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Great hike. Way more than 11 miles; closer to 15 round trip if you go to south peak, but well worth it. The views are spectacular. I would bring micro spikes if you do it in winter, a lot of the trail is essentially on the edge of a cliff in deep snow/ice.

Explored the trail after the TWA crash site. I’ve done this three times and have never gone the same way. There are many blind paths and rock slides that lead to rock walls. But I’ve always managed to find my way to La Luz. The easiest ways stick closest to the trail shown on All Trails.

See recording from today for waypoints and also one from Nov 1 for waypoints and trail options below the crash site.

hiking
18 days ago

Today, there was a lot of snow on Aspen Vista Trail. Poles are very helpful. Remember to change out your ends for the wider rose tip guards to keep your poles from sinking. I forgot to do this so it made the poles a little less effective. I was only able to go about 8.5 miles (roundtrip) because the trail disappeared under quite deep snow. I was easily sinking to my skins by the time I turned around. I only encounter a few people on the trail (including one friendly X-country skier) so the trail was very peaceful. On the way up, when I was working a bit harder, I was able to dressed down to just two layers: a short sleeve athletic shirt and long sleeve cotton shirt. At the top, it was a different story as the wind was howling and quite strong, so I put my down layer back on and wore it all the way to the bottom of the trail. Recommend hat, gloves and definitely sunglasses too. I would also recommend microspikes if you have them as there were some pretty icy parts.

on Aspen Vista Trail

19 days ago

There is a lot of misconception and incorrect information in the reviews below.

Aspen Vista Campground has two trails.

Aspen Vista Trail, is the forest road (FR 102) that goes from Aspen Vista Campground to Tesuque Peak (the antenna peak).

Alamo Vista Trail is trail #381 and goes to the LEFT of the gate that is closed at the beginning of the service road. It climbs the ridge to the left, north/northwest of the forest road and is a steep climb to the top of Santa Fe Ski basin. This trail leads on to the peaks Tesuque Peak, Deception Peak, and Lake Peak, and after a steep 2000+ ft incline reaching Tesuque Peak, you can descend down to Santa Fe Lake that feeds the Santa Fe River.

Aspen Vista is a lovely, easy trail. It is an old forest service road that technically isn’t hard. It is wide and well trampled. A bit further in, the road gets more eroded and will pose difficulties for strollers/wheelchairs. Parts are still accessible though. Note also that that the elevation is pretty high for a first day hike in regards to those of you flying in from the flatlands, so you may want to wait a day or two to acclimatize.

PLEASE do not confuse these two trails. Educate yourself before heading out. Knowing your geography and location is KEY to survival in the wilderness. In case something happens, your survival depends on the communications you have left behind you. These two trails would mean a large discrepancy in potential search and rescue. Even though Aspen Vista Trail (the forest road) is a popular trail, and from time to time it gets quite busy, predators will and have been sighted there. A morning jogger was ambushed by a mountain lion a couple of years ago on this very trail.

As of writing, November 26, 2018, the forests and mountain areas around Santa Fe and Taos are in a season where there have been a lot of bear and puma/mountain lion sightings and kill sites. They are stocking up for hibernation and winter food supply... Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and so are the winter storms, which can show up without warning, even on previously clear days. Altitude adds chill so in the winter you can subtract approximately 10 degrees per 1000 ft to calculate the temperature up there. Note - This doesn’t count the higher altitude winds. Finally - Awareness is the uttermost key to survival and safety conduct in the wilderness.

Research, stay well informed, be well packed and well prepared, stay safe, and have fun.

24 days ago

A tough 10.3 miles out and back from the parking lot to the intersection with the South Crest trail, but beautiful and worth the effort

We did it last Sunday! It's become one of my favorites!

1 month ago

A tough 10.3 miles from the parking lot to the intersection with the South Crest trail, but beautiful and worth the effort

Really fun trail that has a pretty good incline the whole way up. I think Pino Trail was a bit harder. It is kind of easy to get lost on this trail, but stick to the app and you'll be fine. Really rewarding top and eerie to see the wreckage from the plane so far spread out.

hiking
1 month ago

I am a 68 year old man who hiked this trail yesterday with my adult daughter. Yes, it was strenuous but it was wonderful. Definitely will do it again.

This was a great hike and my longest to date. It was 30 degrees when we started and it seemed to be mostly in the shade, so bundle up in layers and then take them off as you start to warm up. The views of the city along the way are amazing. It was tough on my knees and the way down made me really sore, but if you want a trail that is a step up from the Pino Trail (and with better views) then this one is perfect. We only passed 2 people the entire time we were on the trail. Was not that hard to stay on trail. There were a couple wash outs, but just continue straight when you get to them and periodically check your app to make sure you're on the right path. Really rewarding when you get to the top. Before we set off, one of the neighbors from the surrounding houses at the trailhead told us she saw a bobcat that morning, so we just took extra precaution with our dog, but never ended up seeing any animals. Bring water, bring snacks/food, and some good shoes/socks cause you may get blisters on the way down! We did this the first week in November and there were patches of snow, but overall, highly recommended and beautiful hike.

