Passport III Trailhead Guide

Do you need help finding the trailheads for Passport III’s hikes? Check out this guide to all of the Passport III trails! We’ll be updating the Los Alamos Trails App soon, but this should help in the meantime. If you need help finding the Passport posts, check out our hint page!

Alamo Boundary Trail: This Bandelier backcountry trailhead is about 1.7 mile down Forest Road 289 (Dome Road). If you’re coming from Los Alamos on NM4, the road is on your left just after you pass the Cerro Grande trailhead. Look for the small parking area and trailhead sign. If you go over a cattle guard, you have gone too far. The trail goes through small valleys and up a canyon, then meets the Coyote Call Trail.

Alcove House: Start along the Main Loop Trail at Bandelier. About half way along the main loop, follow the signs for Alcove House, leading you up-canyon. Stop at the bottom of the ladders to get your rubbing, then continue up the ladders to the rock alcove. Turn around and go back to the visitor center the way you came, completing the Main Loop Trail.

Camp Hamilton Trail: Park either at the Los Alamos County maintenance buildings on Camino Entrada or at the historical marker pull off on the Main Hill Road (NM502). The trail leads to the canyon edge, then down switchbacks. A half mile from the start, pass the intersection with the Tent Rocks Trail and continue straight. At the bottom of a drainage, bear right onto the trail that heads downstream, along a fenceline. Make your way to the bottom of the canyon where the trail joins a dirt road. Turn left and walk along the dirt road for about 0.1 mile. The trail continues to the right, toward the location of the historic Camp Hamilton cabin. The cabin is in the tall pines on a small bench above the canyon bottom. Return to the trailhead by the same route.

Cerro Grande: This Bandelier backcountry trailhead is about 12 miles from downtown Los Alamos on NM4, about 2 miles before you get to the Valle Grande. The trail goes up to a large meadow pass, then switchbacks up to the top of Cerro Grande.

Frey Trail: This trail connects Juniper Campground and the Main Loop Trail in Bandelier. You can start from the top or bottom. If the buses are running, you can hike this trail one-way and ride the bus back to your car.

Kinnikinnik Park: Loop trail on the large, flat area between the Aquatic Center and Acid Canyon. Start from the nature center or aquatic center. A few spur trails leave the main loop trail to overlook the canyon.

Knife Edge Trail: LANL trail about 4 miles from White Rock on NM4, toward Bandelier. From the parking area, follow the old road out-and-back about 1.2 miles each way. The trailhead is at LANL trail gate 3.

Las Conchas Trail: If you’re traveling from Los Alamos on NM4, the trailhead is on the right about 3 miles past the entrance to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The trail follows the East Fork of the Jemez River for about 1.6 miles.

Lower Pajarito Canyon: In White Rock, start from either Kimberly Lane cul-du-sac or Sherwood Boulevard where it crosses Pajarito Canyon. Hike on the trail closest to the edge of the small canyon.

Neblina Trail: This is a fairly new trail, built by YCC crews in 2018, that leads up a small canyon between Cabra Loop and Upper Guaje Road Trail (the “cemetery road”). Follow the sign at the intersection with Rendija Trail. Looking up canyon, Neblina Trail is on the right side of the arroyo and the dirt road is on the left. The trail bears right and follows a small canyon about 0.5 mile.

Pajarito Mountain: From the ski hill lodge, follow the Jeep road uphill and to the west. The road switchbacks up to the top of Pajarito Mountain, then continues east and switchbacks down again and back to the lodge.

Perimeter Trail: From Mitchell trailhead, go south (left) on Perimeter Trail. The passport rubbing plate is on a signpost at the intersection of Perimeter Trail and the “Quemazon Access Trail” that comes from 48th Street off of Urban Street. It’s before you go up the steep switchbacks to Pipeline Road.

River Trail: Go down either the Blue or Red Dot Trail in White Rock, then turn onto the River Trail (downstream from the Blue Dot, upstream from the Red Dot). You can either complete the loop by going up the other Dot Trail or turn around and exit the canyon the way you came. If you complete the loop, you’ll pass FIVE Passport rubbing plates (two in Passport 1, one in Passport 2, and two in Passport 3).

Upper Pajarito Canyon: Trailhead on NM501, on the west side of the road, just past the LANL Tech Areas and Emergency Operations Center entrance. The trail follows the stream up Pajarito Canyon, a year-round water source, for about 2.5 miles before turning uphill to a junction with the Nail Trail.

Valle de los Posos Overlook: Start from the ski hill parking lot and follow the trail to Cañada Bonita, stay on the trail to the end of the meadow. The trail turns to the right and goes up and over a hill. On the other side of the hill, the trail meets the top of Pipeline Road.

Valle Grande Pond: When you’re at the Entrance Station (visitor center), looking out at the cattle holding pens, go to the far right and all the way around the pens. The trail follows an old fence line (the fence has been removed) about 0.5 mile to a large pond.