by other people who have been there. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form in the sidebar.




    Bosque Del Apache
    Snow Geese take flight at Bosque Del Apache
    © Cathy & Gordon Illg

    Wheelchair AccessibleOne of the most popular bird photography places in the American West is Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  You can see thousands of waterbirds and photograph them from your car.  Thank you Cathy & Gordon Illg for this shot of snow geese and photographers.

  • El Malpais National Conservation Area   Hiking Trails Brochure  Call the BLM at 505-287-7911 or the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center 505-876-2783 for information about both these trails.  The brochures are not clear about how easy the footing is on them.
    Hikerwithcane?The 1/2 mile round trip hike to La Ventana Natural Arch is described as “relatively easy”.

    Hikerwithcane?The Ranger Station Nature Trail is a 1 1/4 mile loop with an elevation gain of 125 feet.

  • El Malpais National Monument – Here is accessibility information from the National Park Service.

  • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument   505-331-6259  Trail Guide
    Wheelchair Accessible“The Cave Loop Trail is 1.2 miles long, rated as easy and portions are ADA accessible”  It is not clear as to what portions so do call ahead.  Reviews on Trip Advisor.
    Wheelchair Accessible“The Veterans Memorial Trail is a 1-mile long loop trail, rated as very easy and is wheel chair accessible.  The Veterans Memorial is located at the end of a 3 mile long gravel surfaced road overlooking picturesque Peralta Canyon and Jemez Mountain peaks. “

  • Perea Nature Trail     Brochure and Wetlands
    HikerwithcaneThe BLM describes this trail near San Ysidro as an “easy one-mile loop hiking trail.  Call the Rio Puerco Field Office, 505-761-8700, information .

  • Rio Grande del Norte National Monument  Trail Descriptions (towards bottom of webpage)
    Rio Grande Visitor Center 575-751-4899
    Upper Gorge (Wild Rivers)  Trails Map
    HikerwithcaneWild Rivers Nature Trail “is an easy interpretive loop along the canyon rims of the Red River and the Rio Grande at La Junta Point. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long.”
    HikerwithcaneRinconada Loop Trail is a 6.1 mile loop which you could do parts of from the campgrounds.  A wheelchair user would probably need some assistance.
    Wheelchair AccessibleChawalauna Overlook is about 1/4 mile from the parking lot and according to the very helpful Monument manager, John Bailey, has a lovely rim view.
    HikerwithcaneTrails leading north and south from the Wild Rivers Visitor Center have gravel in places, making them probably too difficult for wheelchair users.
    HikerwithcanePescado Trail from the Visitor Center is pretty easy for the first 1/2 mile and takes you to a great view of the river gorge. A wheelchair user might need assistance.
    Lower Gorge (Orilla Verde)   Trails Map
    HikerwithcaneThe first 1 1/4 mile of the 9 mile West Rim Trail going south from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (High Bridge) is easy, flat, and smooth.  There is a bench which would make a good turn-around spot for limited walkers.
    HikerwithcaneLa Vista Verde is 1.3 miles and easy, but does have 6 steps near the beginning.

    Taos Valley Overlook  Trails Map
    Hikerwithcane Trader’s Trail is an easy 1.8 mile with a steady, not too steep slope.

  • Santa Fe National Forest  Thanks to Clifton Russell for suggestions of accessible trails in Santa Fe National Forest.
    Wheelchair Accessible
    There is a paved trail with fishing access spots along the San Antonio River at San Antonio Campground.  Thank you, Katie Watson, for the reference.
    Wheelchair AccessibleSan Diego Canyon Overlook site in the Jemez Ranger District.
    There is a paved trail to the overlook as well as ADA restroom.
    HikerwithcaneEast Fork Trail (Forest trail 137) just off NM State Highway 4. Also in Jemez Ranger District.  “This [10 mile] trail would be suitable for elderly, but maybe too challenging for wheel chairs.”  It sounds as if parts of it would be OK.  “From Jemez Falls it’s another mile to the East Fork Trailhead. This segment of trail is an easier walk, although still moving uphill. From the East Fork Trailhead to  the Las Conchas Trailhead the hiking becomes easier with rolling terrain.”  I suggest you contact Forest Headquarters  (505) 438-5300 for advice on the parts appropriate for you.
    Wheelchair AccessibleCowles Fishing Pond in the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District.  “An ADA accessible  trail around both ponds was completed on 5/25/2013.”
    Here are some accessible picnic and camping areas that Clifton Russell brought to my attention:
    Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District
    Windy Bridge
    Baker Flat
    Lower  Dalton
    Española Ranger District
    Black Canyon Campground
    Big Tesuque Campground

  • Socorro Nature Area    Interpretive Trail Guide
    Wheelchair AccessibleThe first .11 mile of this self-guiding nature walk goes to the pond and is wheelchair accessible.  On the guide, there are two loop trails which add up to about a mile and are very easy.   According to the manager, you could possibly do them in a wheelchair, if you had help getting through some soft patches.  Call 575-835-0412 for information.

  • Valley of Fires Recreation Area   Described in 
    Wheelchair Accessible
    Malpais Nature Trail  “….when you walk through the nature trail there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. There is a juniper that is said to be 400 years old. The lava is similar to Hawaiian lava, jagged and rippled, and most of the lava field is a wilderness study area. The self-guided …. Trail is paved for 1 /3 mile, fully accessible for individuals with disabilities. Interpretive brochures are available at the trailhead near the group shelter. In addition to the flora, fauna abound. There are bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails,lizards, great horned owls, burrowing owls, buzzards, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows and golden eagles, a virtual birdwatcher’s paradise.”  Call 575-648-2241 for information.

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  • Accessible Features  in New Mexico State Parks
    The following parks are listed as having accessible trails:
     Bottomless Lakes, Devil’s Inkwell Campground Trail
    Cerrillos Hills, Village View Trail
    Eagle Nest Lake, Visitor Center picnic area trail
    Elephant Butte Lake, West Lake Shore Trail from Monticello Campground
    Leasburg Dam, Riverside Trail
    Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, Zoo Trails
    Mesilla Valley Bosque, Overlook & Demonstration Garden Trails
    Rio Grande Nature Center, Aldo Leopold & Paseo del Bosque Trails
    Sugarite Canyon, Chicorica Boardwalk Trail


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  • Albuquerque
    Wheelchair AccessiblePaseo del Bosque Trail 16 miles of paved trail from the “north to the south edges of the metro area through the Rio Grande’s cottonwood bosque (forest).”  The trail passes through Rio Grande Valley State Park.  Photographic tour  Printable map

  • Los Alamos County   Trail System Map
    Los Alamos Nature Center opened May, 2015 and is already getting rave reviews on Trip Advisor.   The Pajarito Environmental Education Center  operates from here and has an intriguing program called “Gentle Walks”.  Give them a call  505-662-0460 see if any of these walks are within your capabilities.   The Los Alamos Trails App can be downloaded on Apple products, and will soon be available for Android, as well.
    Wheelchair AccessibleKatherine Watson, executive director, writes that “…the only really accessible trail in Los Alamos is the paved Canyon Rim Trail. ”  Clifton Russell also mentioned this trail: “In Los Alamos County, but not on the Forest, there is a very nice paved trail as you go into Los Alamos called the Canyon Rim trail.  It is about 2 miles long and goes along the south side of the highway by the Airport.  Lovely views over the canyon, wide, mostly level.  A visitor would see the signs by the airport runway as they drive into town.”

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