One of five national forests in New Mexico, the Carson National Forest boasts some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest. Covering 1.5 million acres, it is home to 86,000 acres of wilderness, 400 miles of mountain streams, 330 miles of trails, several established campgrounds, and Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the state. Each year, countless adventurers head to the forest to get away from it all and enjoy its unlimited recreational opportunities. There's something for everyone here, including four-legged visitors!
The Carson National Forest features miles and miles of beautiful scenic trails for day hiking and backpacking. One of the more pawpular day hiking routes is the Elliott Barker Trail, which is used year-round by hikers, bikers, equestrians, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and snowmobilers. Named after a noted conservationist, this 2.6-mile path offers pawsome views of Eagle Nest Lake, Moreno Valley, and Wheeler Peak Wilderness. You and Fido can also access the communities of Angel Fire and Valle Escondido from the trail. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, coyotes, and other wildlife!
To explore the area by car, check out the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, which loops through Taos, Eagle Nest, Angel Fire, and Red River. Enjoy puptacular views of Taos Pueblo's multi-story skyline, Red River's high alpine scenery, and the peaks surrounding Moreno Valley, among other pawmazing sights.
Camping is allowed anywhere in the forest, but if you prefer to stay in a developed campground, make yourselves at home in the Hopewell Lake Campground. Situated next to its namesake lake and covered by conifer and aspen trees, it includes single and family sites, a group day-use shelter, vault toilets, and drinking water. Athletic pups will be pleased to know that several trails begin in the campground.
Wherever you go in Carson, be sure to have your furry buddy under physical control at all times. Leash your pup when around other people or as necessary, and don't forget to clean up after them. An unfurgettable outdoor adventure awaits you and Fido at the Carson National Forest!