East Park Trailhead
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East Park Trailhead

East Park Trailhead

East Park offers access to both of the major paved pathways in Los Alamos. The Los Alamos Mesa Trail parallels the south rim of Pueblo Canyon for about a half mile for an easy trip and connects at its east end with the dirt Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail. Across East Road lies the Canyon Rim Trail, which heads east for 1.5 miles along DP and Los Alamos canyons. The Canyon Rim Loop uses both trails for a 4-mile trip with ever-changing views along the entire way. The trailhead also provides access to Graduation Canyon and trails that drop into Pueblo Canyon, such as the Zipline and Camp Hamilton trails.

 

Finding the East Park Trailhead

Finding the Trailhead: From 15th Street and Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos, head south on 15th. Turn left at the traffic signal at Trinity Drive. Travel east on Trinity past the shopping plazas and continue straight when Trinity merges into East Road. About 0.4 mile from 15th Street, turn left into the East Park parking area. The trailhead is on the east side of the lot near the shade structure. There is parking for about 30 vehicles.

Download the Trailhead Info Guide

 

Using Los Alamos County Open Space
The Los Alamos County Trail Network is open to non-motorized use only.

Resource Protection
All cultural resources such as Ancestral Pueblo room blocks, pot shards, petroglyphs, and historical artifacts are protected by Federal and State law. Let all cultural resources lie undisturbed.

Share the Trail
These are multi-use trails for pedestrians, equestrians, and bicyclists. Bicyclists should yield to all other users.

Dogs in Los Alamos County Open Space
All dogs must be on a leash when within 100 yards of a trailhead. Dogs must be under voice and sight control at all times.

Safety
When exploring, please stay on marked trails. Always carry water, sunscreen, a hat, extra clothing, a flashlight, and a navigational aid.
Trailhead guides are available at major trailheads, the Los Alamos County Customer Care Center in the Municipal Building, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, and online.

Graduation Point

The Los Alamos Ranch School held its first graduation ceremonies on the rim of Pueblo Canyon at the end of what is known as Graduation Canyon. The view from the point is excellent and this short trip is not to be missed.

Length: 0.4 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 150 feet

Fitness Level: Easy, rocky in spots

Features: Views

Trail Surface: Asphalt, packed dirt

Field Notes: Foot traffic only

 

Starting at the trailhead, walk down the paved path parallel to the fence at the park. Swing around a broad turn and head east along the paved Los Alamos Mesa Trail. Turn left at sign onto the Graduation Canyon Trail. The trail descends rock stairs, and two switchbacks before reaching a level bench. Cross the drainage bottom and pick up one of the trails to the right. The viewpoint is about 200 feet up the north side of the drainage.

Graduation Point

Pueblo Canyon Overlook

Parts of the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail are steep and rugged, but the first mile east of East Park is flat and makes for an easy out-and-back trip. The views of Pueblo Canyon from the trail make this a great evening excursion.

Length: 1.8 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Fitness Level: Easy

Features: Views

Trail Surface: Asphalt, packed dirt

Mountain Biking Skill Level: Moderate

 

Starting at the trailhead, walk down the paved path parallel to the fence at the park. Swing around a broad turn and head east along the paved Los Alamos Mesa Trail.

 

In 0.3 mile, the paved trail bears right. Continue straight on the dirt Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail. Pass behind the buildings at the airport where a signpost will help you relocate the trail. The route now parallels the airport boundary fence. About a mile from the start, the trail abruptly narrows at a steep drop. This spot is perfect to enjoy the view and makes a good turnaround point.

Pueblo Canyon Overlook

Canyon Rim Loop

This loop connects two paved trail segments with moderately challenging dirt trails to create a nice loop near the downtown area. Businesses along the way can provide refreshment and are often an integral part of the trip. Views of Pueblo or Los Alamos canyon are superb the entire way.

Length: 4 miles roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 350 feet

Fitness Level: Moderate

Features: Views, food

Trail Surface: Asphalt, packed dirt

Mountain Biking Skill Level: Difficult

 

From the trailhead, the paved Los Alamos Mesa Trail skirts the west edge of the park, then passes along the rim of Pueblo Canyon. Near the airport, the path narrows to a dirt track that continues along the north boundary of the airport. About a mile from the start, head down a steep drop on a narrow shelf along the airport fence. The trail drops along the slope, passing the signed Zipline Trail to the left. Climb to again travel along the airport fence. At the end of the fence near the Pajarito Cliffs Site, the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail continues east. A rock cairn marks a connector trail to the south toward the commercial district. The trail crosses behind the Holiday Inn Express, crosses a rock gabion dam, and then swings to the west around the back of the Los Alamos Cooperative Market.

 

To pick up the Canyon Rim Trail, cross State Road 502 to the Canyon Rim Trailhead. The paved Canyon Rim Trail swings to the west and travels along Los Alamos and DP canyons for 1.5 miles. 

 

After passing a fire station, the trail heads uphill to East Road. Turn right on the sidewalk and in a few yards, there is a safety island in the median, so you only have to cross one lane at a time. The trail extends to Knecht Street.

Canyon Rim Loop

Hamilton/Zipline Loop

This trip is one of several possible loops in Pueblo Canyon. It offers more than six miles of exploring but note that the bottom of Pueblo Canyon can be hot in summer.

Length: 6.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 600 feet

Fitness Level: Difficult

Features: 360-degree views

Trail Surface: Asphalt, packed dirt

Mountain Biking Skill Level: Very challenging

 

Starting at the trailhead, head east along the paved Los Alamos Mesa Trail. In 0.3 mile, the paved trail bears right. Continue straight on the dirt Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail. Pass behind the buildings at the airport where a signpost will help you relocate the trail. The route now parallels the airport boundary fence. Pass the Zipline Trail (the return leg of this loop) and continue east. 

 

Two miles from the start, skirt below the Pajarito Cliffs Site. The loop leaves the mesa top on the Camp Hamilton Trail near the tip of the mesa. Drop on switchbacks to near the canyon bottom where the trail heads east then north to skirt around conservation areas (do not cross the fences!). In another mile, turn left at signpost on the road that serves as the Pueblo Canyon Trail. After the fourth channel crossing, turn left onto the Tent Rocks Trail, then take another left onto the signed Zipline Trail. Ascend the south wall of the canyon on more than a dozen switchbacks. Near the mesa top, turn right onto the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail and take it back to the trailhead.


Hamilton/Zipline Loop