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Update from the USDA Regarding the Carson National Forest Reopening – June 24th, 2022

Carson National Forest managers will rescind local fire restrictions and reopen most of the Forest at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 24, after a week of significant rainfall with more in the forecast. Similar changes will occur throughout national forests in New Mexico (check with each unit for details).

“We’re relieved by the early onset of monsoonal flows, not just for decreasing fire danger and activity but also getting people back into the Forest” said Forest Supervisor James Duran. “Some areas and limitations will temporarily remain in effect, so we are asking visitors ‘know before you go’ and check conditions before heading out.”

Camino Real Ranger District near fires and contingency line to remain closed

The Camino Real Ranger District, where the northern end of the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires are located with 72% containment, will remain fully closed until next week. This will continue to keep trails closest to Taos unavailable. Staff are currently developing a smaller closure footprint to include the fire burn area and related debris flow and flash flooding locations, as well as roads and areas affected by work on a fuel break contingency line north of the fire area.

Midnight Fire area on the El Rito Ranger District

An area surrounding the Midnight Fire, which is currently has 98% containment, will also remain closed. Details, including a map, will be posted on the Carson National Forest website by Friday morning.

Other closures

Other closures that were in effect prior to the implementation of the Stage 3 fire restrictions closure in mid-May will remain so. Those include limitations in Valle Vidal and a handful of roads west of Tres Piedras, all due to elk calving.

Campgrounds

Some campgrounds will have a delayed reopening due to staff and concessionaire needs in ramping up operations, including hazard tree and branch removal. Campers should be prepared to bring their own water as it may initially not be available as campgrounds reopen. Other services may be limited. Visitors should call ahead or check the Forest webpage beginning Friday morning for open/closed statuses.

Trails

All trails will reopen, but some remain severely impacted by windfall from the December winter squall. Trail crews and partners diligently worked through the spring to clear effected trails, including those to Wheeler Peak and Lake Williams (with a temporary reroute at the trailhead). Trails that remain very difficult to pass and are not recommended for travel include those that make up the Lost Lake Loop, which are the Lost Lake/Middle Fork (#91) and East Fork (#56) trails, and Lake Fork (#82) trail out of Cabresto Lake. Not all trails have been surveyed and more may be unpassable.

Current fire restrictions

While all local fire restrictions will be rescinded, regional fire restrictions and federal law regarding fire on national forests remain in force.


Carson National Forest Information

Some of the more popular hiking trails in the Carson National Forest are located in Taos Ski Valley. Below you will find trails in Carson National Forest that have printable maps. Click the map icon to download maps.

For more trails and more detailed trail information, visit the USDA trails website.

Day Hikes

Camino Real Ranger District

The Camino Real Ranger District is managed for many multi-use purposes; hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping and personal firewood cutting are among the activities. The District manages many acres of the Carson National Forest. The District has more than 252 miles of trail, offering diverse terrain and dramatic landscapes for the skilled hiker.

TRAIL DISTANCE LEVELACTIVITIES MAP
Devisadero Loop Trail 1085.1 mile loopModerate
Elliott Barker Trail4.1 miles returnEasy to Intermediate
La Jara Canyon Trail FR#52.1 miles returnEasy
Middle Fork Trail 2412.9 miles returnModerate
North Boundary Trail 49512.4 miles returnDifficult
Rio Chiquito Trail #1215.9 miles return Intermediate
Rito De La Olla Trail 4384.6 miles returnEasy 
San Leonardo Trail #302.8 miles returnIntermediate to Difficult
Serpent Lake Trail 196.4 miles returnModerate
South Boundry Trail #16420.1 miles returnEasy to Intermediate
Trampas Lakes Trail 315.5 miles returnModerate
Valle De Los Romero Trail 13A1.2 miles returnEasy to Intermediate 
West Fork Santa Barbara Trail 2512.4 miles returnModerate

Canjilon Ranger District

The Canjilon Ranger District is located in the beautiful mountains of Northern New Mexico. The elevation ranges from a low of 6,500 feet up to almost 11,000 feet above sea level. Climate and vegetation types vary from high desert to alpine zones. The ranger district contains several hiking trails, including the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. There are three campgrounds located on the ranger district. The ranger district office is located in the small mountain village of Canjilon which contains a population of approximately 325 residents.

TRAIL DISTANCE LEVELACTIVITIES MAP
Burns Lake Trail3.9 miles returnEasy to Intermediate
Hart Canyon Trail #2932.1 miles returnModerate
Hidden Lake Trail #531.2 miles returnModerate
Joaquin Canyon Trail #473.6 miles returnModerate
Martinez Canyon Trail #499.1 miles returnModerate
Rim Vista Trail #152.7 miles returnModerate
Salazar Trail #142.7 miles returnModerate
Vega Paz Trail #210.6 miles returnEasy

Questa Ranger District

The Questa Ranger District is managed for many multi-use purposes; hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping and personal firewood cutting are among the activities.

TRAIL DISTANCE LEVELACTIVITIES MAP
 Columbine – Twining N.R.T. Trail 64,6914.2 miles returnDifficult
Columbine Canyon Trail #715.3 miles returnModerate
Gavilan Trail #602.4 miles returnModerate
Goose Creek Trail #655.5 miles returnModerate
Horseshoe Lake/East Fork Trail #564.9 miles returnModerate
Italianos Canyon Trail #593.5 miles returnDifficult
Lobo Peak Trail #5710.7 miles returnDifficult
Long Canyon Trail #633.6 miles returnIntermediate to Difficult
Lost Lake Trail #914.0 miles returnIntermediate to Difficult
Manzanita Canyon Trail #582.1 miles returnDifficult
Middle Fork/West Fork Road Trail #4872.0 miles returnMost Difficult
Midnight Trail #8110.8 miles returnDifficult
Placer Fork Trail #724.4 miles returnModerate
Sawmill Park Trail #553.6 miles returnEasy to Intermediate
Wheeler Peak Summit Trail #672.2 miles returnDifficult
Wheeler Peak Trail #907.3 miles returnIntermediate to Difficult
Williams Lake Trail #624 miles returnEasy to Intermediate
Yerba Canyon Trail #614.0 miles returnDifficult