Italianos Canyon Trail 59
Italianos Canyon trail is probably one of the most scenic of the trails in the Taos area. The trail head (N36 35.0849 W105 29.7710) is located on State Highway 150 (a.k.a. Ski Valley Road) near the Taos Ski Valley. It is 11.78 miles northeast of the intersection of US Highway 64 and State Highway 150 north of Taos. The trail is 3.6 miles long climbing from 8,704 to 11,387 feet at its intersection with the Lobo Peak Trail. It is arguably the easiest of the four Hondo Canyon trails on Highway 150. Parking is available on the highway or up a short but rugged road to the trail head. Four wheel drive and high clearance is advisable to use the parking lot.
The trail has numerous water crossings that have been improved with rocks or logs. Nonetheless, during the spring runoff, waterproof foot gear is a necessity. Because of dense vegetation at various points on the trail waterproof footgear is required during early mornings during the summer because of heavy dew and damp from summer monsoons.
A complete map and profile of the trail with waypoints is here.
|The trail climbs quickly. After only 3,600 feet of hiking at elevation 9,164 feet is a nice aspen grove accompanied by a large campfire ring and primitive camping area (N36 35.4765 W105 30.0411). A large version of this picture is here.|
At about 1.5 miles into the hike (N36 35.8508 W105° 30.5448) at an elevation of 9,669 to the right of the trail is a beautiful cascade of water.
At 1.6 miles into the hike (N36.35.9705 W105 30.5024) at an elevation of 9,830 you will begin a series of switchbacks. This area is steep and takes trail away from the water. You then enter a mixed conifer and aspen forest with much less ground vegetation.
|This continues until you reach the first of a series of small meadows (N36 36.2928 W105 30.8330) about 2.3 miles into the hike at an elevation of 10,373 feet.|
Finally at N36 36.9574 W105 31.4514 after 3.6 miles and at and elevation of 11.387 feet we reach the end of the trail.
Forest service information here.
Data files for download:
- DeLorme Topo USA® 8.0 draw file. Download this file and store it in your DeLorme Docs/draw folder which is either in the root directory of your "C" drive or in the DeLorme Docs/draw folder in My Documents, depending on which version of the DeLorme software you are using.
- GPS XML file
- Google Earth kml file