We aren’t sure what to call the trail that we hiked recently in the Magdalena Mountains, but we both agreed that we never would have made it to our desired destination at the top of the ridge if we hadn’t had each other to provide encouragement. There isn’t a lot of documentation for hikes in the Magdalena’s but we had stopped at the ranger station and had a vague idea that it would be all uphill from the Hop Canyon trailhead to the point that our map showed Trail 25, aka Hop Canyon Trail, intersecting Trail 8. What we weren’t expecting was 5 miles of climbing from a start of 7700 feet to a high point of 9800 feet.
Here is an interactive map, showing the track of our hike.
To get to the trailhead it’s a one-hour drive south of Albuquerque to Socorro, NM, then 25 miles west on Highway 60 to the town of Magdalena, which is at the base of the northern end of the Magdalena Mountains. Then you drive about 10 miles up into the mountains on Hop Canyon Road to reach the trailhead.
We like the Magdalena Mountains because not many people hike there and they are surprisingly beautiful considering they are surrounded by so much flat, uninhabited desert. We had made a trip there in March and hiked up a canyon on the eastern side, approaching the ridge between South Baldy and North Baldy. But we gave up before we actually reached the ridge. That was part of the challenge for completing Trail 25 because it would take us to the ridge that we hadn’t conquered in March.