Hidden Valley Trail Hike – 06/07/2021

One of the best places to introduce visitors is the Valles Caldera National Preserve. So when Pat’s brother Bob came to visit, we showed him some of the sights New Mexico has to offer: a drive up the Jemez River valley and around to the Valles Caldera, to hike the Hidden Valley trail.

The Drive In

A thorough description of driving to and into Valles Caldera is included in a previous post: Valles Caldera DriveAbout – 07/14/2019. Upon turning off of NM 4 and into the Preserve, drive .6 miles, park near the two-track on the  left which has a cable across it.

The Hike

Hidden Valley Trail Hike.PatBob.2021-06-07

The trail proceeds uphill on a two-track from the road to the top of a knoll. There we enjoyed an expansive view across the Valles, with the Missing Cabin just downhill. (Missing Cabin was constructed for the movie “The Missing” (Ron Howard) in 2003.

From there, the trail leaves the two-track and heads downhill across healthy grassland towards the canyon of the East Fork Jemez River. Rounding a rock outcrop, it parallels a forested area on the left and to the right the wetlands of the River. A bit further along, the trail follows closely the course of the River. Some 500 yards further, one must cross over to the north side of the River; it was running high enough that we chose not to risk getting feet wet, so we turned back to finish the hike.



Total Distance:  2.12 miles
Elevation: start  8,576 ft, maximum  8,592 ft,  minimum 8,470 ft
Gross gain: 122 ft.  Aggregate ascending 397 ft, descending 429 ft
Maximum slope: 34% ascending, 35% descending, 6.0% average
Duration: 2:10

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.

Related Posts

Hidden Valley Trail Hike – 10/14/2020
Plus many hikes in Valles Caldera

References and Resources

NPS Valles Caldera: Easy Hikes
National Parks Traveler: Exploring The Parks: Setting Foot In Valle Caldera National Preserve
Prime Passages: Hidden Valley Beer Hike
Wikipedia: The Missing (2003 film)
Roger Ebert: The Missing

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