Buckman Mesa

Buckman Mesa Hike
In Santa Fe Region

Map File Source: DeLorme

map Hike Key: H10035
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Warrant
Hike Class: C (Challenging)
Hike Distance: 4.4 mi
Minimum Elevation: 5470 ft
Elevation Change: 1030 ft
Total Uphill: 1030 ft
Total Downhill: 1030 ft
Avg. Grade: 10 %
Route Type: InOut
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: Yes
Drive Distance Round Trip: 160 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:45
Hiking Seasons: Spring and Fall
New Mexico Game Unit: 6C
Hike Status: Published


Views of all the mountain ranges in the area, along with grand vistas of the Rio Grande and nearby White Rock.


Bring trekking poles for the steep downhill portion.

Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque go north on I-25 to exit 599B, known as the Relief Route. Go about 8 mi. to Camino de la Tierra. Exit here and go northwest on the main road about 3.8 mi. Turn right where the paved road curves to the left at [OLD BUCKMAN ROAD]. This is a dirt road and it is easy to miss this turn. After about 10 miles you will come to the river. PARK here. Alternatively, turn right and park at the WASH (0.2 mi).

Actual Hike

Takes a few minutes after parking to walk to the river’s edge. Walk on a road going in upstream direction near river just a short distance until you come to a large sandy WASH (0.2 mi). Go right up the arroyo until you see a TRAIL (0.8 mi) on the left, well-marked with a large rock cairn. When you start to head up on the trail, it is steep and rocky. Take this part slowly. ollow the cairns up to the top of the mesa, where you can see your goal, Otowi Peak, off to the north. After crossing the mesa, it’s another slow steep climb up to the TOP (2.1 mi) of Otowi Peak. Return the way you came.


At Otowi Peak, you will be rewarded with wonderful views of all the mountain ranges in all directions as well as views both up and down the Rio Grande and nearby White Rock, right across the river, and Los Alamos. Find the blow-hole a little below the top on the southeast side of the peak. It is supposed to be the place where the Native ancestors came up out of the earth and can be seen from a special spot on Black Mesa to the north. Look carefully directly across the river at your level, and find the Cave above the Rio Grande. Enjoy lunch here and enjoy the walk down the same way you came up. Bring your hiking sticks for the downhill part.


OLD BUCKMAN ROAD: N 35 43.781, W 106 03.278
PARK: N 35 50.120, W 106 09.625
WASH: N 35 50.244, W 106 09.524
TRAIL: N 35 50.285, W 106 08.940
TOP: N 35 51.246, W 106 08.860

Map Filename: BuckmanMesaMap_MW.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: BuckmanMesaWayTrackMod_DBDB.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file
Additional File 1 Link Click link to download an additional file.

Text Author: Frances Arnold
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: Dick Brown
Track Author: Dick Brown
Maintainer: Bill Gloyd
Editor: Marilyn Warrant

Photos of This Hike
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