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Galisteo Basin Preserve Loop

Fantastic ridge line running amid dramatic skies, stunning topography, and unique geology.

Trail Running Moderate

17 km
329 m
329 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Galisteo Basin Preserve Loop Map

Located in a breathtakingly beautiful area of north-central New Mexico, the Galisteo Basin Preserve is framed by the Ortiz Mountains to the southwest, the Cerrillos Hills to the west, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the northeast, and the Jemez Mountains to the northwest. The approximately 9,500-acre area is a vast, protected open space, intertwined with miles of beautiful public trails that meander through excellent high desert terrain.


The Galisteo Basin Preserve’s dramatic skies, topography, geology, and plant and animal life make this land a sacred place to visit. Here you can enjoy northern New Mexico's world-famous climate, as well as the Galisteo Basin's classic western landscape. The area is celebrated for its mild, semi-arid, high-desert conditions—temperate winters, comfortable summers, and brilliant blue skies in all seasons.

The trails are characterized by gently rolling terrain, piñon/juniper forest, short-grass prairie, and meandering stream corridors. These trails are celebrated by residents and visitors as a place of refuge and inspiration. The broad extent and diversity of the trails invite day-long excursions and short-form wandering. It’s a place for people and wildlife.

There are 28 miles of trails along the ridgelines and through the grasslands and arroyos of the eastern geography. This route describes the best of the trails linked together for a worthwhile, longer, and incredibly scenic run.

Because of its lower elevation, the Preserve offers great running year-round with the only exceptions being on particularly hot summer days or directly after a heavy rain or snow.

Please remember the trails are part of a fragile landscape: stay on marked trails and roads, park only in designated areas, and carry out everything you carry in.



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and November

Guidebooks in this area