The Italianos Canyon Trail is a 3.4 mile trail that begins at NM-150 and ends at the Lobo Peak Trail – Trail #57.
Trail Condition: Good
From trailhead, start up the two-track. Within a couple of minutes, the trail will narrow, you will cross into the newly designated Columbine-Hondo Wilderness, and follow the small creek up the narrow, heavily vegetated canyon. Because the canyon is narrow, the trail crosses the creek frequently, but fortunately, all the crossings are easy thanks to stepping stones that have been deliberately placed.
At a couple points, the canyon opens up, but quickly closes again. The trail climbs steadily, but not terribly steeply throughout this section. At about 1.5 miles, the trail switchbacks away from the creek to the left. After a 1/4 mile climb, the trail reaches a bench and for the next 3/4 mile is fairly flat. In this section, the trail passes through a series of small meadows as it makes its way back toward the creek.
In the last mile or so before reaching the junction with the Lobo Peak Trail – Trail #57, the climbing picks up again and becomes significantly steeper. This entire section of trail is in good condition. There were just a few downed trees and the trail was easy to follow. Toward the top of the ridge, some remnant piles of snow started to emerge, a harbinger of conditions to come.
Just before reaching the forested ridge and the Lobo Peak Trail, you will hit water for the last time until dropping into Yerba Canyon. Fill up here if necessary.
From more information on the Italianos Canyon Trail, see my trip report from Lobo Peak.