Chamisoso Canyon

4.7/5 (22 reviews)
Tijeras, New Mexico (Bernalillo County)
Last Updated: 04/30/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

The Manzanita Mountains Trail System provides access to a number of wooded canyons, open meadows and limestone pavements in a multi-use area consisting of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, OHV, and 4WD use trails. The towers atop the 7,767-foot Cedro Peak are visible for miles and they provide an easy point of reference as you explore a landscape where high mountain desert meets forest - pinon pine, juniper, and cedar coexist with yucca, cholla and prickly pear cacti. Within 15 minutes of Albuquerque and easy access to the clean air of the Cibola National Forest, this trail a natural destination for offroad enthusiasts.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

FR462 is an easy, hard packed dirt surface with seasonal ruts and loose rock suitable for most high clearance vehicles. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. At six miles in length, Forest Road 462 is the longest 4WD trail in the Manzanita Mountains Trail System and it intersects with two others, FR12 and FR13.
Starting about 0.6 miles north of the intersection of FR462 and FR12 and heading toward the east trailhead, there is a great deal of private land on both sides of the trail and some of the drives leading to properties are not posted. Stay on the trail and use the motor vehicle usage map (MVUM) of the Manzanita Mountains Trail System while out exploring. Although the Sandia Ranger District does not have fixed seasonal closures set for the Manzanita Mountains Trail System, occasionally temporary closures are issued after periods of heavy rain or during the spring snowmelt and for fire restrictions. Contact the Sandia Ranger District before you go to make sure that no temporary closures are in place. Phone: 505-281-3304

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (22 reviews)
Scott Mitchell
Official Crew
12150
Status: Temporary Closure
Rated 4/5
Visited: 04/30/2022

We ran the Manzanitas trails in late April before the fire closures. At the time, trails were as expected but some stretches of FR 12 have become heavily rutted with lots of evidence of people going off the trail. These trails are currently closed under the Cibola National Forest fire closure order.
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Scott Mitchell
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Scott Mitchell
Status: Open
Visited: 03/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

It was rather wet and gooey but our 2009 jku (donkey) did well, bottomed out on a couple ruts. But made it through with very little drama. The views are worth the trip.
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Joel Keener
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Joel Keener
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/19/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun route. Has a couple of areas with deep ruts. A few rocky areas. Great views and a few places to pull off an hike.
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Brian
Trail Review: Chamisoso Canyon - Brian
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/07/2020

I took my 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon on its maiden voyage on this trail. It was fun to drive over some rocks and navigate the ruts in the road. No problems at all and a great first off road trip for a newbie like me.
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 11/03/2020

Easy trail in a stock 2012 2dr wrangler, you don't even need 4x4. However deep ruts on a wet day could prove troubling!

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