Very hard! My muscle endurance was definitely challenged on this trail. We had to climb a huge boulder before getting to the crash site, and I slipped on the way back down. Very rocky so proceed with caution. It took us about 5 or so hours to and from. Really beautiful! This app was a lifesaver for staying the course.

Four stars because the last 200 feet were frankly dangerous, with a steep grade and loose scree preventing us from the crest, even after 500-1000 feet climbing through thorny plants. “Goat trail” above the wreck site is accurate.

Below and up to the wreck site, beautiful and challenging. Well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail... especially now that the leaves are changing. It is a tough one though... I just wish it was signaled better (we lost the trail a couple of times)

I love this trail but it is really easy to miss your trail due to washes and gullies looking like the trail you should be on. The real magic happens about 1.5 miles up when you get into the shady woody area where you’ll cross the stream and see some beautiful views of the mountain. Be ready for a butt-kicker.

hiking
1 month ago

Solid hike that's a great workout. Beautiful scenery that changes as you go up. It was perfect weather and even some ice as we reached the top, but nothing to wear you would need any traction attachments. If you're used to hiking, try this one out. My phone clocked 10 miles total, but it's a little bit of a walk to get to the actual trailhead. Great views of the canyon and of Albuquerque along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike with SNOW in places! Recent wind had knocked some trees and branches, but was passable!

1 month ago

4 hours up and 2.25 hours down. Beautiful scenery, nice trail, not for the faint hearted.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a beautiful trail. It is actually called Alamo Vista trail but luckily there is only little confusion because there is only one trail that starts at the Aspen Vista picnic ground and parking lot.

The first snow of the season arrived these days. At first we were disappointed because there were no views. Snow clouds were passing through. We were prepared wearing wind and water proof clothing. It was around 36 F. We walked through different climates zones up the trail which was nice. Towards the top it was 4-5 inches of snow. All the aspen trees had lost their leaves up there. At lower elevations there were several spots where it was warm, no clouds, and sun for short stretches. When there was no snow the beautiful green and yellow of the Aspen leaves were still lighting up the vista.

We will definitely be back.

Really great hike. Road up to the trail head was a little rough. Great views up top

It could be marked a bit better at the several forks. Mostly should stay right.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked up and back Mt Brown in about 5.5 hours. It was moderate temperature on the first 2.5 miles or so - we took most layers off as the exertion of hiking up steeply inclined trail got us pretty warm. After about 2.5 miles, we started getting into more weather and by the top, there were a couple inches of snow and it was blowing very hard. We put all our layers back on by then and were grateful for them. The view was pretty though we were mostly surrounded by clouds as the day was overcast so it was hard to see too much. The lookout building at the very top was a cool summit find as well. Our fitness levels are moderate to fit and we found the hike to be difficult but entirely doable, particularly as we kept a low key, steady pace. One thing to note is that from the Lake McDonald lodge parking lot, it is 5.3 miles to the lookout building at the summit making the round trip 10.6 miles (not 9.2 as the Mount Brown Lookout Trail info on AllTrails indicates).

Perfection

2 months ago

Very nice n lots of shade in the early am

This is a very good trail and the plane wreckage near the end makes it quite unique. The first mile or so is completely exposed and rather gradual incline. As you get into the forest it gets quite steep and there are several spots where you have to scramble up some rocks. It’s easy to lose the trail and I got off track for a bit but managed to find my way back.
The wreckage is located almost directly below the tram cables so you will know when you are close. I was amazed at the site. It was truly a sobering experience to see and identify almost every part of the plane. It is a stark reminder of the fragility of life.
This trail is not for beginners with rapid elevation gain and rough terrain.

As a hiker, I had a nice time just being outside but the trail is more suited for dirt bikes.... which I saw a lot on the trail.

Trail’s well maintained. There’s lots of varied terrain on this hike. Lots of shaded areas as well,
A great hike!

3 months ago

This is hands-down my favorite way up the mountain. It's brilliant, and cuts through my favorite vegetation belts on the way up. The views from the top are spectacular, too.

Our family of four loved this hike! It was a fairly strenuous hike due tonsteep grade of incline... but so worth the burning legs!

We loved our friendly tour guides. the mountain goats! Several of them followed us, walking when we walked, and stopping with us when we stopped.

Both the view and snow up top at the lookout were super welcome treats following the ascent!

Would definitely take this hike again!!

Worth the trek. Navigation gets tricky after Domingo baca trail as you head towards the TWA crash site. Highly recommend to keep an eye on waypoints.

Be warned, not for the faint of heart! we took about 5 hours making it up the hill, make sure you bring lots of water and food! Make sure to tell the man on the mountain hello and stop to hear his stories if he is there! It is absolutely and whole heartedly worth it. Please don't shy away from this because it is a difficult hike.

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