Hike Page

Otero Canyon Outer Loop Hike
In Cedro Peak Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10419
Last Updated: 06/29/2021 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Fixer
Hike Class: C (Challenging)
Hike Distance: 6.8 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6797 ft
Elevation Change: 558 ft
Total Uphill: 1195 ft
Total Downhill: 1195 ft
Avg. Grade: 6 %
Route Type: CW Loop
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: No
Drive Distance Round Trip: 40 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 0:45
Hiking Seasons: Spring, Fall, and Winter
New Mexico Game Unit: 14
Hike Status: Published


A well-marked forested trail along the ridges of the foothills close to Albuquerque.


In winter, the trail may be covered with snow/ ice; therefore, hike trekking poles and/or boot traction devices are highly recommended.

Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque, take I-40 East. Exit #175 South to Tijeras. From the traffic light in Tijeras, go south on NM 337 (Old Hwy 14) for 4 miles to Otero Canyon, PARK (0.0 mi) on the right.

Actual Hike

The 5056-OTEROCYN (0.1 mi) trail goes south on an old road bed for a short distance, then drops off the paved road, crossing a small stream bed. It proceeds up the canyon to where 5236-BLUERIBBN (0.3 mi) comes in from the far left, around your left shoulder. Take this trail around to the north (not intuitive) for a half a mile before heading back southeast to 5057-GNASTY (2.2 mi). You will start heading more in a southwest direction and eventually back down into Otero Canyon. There the trail changes to 5268-WESTRIDGE (3.2 mi) and begins climbing up the west ridge of Otero Canyon. At the southernmost point you will reach the KAFB BNDRY (3.7 mi) where you will see warning signs. The trail gradually turns north through the woods to OVRLK (4.8 mi) where one can see northward toward the Tijeras region and onto the Sandia mountain range. Several potential lunch spots may be found over the next half mile.

Eventually you will hike down a hill and come to the 5145-TUNNELCYN (5.9 mi) intersection where you will turn right. After about a half mile, you will turn left (north) at the junction of three trails (West Ridge, Otero Canyon and Blue Ribbon) 5236-BLURIBBN (6.4 mi) for the final trek to the van.


The Otero Canyon Outer Loop hike trails are shown in the middle left part of the Manzanita Mountains Trail System map.

Hike data were determined using a Garmin GPSMap 62 and Garmin BaseCamp’s DEM for TOPO US 24K Southwest.


PARK: N35 02.079, W106 22.455
5056-OTEROCYN: N35 02.043, W106 22.464
5236-BLUERIBBN: N35 01.862, W106 22.425
5057-GNASTY: N35 01.203, W106 21.790
5268-WESTRIDGE: N35 00.799, W106 22.204
KAFB BNDRY: N35 00.779, W106 22.482
OVRLK: N35 01.162, W106 22.561
5145-TUNNELCYN: N35 01.933, W106 22.740

Map Filename: Otero Cyn Outer Lp_BG_03.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: OteroCynOuterLp_160301_BG1.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Bill Gloyd
Map Author: Bill Gloyd
Waypoints Author: Bill Gloyd
Track Author: Bill Gloyd
Maintainer: Bill Gloyd
Editor: Marilyn Warrant