Cerro Grande Route

Cerro Grande saddle
Cerro Grande has beautiful views of the Valles Caldera and other surrounding landmarks.

Photo by Sally King

Get an idea of what the trail is like before you go, see a virtual tour here.

The Cerro Grande Route winds its way up to the highest point in the park, Cerro Grande Peak (10,199 ft). The preferred route is marked by yellow diamonds and is 2.3 miles each way (4.6 round trip). There is an elevation gain of approximately 1200 feet from trailhead to summit. This route passes through the mixed conifer forest and is an excellent place to see wildflowers in mid to late summer. The view of the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the lower elevations of Bandelier National Monument from the upper portion of the route is quite spectacular. Remember, as this trail begins at high elevation and ends at even higher elevation, snow and ice may be present longer than at lower elevations. In late summer, thunderstorms can pose a serious threat. Before hiking be sure you are prepared with adequate gear and clothing. Hiking poles are recommended to help with hiking on steep or uneven terrain. There is no water available along this route.

Mariposa lily and bud
Beautiful flowers bloom on Cerro Grande in late summer.

Photo by Sally King

view into upper frijoles from cerro grande
The views looking down into Upper Frijoles Canyon (the park visitor center is miles down this canyon) are equally spectacular.

photo by sally king

view from cerro grande
You can still still the effects of the Las Conchas Wildfire of 2011 but the grasslands are coming back fabulously.

photo by sally king

Lupines bloom in profusion at the summit of Cerro Grande.

photo by sally king

Last updated: July 12, 2020

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road

Los Alamos, NM 87544


505 672-3861 x0

Contact Us