Hermit Peak Trail #233 Hike – 05/21/2021

This was our first venture into the east slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. ‘Tis not as popular as the west side, located away from centers of population. In addition to exploring hiking trails, we were curious about the couple of campgrounds situated there.

The Drive In

From Albuquerque, find your way to Las Vegas (NM!). We exited I-25 onto US 85 at the south end of town, then turned left onto NM 329 (also identified as New Mexico Ave). Nearing the north end of town, NM 329 curves to the right – turn left immediately onto NM 65; follow it through Montezuma where you enter into the mountains. The road follows Gallinas Creek up the canyon, passing through Gallinas (a place-name, not much to identify it as a village, about 6.5 miles from Montezuma).

A mile and a half beyond Gallinas the valley (and the road) splits – Gallinas Creek to the left, Porvenir Canyon to the right. Take the fork to the right for the Hermit Peak Trail (and El Porevenir Campground), another 2.25 miles. The road is paved right up until half mile from the traihead, where one enters the National Forest. Distance from I-25: 18 miles.

The Hike

Hermit Peak Trail #233.Pat.2021-05-21

The trailhead is near the entrance to the El Porvenir campground; we took a round-about way to get on the trail. El Porvenir is a nice small campground tucked into this pleasant valley. The trail is well used, presenting a steady easy uniform grade on a nice surface through open forest. About 1.25 miles in the trail dips through a ravine, then begins climbing with a slightly steeper grade through not so open forest. We chose to stop for our mid-hike break at about 2.1 miles. From there trail becomes steeper headed for -the- Peak, not on our agenda for the day. But other reports describe the hike to the peak to be well worth it, for the views of the Sangre de Cristo from this direction.


Total Distance:  4.13 miles
Elevation: start  7,493 ft, maximum  8,607 ft,  minimum 7,490 ft
Gross gain: 1,217 ft.  Aggregate ascending 1,252 ft, descending 1,255 ft
Maximum slope: 36% ascending, 34% descending, 10.6% average
Duration: 3:50

GPS Track Files for Download
If you haven’t explored these hiking tracks with Google Earth, I urge you to try it. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the screenshot above. For some ideas, check out  Using Google Earth Track Files.

References and Resources

USDA Forest Service: El Porvenir Campground
                                         Hermits Peak Trail #223
Hiking Project: Hermit’s Peak Trail #223
New Mexico Trails: Hermits Peak Trail – Trail #223
AllTrails: Hermit Peak Trail
SummitPost: Hermit Peak (NM)
Reddit:#223 Hermit’s Peak hike report June 10,2019 (detailed report)

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