Hike the Fourth of July and Cerro Blanco Loop in autumn to revel in a sea of red, orange, and yellow. Fourth of July winds through an isolated but sizable stand of big tooth maples. The trail starts at the Fourth of July Campground. You pass one spring along side the Fourth of July, follow a stream for a portion of the Cerro Blanco, and Tajique Creek parallels Forest Road 55 which is the last leg of the hike. The The 4.8 mile trail is well-used, clearly marked, has over 1000ft. elevation gain, and only a few rocky but easily navigable spots. The Cerro Blanco stretch can be quite steep in places but a walking stick makes it manageable.
To get to the trailhead, from Tijeras, just east of Albuquerque off I-40, take NM 337 south for about 28 miles. Turn right onto NM 55 headed west for about 3 miles to the village of Tajique.Turn right onto FR 55. Go 7 miles and the campground is on the right.
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