Hike Page

Cabezon Peak Hike
In Cabezon Region

Map File Source: DeLorme

map Hike Key: H10150
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Warrant
Hike Class: D (Difficult)
Hike Distance: 2.2 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6480 ft
Elevation Change: 685 ft
Total Uphill: 780 ft
Total Downhill: 780 ft
Avg. Grade: 16 %
Route Type: CCW Loop
On Trail: No
Paved or Gravel Roads: No
GPS Advised: Yes
Drive Distance Round Trip: 150 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:30
Hiking Seasons: Spring and Fall
New Mexico Game Unit: 9
Hike Status: Published
Access Description: Cabezon Area Access


A walk around the “shoulder” of the volcanic plug. Great views of Mt. Taylor, Sandias, Sangre de Cristos, and 22 smaller volcanic plugs in the immediate area.


Steep, so hiking poles recommended.

Trailhead Directions

I-25 north. West (left) on US 550 at Bernalillo exit 242. Drive past San Ysidro and at mile marker 38 you can see Cabezon off to your left. After mile marker 41 look for sign “San Luis – Cabezon”. Mark odometer and turn left (south) onto paved road. Cabezon Peak will be at 10 o’clock position. Follow road for 12-13 miles (15-18 min.) — past village of San Luis, onto dirt road, under power lines – to a “Y” fork in the road. (This is where we parked 3/1/01 because of muddy road.) Take the left fork (toward right of peak) for two miles — cross the deep arroyo (Rio Puerco) and a cattle guard marked “EC” — to a sign, “Cabezon Peak”. Turn left, go about a mile and park.

Actual Hike

Don’t get excited, we won’t be going up on top. Hike up right (south) side of the peak, following a good, but steep trail. When you get to the top of the base you continue walking around the end, look up and see a crease in the plug where it is possible to go on to the top, but it is rather treacherous, steep, and with loose rock. There is a rock arrow on the ground pointing up to it. The trail goes on east, but climb up on the ridge to the south. There are a bunch of names carved in stones there. Go back down to the trail and continue east, and then turn north. Keep east of the rockslide. Have lunch somewhere along the north side with a view of the old village of Cabezon below. It is now a private ranch without public access. Continue around to the western face noticing the swirling masses of basalt above you. Don’t attempt to go down until you can see the vehicle because that is where the easiest slope is.


The hike affords great views to the west and south resembling scenes in Monument Valley on AZ/UT border. The hike data assume that you just go around the peak on the shoulder. If you choose to climb up part or all of the way to the peak, the average grade and climbing distance increase significantly.

The dirt road may be slippery and rutted when wet.


PARK: N35 35.818, W107 06.319
CHIMNEY: N35 35.845, W107 05.601

Map Filename: CabezonPeak_Dnew.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: CabezonPeakWayTrack_MLML.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Roger Holloway
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: Mike Lippke
Track Author: Mike Lippke
Maintainer: Dawn McIntyre
Editor: Marilyn Warrant

Photos of This Hike
Click for caption and larger image