Chamisa Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Fe, NM that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Two routes will take you to the same place. Alternate route (more difficult), and the regular route. Regular route is very beautiful, gradual uphill, until you pass a trail intersection. Downhill to the creek is very shaded, and pretty. Meets up with Windsor Trail at the creek. I have not done difficult route.
This trail has two very different personalities in close proximity. While traveling through the upper, a mountainous, and the lower a beginning of transition into lower altitudes. At the end of the trail and it's intersection with longer trails of subconscious, there awaits a creek by which I sat for rest and writing before returning to homelessness.
we wanted a short afternoon hike before dinner. from the parking lot go up the right side and you will immediately get an uphill climb. lasts about 1 Mile and gets more gradual half way up. coming back down is simple just make the sharp turn around when you hit the marker at the top. we could have taken other trails but chose to make it short. took about 45 minutes and clocked in at 2.6 miles by going that route. great little trail for sure.
Lovely for an evening walk!
I ran only the loop section of this trail with my dog. I started at the trail head to the right of the parking lot and then when trail 183 met up with the alternate trail, I turned around and took the alternate trail back. I didn't find that one trail was more difficult than another. Running that route took me about 40 minutes. There weren't exactly any vistas to be arrived at, but the trail was very comfortable underfoot, and the initial ascent was quite a workout. Even on a very hot afternoon, I found that there was enough shade to be ok. This is a great short loop if you are looking for something close to town, but more remote feeling than Dale Ball.
Relatively easy first trail after flying in from NJ. Great scenery. 80 degrees with a nice breeze. Good intro trail.
You have the option to take the more difficult route (left) or the easier one (right). I have hiked both and they are pretty comparable. It is a beautiful mountain hike, not too difficult. Parts of the trail are shaded but it can get pretty hot in the summer months.
Up, up and more up. Worth it though. Keep a conservative pace and the hike is enjoyable. Lots of downhill for a nice finish.
The directions took us past the visitors center and into a camping area on Hyde State Park. This trail was part of a large loop moderate to hard trail that was broken into several names (ie west trail). The map is not the Chamisa Trail. It is part of the circular trail. After checking with visitors center we learned we had passed the the Chamisa Trail about 1 mile back. After driving back we did find the trail. We took the alternate more difficult trail up (appx 45 minutes) and made the easy trail down. Good trail if you are new to the higher altitude and have not yet acclimated. The trail is beautiful but the online directions need to be updated
Overall a great hike, especially for summer, as it's shaded almost the entire way. The dogs loved it, and there are some nice views. My only complaint is that it was a little crowded when we went on a Sunday morning.
Trail starts at a parking lot just off Hyde Park Road in the Santa Fe National Forest - drive up from Santa Fe takes about 20 minutes give or take. This is a BEAUTIFUL trail - probably saw about 10 hikers the whole time my son and I were up there, and you will likely see an equal number of dogs - most of which are unleashed. The initial trail grade is challenging, but not for the amount of time the Winsor Trail just below Ski Apache was (see additional review of that hike). After gaining the ridge, the climbing isn't too challenging and trail conditions was excellent. We didn't hike the entire loop as we elected to try the seldom used (for hiking anyway) Saddleback Trail for our return. Anyway, the Chamisa meets up with a supposedly more challenging trail (that parallels the Chamisa) and the Winsor Trail at a nice saddle that is the perfect place to take in the views and refresh before continuing on. We chose the Saddleback Track mainly because the Chamisa Trail (at the above junction) seems to head back down in elevation (to the Tesuque creek I believe) - my son and I still wanted to get a bit more elevation in is all. Great for a day hike, you should be able to get to the Winsor juncture and back to your vehicle in an hour or 2 max. Lovely trek!
SADDLEBACK TRAIL REVIEW: (I'm adding this to my Chamisa info as I couldn't find this trail in their database) - so, at the point where the 2 different Chamisa trails meet on a saddle, the trail splits right (Winsor Trail) and left up the ridge (Saddle Back Trail) - We met a guy at this point and inquired about the Saddle Back Trail - he said he would recommend it if we had time (it's about 2.5 miles) but that at some point the trail became tricky to locate.
Saddle Back Trail conditions - very nice walk, peaceful as hikers don't seem to use it often - grade is gradual up and down ridges back down to Hyde Park Road (see notes below) - seems this trail is used mainly by mountain bikers as the only folks we saw all the way back were 3 bikers (one who mentioned as they passed "we don't see many of you guys up here) - there ARE several curves in the trail that have severe tire ruts in them and descending is tricky but it's still a great walk overall.
About "difficulty locating trail" - there IS a point near the bottom where the Saddle Back Trail meets up with another trail - as you are walking you'll gain a wire fence to the right of the trail - where your trail joins another (which goes thru the fence) you want to veer LEFT and continue on down to the Hwy. Once you get to the road again, it's about a mile walk UP the road (left) to your car parked at the Chamisa trail head.
There are a lot of overlooks on the Saddle Back Trail (both of the surrounding mountains and Santa Fe proper) and, again, it's a very peaceful walk and I assume you won't see any other hikers about while you're there!
This is a great hike in all seasons out to Tesuque(Tes-suk-ee) creek. It is close to town and well treed and shady. Plus, there is water at the creek. A good hike, I've done it numerous times. Kids love it too.
I hiked this trail to make my way to Windsor trail and to follow the Tesuque River for a bit. Not to strenuous and a gorgeous hike. When you get to the map sign you can continue to return via the "more difficult" route or turn right and go down the hill to the beauty of Tesuque River.
Love the loop of this trail. Easily to get to and navigate, beautiful in the fall and always a chance to meet other hikers.
Hiked this trail with my husband and our friend. We started on the right side of the parking lot, at the normal trailhead, wound up through the beautiful trees and scenery, reached the top of the trail, and came back down the alternate (more "difficult") route. Going down the alternate route did not seem very difficult and the creeks and brooks were all dried up. We hiked the trail in late July and the weather was amazing. Love the southwest mountain climate! Shot a few pics of a couple of Steller's Jays and some Mountain Chickadees. Even spotted a Pygmy Nuthatch! Good hike.
A great hike. Uphill for 40 min. Down for 30 and then turn around and do it again. Nice and cool in the shade of the trees.