Deer Trap Mesa Trails
Contact Info

Deer Trap Mesa extends east from Barranca Mesa and is named for a game pit found close to the start of the trail.The mesa is a natural area with fragile soil and it is not an appropriate spot for bicycles or horses.Its relative isolation makes it an attractive location for wildlife viewing, for studying wildflowers, and for simply enjoying the view.Walking is easy, except for a short section of rock stairs near the trailhead.The mesa has three points, each of which can be explored on foot.Most hikers head out to the northernmost point and return by the same route.For a longer trip, hikers head off on the trail to the southermost point.The middle point has no trail leading to it.

Length 1.6 or 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Trail Surface packed dirt, rock
Features game pit, views
Rating for foot traffic easy 
Rating for mountain bikes foot traffic only
Rating for horse traffic foot traffic only

Finding the Trailhead: From 15th Street and Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos, head west (towards the Jemez Mountains) on Central.In 0.8 miles, past Ashley Pond and the Aquatic Center, turn right onto Diamond Drive.Pass the Los Alamos High School and the Los Alamos Golf Course to the San Ildefonso roundabout located 2.4 miles from the intersection of Central and Diamond. Circle three-quarters through the roundabout and head uphill on San Ildefonso Road. In 0.3 mile, continue straight onto Barranca Road as San Ildefonso Road makes a sharp left. Follow the road 1.3 miles to a dead end just past the intersection with Navajo.There is parking for a few cars along the dead end section of the road.

Deer Trap Mesa 


The Trip: From the trailhead, walk to the end of the road.Skirt around the guardrail and
onto the dirt path.As the mesa quickly narrows, pass interpretive signs providing details
about homesteading in the area.In another minute, look for a steep rock stairway that
drops to a saddle on the mesa.The game pit is located at the saddle.The trail traverses
 the north side of the mesa for about 200 feet, and then ascends another rock stairway
to reach the mesa top.From here, the trail is level and easy to follow.

To reach the northern point, bear left at the only trail junction, located about 0.6 miles
from the start. The overlook is a quarter mile ahead. For a longer trip, near the northern
point the Loop Trail branches to the south (right as you face the point). The trail is marked
with rock cairns as it parallels the rim of the mesa. Follow the trail south, then east along
 the north rim of the middle point. After about a half mile, watch for a horseshoe bend that
 sends the trail back to the west. Continue along the rim of the southern point to meet the
South Fork near the overlook on the north point. Head left a few yards to the point, then
turn around and take the South Fork to the junction with the main trail. Turn left and
retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Summary Link Web Part

Other Sources of Information
EveryTrail for Deer Trap Mesa Trails
Download a map and trail description to your mobile device

Update on Trail Conditions
Update on Trail Conditions

Contact Information

Open Space Specialist 505 663-1776
Eric Peterson