Hiking in northeast New Mexico – Wipiti Hiking Trail at Sugarite Canyon State Park

Hiking in Northeast New Mexico - Wipiti Hiking Trail at Sugarite Canyon State Park

My family and I recently moved from Providence, RI to Raton, NM and we’re getting used to the GREAT outdoors. This blog is about our hiking adventures in northeast New Mexico

LOCATION – Wipiti Hiking Trail

The Wipiti Hiking Trail is located just a 15 minute drive from Raton, NM off scenic NM-72 West in the upper Sugarite (shug-ur-eet) Canyon State Park.

The Wapiti (wah-pee-tee) Hiking Trail begins on the east side of Lake Maloya near the boat dock. The parking area is just as you pass over the dam spillway on the left. The trailhead entrance is directly across the road from the restrooms, marked by a white gate.

STATS – Wipiti Hiking Trail

Length: 2.4 miles

Elevation: 7,500′ – 8,300′

Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous

Type: Loop Trail

TERRAIN – Wipiti Hiking Trail

This hiking trail ascends through a variety of forested areas on the west-facing slope of the canyon. The park biome offers a unique transitional zone between the New Mexico High Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains.

PROMINENT GEOLOGY – Wipiti Hiking Trail

Pierre shale

Trinidade sandstone

Bituminous coal


Irridum layer

PROMINENT FOLIAGE – Wipiti Hiking Trail

Ponderosa pine

Gambel oak

PROMINENT FAUNA – Wipiti Hiking Trail




PROMINENT WILD LIFE – Wipiti Hiking Trail

Mule deer

Black bear

Mountain lion



SPECIAL NOTE – Wipiti Hiking Trail

2011 Track fire began in Raton, NM and burned 27,792 acres across southeastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico burning through upper Sugarite Canyon and damaging much of the forested areas. While the area is recovering, there are a number of burned out trees still standing. These husks can fall at any time and the area around them should be avoided on windy days.

GALLERY – Wipiti Hiking Trail


Thank You

Thanks for checking out the Hiking in northeast New Mexico – Wipiti Hiking Trail at Sugarite Canyon State Park blog. If you’re in the area of Raton, NM be sure to take some time and enjoy this little gem of a trail. Check out the blocksandspots.com home page for other great blogs, and be sure to subscribe below to stay in touch and please leave a comment.

Enjoy the journey!



Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.
John Muir


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