Oat – Hay Canyons To Bottom Short

Oat – Hay Canyons To Bottom Short Hike
In Jemez Mountains Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10557
Last Updated: 12/15/2020 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Warrant
Hike Class: C (Challenging)
Hike Distance: 5.3 mi
Minimum Elevation: 7065 ft
Elevation Change: 724 ft
Total Uphill: 895 ft
Total Downhill: 895 ft
Avg. Grade: 9 %
Route Type: CCW Loop
Protected: Yes
On Trail: No
Paved or Gravel Roads: No
GPS Advised: Yes
Drive Distance Round Trip: 160 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:45
Hiking Seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall
New Mexico Game Unit: 6A
Hike Status: Published


Pleasant hike up the valley, then up Oat Canyon and over a ridge and into Hay for a descent down Hay covered with wildflowers in the spring, to a sensational viewpoint, then down to the valley below.


Use of hiking poles is recommended for the descent to the bottom.

Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque go north on I-25 to exit 242 (Bernalillo), west on US 550 to San Ysidro. North on SR 4 to La Cueva. Take SR 126 west about 9 mi. to Fenton Lake, keep going north 4 mi. until you come to the marked road to the Fish Hatchery on the right. Take this dirt road past the hatchery. At this point you may encounter a closed gate. Park here if the gate is closed. Otherwise continue past the gate for about one mile to a fence and corral and PARK (0.0 mi)

Actual Hike

From parking go through the gate and follow the two track up the valley to TO OAT (0.4 mi). Turn right and go across the stream and go uphill toward the notch. Continue up the side canyon to HAY SHORTCUT (2.1 mi). Turn left and follow the track up and over the ridge and down into HAY (2.6 mi) Canyon. Turn left and hike down this pleasant pine lined valley which follows a broad ledge to the VIEWPOINT (3.6 mi). A great view and a good place for lunch. Then return to TO BOTTOM (3.8 mi), turn right at the large rock, and go downhill into a narrow notch. Look for the animal trail on the right side of this small canyon and proceed down to the floor of the main canyon. Go through a metal gate and CROSS (4.3 mi) the stream. Follow the two track down the valley to parking.


This hike avoids the old “Animal Trail To Hell” descent. Check with the Jemez Ranger Station to verify that the gate near the Fish Hatchery is open.


PARK: N 35 56.134, W 106 41.008
TO OAT: N 35 56.283, W 106 40.648
HAY SHORTCUT: N 35 56.775, W 106 39.074
HAY: N 35 57.027, W 106 39.372
VIEWPOINT: N 35 56.820, W 106 40.219
TO BOTTOM: N 35 56.795, W 106 39.920
CROSS: N 35 56.701, W 106 40.336

Map Filename: Oat-HayCanyonsToBottomShortImage_DB - Copy.JPG
Hike GPS File Name: Oat-HayCanyonsToBottomShortWayTrack_DBDB.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Dick Brown
Map Author: Dick Brown
Waypoints Author: Dick Brown
Track Author: Dick Brown
Maintainer: Marilyn Warrant
Editor: Howard Carr