Headland Trail

El Morro National Monument
Located 30.2 miles from Grants, New Mexico (NM)
4 Stars
3,904 Steps 1  (1.8 mi)

Spectacular views of the Zuni Mountains are worth the strenuous hike over the uneven sandstone of the Headland Trail. Once at the top of this loop trail, relax and enjoy the scenery of the El Malpais and El Morro valley. The area is steeped in history, from Ancient Puebloans who settled here during 1275 AD - 1350 AD, to the Spanish explorers of the 1600's and the Anglo American emigrants of the 1800's. El Morro is rich in history and a fascinating place to visit.

Headland TrailHeadland Trail, El MorroHeadland Trail, El Morro National Monument


The Headland Trail has a maximum elevation of 7,456 ft (2,273 m), a minimum elevation of 7,196 ft (2,193 m), and an elevation range of 260 ft (79 m).


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Steps 1Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4
3,9041.8 mi7,196 ft7,456 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
49 min20.7248 ft245 ft
[ B to A ]
47 min20.4245 ft248 ft

What is the length of the Headland Trail?

The length of the trail is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) or 3,904 steps.

How long does it take to hike the Headland Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 49 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 47 min in the [ B to A ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.

Topo Maps

Download the free Headland Trail topo map and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) El Morro National Monument topographic maps. Do you want full-sheet outdoor recreation JPEG Topo Maps?

Adjoining 7.5' Quadrangle Legend

  1. Northwest Topo Map: Ramah, NM
  2. North Topo Map: Kettner Canyon, NM
  3. Northeast Topo Map: Post Office Flat, NM
  4. West Topo Map: Togeye Lake, NM
  5. Topo Map: El Morro, NM
  6. East Topo Map: Valle Largo, NM
  7. Southwest Topo Map: Nicoll Lake, NM
  8. South Topo Map: Goat Hill, NM
  9. Southeast Topo Map: Cerro Hueco, NM

Is there a Headland trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The Headland Trail is located on the El Morro topo map. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.



  1. Steps is a unit of distance equal to the sum of stride lengths that vary with the terrain.
  2. Length is the distance of the trail between the two trailheads, measured on the trail.
  3. Min Ele is the minimum elevation on the trail.
  4. Max Ele is the maximum elevation on the trail.
  5. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  6. Floors is the gain divided by twelve, the height of one floor.
  7. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  8. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.