Gavilan Trail (#60)

Area Status: Open
two hikers and a leashed dog walk along a trail in a forest
Galivan Trail. USDA Forest Service Photo.

The Gavilan trail is 2.4 miles long. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding and Snowshowing.



Approximately 1.5 miles west from the Taos Ski Valley Parking lot, located on NM State Highway 150 (the road to Taos Ski Valley).  The trail borders private land on the east side at the trailhead.  Limited parking is available, and restricted to the area west of the private land.

Attractions and Considerations:

Mixed conifers characterize this 3.3 mile trail located on the south facing slope of the Rio Hondo Canyon.  This trail is located mostly along the west Gavilan Creek, but as the name Gavilan “Hawk” implies, ascends quickly, gaining 2,000 feet in elevation.  The first section of this trail is difficult, but becomes relatively easier as the trail opens up into meadows towards the ridge.  Avalanche hazard is a special consideration during the winter and early spring.   Water is available along the entire length of the canyon, but should be properly treated before consumption.  For short trips, take water from home or other domestic source.  Day hiking, backpacking, horse riding, as well as back country camping is permitted along the entire length of the trail.If you pack it in, please pack it out.  Motorized vehicle use is not allowed.  This trail provides access to Lobo Peak, Flag Mountain.

Map of Gavilan Canyon Trail #60 (pdf file)

Map of Gavilan Trail (kmz file)  Need Google Earth.

Free download to Google Earth:

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Downed trees from the December 2021 windstorm were cleared in May from the trailhead to as far crews could reach due to snow. More downed trees may be found at higher elevations.
Open Season: June
Information Center: For more information contact:  Questa Ranger District.


Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult


Horse Riding

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.4 miles

  Elevation : 
9,000 feet - 11,200 feet