We first visited the 4th of July trailhead in August. We were looking for a place to hike where it was cooler because at that time the temperature was quite warm in Albuquerque and was too hot for outdoor activities. 4th of July trailhead is located on the south and west side of the Manzano Mountains. It’s about 1 1/2 hours to get to the trailhead with the last 6 miles being a dusty dirt road dotted with big rocks and potholes to navigate through. It’s slow going that last bit but well worth the trip. When the colors began to change we knew that 4th of July trail would be packed with people on the weekend with very little parking so we went during the week. We arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon. As it turned out our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was lower and coming through the trees lighting them up in their most vibrant colors. From the August greenery to the October colors, the trail was indescribable. I wouldn’t have recognized it had we not just been there a couple month’s earlier. The colors were even more vibrant that I could imagine. And as we walked I tried to get every color of leaf which ranged from an off white to a vibrant purple. Almost every color was represented and it reminded me of an enchanted forest from a fairy tale. I can’t imagine another place quite like 4th of July trailhead! Come take a walk with us and enjoy the colors of New Mexico!