dogs on leash
Views are amazing but the trail really is rough. Didn't do the whole loop because there was no marker for where the trail heads once you get half way. Got lost trying to follow the trail through the app with GPS it was like it wanted me to start walking down a cliff o.o so I just turned around and went back the way I came. Got lost for a little while but thankfully someone ribbon marked the trail at a point. Would do it again though for sure
Take wilderness gate or Dorothy Stuart trailhead to avoid longer walk from St. John's parking lot. Fun to take steeper route up on this moderate and rewarding climb. Head over to mt picacho and down past #35 on dale ball trails to go over castle rock and loop back down. Take a pic of trail map at trail head to minimize getting misdirected. Hard to get too lost with easily sited mt tops. Lots of scrub pine and great views. Better to start earlier in day to get trailhead parking and cooler temps. Better to be in fair shape to fully enjoy challenging aspects of climb.
This is a beautiful train with some tricky and steep parts, but overall, not that bad. The lake is incredible, surrounded by rocky peaks. We did a three day backpacking trip and stopping sometimes to do some rock climbing and rappelling.
My wife and I found this trail looking for the "Aspen Vista trail" (which I'm not sure exists). This trail starts in the big parking lot right near mile marker 14 (between 13 and 14). The actual trail start is just to the left and past the gate which leads most people down a 'trail' that is actually a park road.
It starts steep (for us - who are not traditional hikers) but gets easier for most of it until you get to the last 100-200 yds. from the peak of the mountain. In between are forests of Aspens and a beautiful meadow with a great view of Santa Fe. Once at the top, you arrive at the chair lift for the ski area. My Apple watch/phone clocked it at a little more than a mile up and another back.
We enjoyed it very much.
This hike from St. John's College parking lot is 7.4 miles not the 6 miles listed. First 2/3 of hike is climbing interspersed with easy sections. Last 1/3 is more difficult and trail becomes more rocky & challenging. Definitely wear some good hiking shoes or boots. Views at top overlook Santa Fe and are fantastic. Was extremely windy at the top on day I was there which made it feel much colder than temp would indicate. Enjoyable hike if you are in good shape as it was more challenging than I expected.
I hiked this last weekend. the first I have hiked in the Pecos and I was left speechless and breathless.
its moderate difficulty and long if just going in and back out. so worth it though. amazing views. aspens. creek. lakes. if you have not hiked this trail...fix that and soon!
It was a great trail. Slightly above my skill level, but great scenery.
I feel like it was longer than 6.6 miles one way. I could be wrong but my Fitbit tracked it at over 11 miles just on the journey to the lake.
Only downside other than it being a longer trail than expected was the lack of firewood when getting to Lake Katherine. There were 4 other groups of campers at the lake when we went and everyone was having a hard time finding any wood for fires. Definitely being a burner if you intend on doing some cooking.