I took advantage of a beautiful winter day last Friday and hiked one of my favorite trails about an hour outside of Albuquerque, NM. It’s called Hoodoo Pines because its one of the lowest elevations in New Mexico where natural growing Ponderosa Pines are located. Hoodoo is the name of a type of rock formation. The trail is located in the Ojito (pronounced OH-HEE-TOW) Wilderness, which means “little spring” in Spanish.
Not many people know about the Ojito Wilderness. It’s a very unique and beautiful place. The best time to hike it is in the winter. The summer temperatures there can get over 100 degree F.
Scarlett had been needing a good long hike to let out some of that built up puppy energy. We hiked for 4 hours that day.
The trail isn’t easy to find I think because it’s not hiked often. About a half-mile into the hike you start seeing some of the formations and Ponderosa Pines.
One of my favorite locations on this hike is an area that has sandstone pillars that look painted. They used to be bigger and more pointy but all the rain over the last year has eroded these fragile formations.
About 3/4 of a mile into the hike you come to an area that looks like a moonscape.
I got a great photo of Scarlett in this area.
Then around the corner from here you get to see the main attraction of the hike. Beautiful Ponderosa Pines among the unique hoodoos (rock formations that are a pillar with a capstone).
The trail goes much further but I decided to turn around and visit some of the other areas of the Ojito Wilderness. My next stop was White Mesa. It’s a huge bowl formation that I swear is several stories deep. The colors of the soil make for a stunning view.
The day was still young so I decided to go to one more location. It has white formations that are made of gypsum.
On the way there I took a few photos of the other areas along the road.
I only more recently discovered the white formations. They are very pretty in certain lighting.
I found one hole I made Scarlett crawl into and look out at me 🙂
She’s getting better at cooperating with my odd requests. Lol! She’s a good girl!
We had a great time hiking together!
17 thoughts on “Hoodoo Pines Trail – Ojito Wilderness”
Too cool! I haven’t been to that area in years and am sure Scarlett had a ball; looks like she had her Rin-Tin-Tin on in that shot of her sitting by that boulder.
Thanks! Scarlett did have fun! It was nice to let her run around without worrying about other people or snakes. We didn’t see a soul the whole day. I love that!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the last 2 shots. What a good girl Scarlett:))
Thank you! She’s learned a lot from her bestie Mya! 😉
this post brought back some old but fond memories from 1987 when I was part of a group of Los Alamos scientists that got involved with the Seismosaurus dino dig in that area. At the time the site was still a secret to prevent looters. Today I see it is on published trail maps. Thanks
I forgot about this being the location of the longest dinosaur ever found. I’m happy I brought back some good memories 🙂
here is a link to chapter 1 from the paleontologist who did the work. It is an informative and interesting piece
Ya’ll have quite the scenery out there in NM. Enjoyed the pics and those of the young pup.
Thanks Ed! I have to say I love the beauty and grand vistas of the Southwest.
Hello – I love all of your photos! The hike looks amazing. I want to do this hike with a group of kids. When you were there, were there a lot of people out shooting guns? Do you think it’s safe to bring children out there? The hike itself looks wonderful, but I don’t want to have a bunch of anxious moms on my hands it there area really are a lot of people out for target practice. We would be there on a Friday, so maybe there wouldn’t be as many people out there on a weekday?
Thank you for the compliment. It’s a great hike and not too difficult. Yes, you might hear guns in the distance as there is a shooting range in the area. I’ve hiked this trail several times during the week. There’s a good chance no one will be out target practicing. But you can always assure the moms it’s safe. You only hear them where you park. When you start hiking you are walking away from the range.
Thanks, that is reassuring. I looks great and I really want to try it. From what I’ve read, once you’ve driven past the Ojito Wilderness sign there are two parking areas for two different hiking trails. The second one is called the Hoodoo Trailhead, according to the BLM website. Is that the trail you went on?
Not exactly. The first trailhead on the righr is white mesa. Then there’s a 2nd trailhead parking area on the left not long after white mesa. It goes to a neat rock formation on the right hand side of the road. The 3rd trailhead parking (or the 2nd one on the left) is for Hoodoo Pines. I think you have to drive in about 5 miles.
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Alright, great, thanks. We will see what we can find!
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Thank you for linking my post. I’m glad you got to experience the beauty of the Ojito Wilderness.
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