Valles de Los Posos Overlook via Guaje Canyon Trail #282
This is a moderate out and back trail to Valles de Los Posos Overlook in Santa Fe National Forest. The Valle de los Posos Overlook is a popular destination along the Guaje Canyon Trail #282, also known as the Cañada Bonita Trail. The trail is one of the highest elevation trails in Los Alamos County, which makes it a great location for summer and fall hiking and mountain biking, and, combined with the Pajarito Nordic Ski Trails, is a great cross-country ski location in winter. Parking is easy at the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area lot. The beginning of the trail traverses old grown and fire-recovering forests. If you aren’t skiing, stay on the most heavily used trail that heads straight to Cañada Bonita, a large, scenic meadow filled with wildflowers in summer. (The Nordic Ski Trails head off from many points along the main path and offer extended tours through the forest.) The trail skirts the edge of Cañada Bonita, climbs an aspen-covered hill, then drops through the forest to reach the saddle that holds the overlook. The Valles of the Valles Caldera National Preserve spread out to the west. Two options for continuing start here, the long, rugged Pipeline Road leads back to Los Alamos, and the Guaje Canyon Trail, often disrupted by downfall, continues for another mile before reaching another overlook at the base of Cerro Rubio.
Park at the west end of the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area parking lot. Head downhill on the road to Camp May and pick up the trail at the bottom of the first hill.
Although the trail is relatively smooth and well-graded, the trek out to the Overlook might not be popular with children. They might like the summer trip to see the wildflowers in Cañada Bonita, which would be a 3-mile, out-and-back hike.
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