Yerba Canyon Trail (#61)

Area Status: Open
Trees at Yerba Canyon

The Yerba trail is 4.0 miles long. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking and Horseback Riding



Trail begins one mile east of Upper Cuchilla Campground, on NM State Highway 150, (the road to Taos Ski Valley). Parking is available at the trailhead located at the end of the short access road.

Attraction and Consideration:

This 4 mile trail, characterized by an abundance of aspen and willows in the lower elevation and spruce and fir toward the ridge is located on the south facing slope of the Rio Hondo Canyon.  The trail, which follows the Yerba Canyon bottom most of its length, climbs steadily gaining 3,700 feet in elevation.  For this reason, avalanche hazard during the winter and early spring is a special consideration.  Water is available for the entire length of the canyon, but is not recommended for drinking without proper treatment.  For short trips, take a supply of water from home or other domestic source.

Day hiking, backpacking, horse riding as well as back country camping opportunities are available 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, and Flag Mountain.  Upon reaching Lobo Peak, you’ll have a magnificent view of the Wheeler Peak Area and the expansive valleys below.

Map of Yerba Canyon Trail (pdf file)

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.
Information Center: For more information contact: Questa Ranger District.


Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: Difficult


Horse Riding

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
4.0 miles

  Elevation : 
8,400 feet - 12,115 feet