Upper Water Canyon Trail to the Meadow

Trail Name: Upper Water Canyon
Length: 2 miles roundtrip, extendable to 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Suitable For: Family hikes, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on occasion
Map of Upper Water Canyon Trail.

By Craig Martin

The Upper Water Canyon Trail in the Santa Fe National Forest makes a great hike any time of year. The trail is easy to follow, has little elevation gain, and offers some local history, wildlife viewing, flowing water, summer and fall wildflowers, and mid-summer raspberry picking — if you can get to them before the bears gobble them all up. The trail passes through a forest recovering from the Cerro Grande and Las Conchas wildfires, enters two old-growth mixed conifer stands, and leads to an old dam constructed by the Atomic Energy Commission to supply water to the then Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The two-mile roundtrip to the dam and back is easy walking for anyone.

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