Explore Hiking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
10 days ago

It so cool here! In the two hours I hikes there I didn't see any other people. It's like a death place. No human. No animals. You can only see the peculiar badlands and the rocks with patterns.

Beautiful hike! Steep and a little rocky toward the top and the switchbacks going down from Baldy to Katherine are very narrow. For someone afraid of heights (me) it seems scary at first but is manageable and the views out are incredible. We backpacked out to Katerine, camped over night, and hiked out on Sunday. The lake was busy but everyone was spread out enough that you didn't notice. We did the hike in in about 4 hours and out in 3 with little or no stopping. Definitely recommend!

We took our dog and slept at Lake Katherine. Started out on the Windsor Trail and then took 254 past Spirit Lake and up to Lake Katherine. The trail from SL to LK was a little tricky to find (quick left after the stream and straight up). This section was much less maintained than the rest of the trail but we were still able to navigate it. LK is very pretty and the trail down (251) was an easy downhill. We recommend!

This is a wonderful hike! It’s actually 15.2 miles, not 13.1, so plan on taking the entire day.

Beautiful hike! We did it round trip in one day via the skyline route. This was a hard route, straight up w/lots of rock climbing and the trail was hard to find. But using the app helped us a lot. My Apple Watch recorded the distance at 17 round trip. The lake was so amazing and worth it!

off road driving
1 month ago

This is a perfect road for anyone who has a stock 4X4. Whether you drive up or down it is a fun easy drive. A great way to get experience without stressing out. Take you time and enjoy the road.

One of my favorite hikes in Capital Reef. Very easy and very scenic.

hiking
2 months ago

This one is off the beaten path. We say one couple. The trail is a loop and when you get to the turn around point you will think you are in a Star Wars movie set. It is absolutely amazing and worth the 3 hrs. Don't pass this one up. Bring water as there is nothing out there.

Great hike or a backpacking trip! No snow and some decent wind at the top of the Mount Baldy turn off

hiking
2 months ago

A whimsical and ethereal collection of hoodoos and twisted geology. The egg factory is surreal, especially near sunset as the golden light really brings out the patterns on these bizarre features. The petrified wood was a real surprise. I can across one large log and numerous smaller sections. There were shards of petrified wood scattered everywhere. Great place to wander.

hot bring lots of water but worth it

on Sand Flats 4x4 Road

3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous area. we did Fins and Things trail with our CanAm and it was exciting and adventurous.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this place. I felt like I was walking around on another planet. Such a wonderful experience, and I cannot wait to go back.

I love that there are well beaten paths, and landmarks to go see, but I feel it's such a treat to be able to walk anywhere you want at Bisti.

Definitely worth the miles for some great views along the way and especially at the top. The elevation got us a little as we’re used to life at 500’. Had to stop at the Baldy Santa Fe turn off as there was still a heavy coating of snow heading to Lake Katherine.

No actual designated trails within the Bisti Wilderness Area. You just wander among these amazing rock formations. My track is in an area accessed from the "North Trailhead" off County Road 7299 in southern San Juan County, New Mexico. There is no fee; fill out a registration permit at the trailhead. The area is generally flat with one major dry wash and a few tiny, minor washes. It is easy to become disoriented while wandering in this spectacular place, so basic navigational skills are helpful as well as a GPS device, though one could probably make do with a compass. Equestrians use this area and consequently horse droppings are seen everywhere. Depending on when you visit you may not have much company. Off limits to bicycles and motorized vehicles. Be advised, the parking area has no restrooms. Quite hot in summer, best times to visit are in spring or fall. Of course carry plenty of water and snacks. I had no cell service in this area nor anywhere nearby. There are at least three different access points to the Bisti; each one is off a different county road.

Easily drive this in a 2x Toyota Tundra with 31s no issue at all. Awesome views awesome crag near the top too

I started at Elephant hill and stayed overnight at Devils Pocket. This was my favorite campsite ever. So secluded and peaceful. If you’re looking to feel remote and alone, this is the spot. You have a beautiful scene all to yourself. I sat on a rock right in front of camp and watched the sunset. This was the quietest and most peaceful place. I highly recommend staying here and if you can, leave and head towards Chester park and the joint trail. I stayed at CP4 the next night and it was also amazing.

No established trail, no mark on any way. Can’t find all the interesting places they mention about. But I do have fun.

So, there's no established 'trail.' At the parking area, pass through the gate and head toward the right into the south wash. I'd recommend just doing the south wash as an out & back, exploring the hills to the right along the way. Although you can bank around counterclockwise and come back out the wash to the north, that wash and the hills around it are pretty featureless and boring. South wash is great for an afternoon exploring hoodoos hills eggs and interesting landscapes though. I took about 100 photos.

We hiked the entire entire trail to all three bridges. We were the only two hikers out there the entire day. It was an amazing experience for us. Challenging trail, lots of ups and downs, quite a bit of elevation change and you will need to do this hike on a cool day and bring lots of water and snacks, a good sandwich. Be prepared for it to take longer than you expect. Great views the entire time, especially when you go up on the canyon. We had a little bit of trouble seeing/finding the cairns on the trail and therefore, we got lost towards the end of the hike and that extended our hike to a total of 11 miles. We passed by a beautiful native american ruin down in the canyon.

This was the Sipapu to Kachina trail. A lot of reviews here seem to include the extended trail to the third bridge.

Did this Memorial Day weekend 2017 and had a good time. We parked at the Kachina bridge, hiked the top to the Kachina Bridge and worked our way down, and through the canyon. We made the mistake of not hitting the trail until about 11:00 am. It was already getting very hot in May in the canyon bottom. There was no water when we hiked, so plan on bringing a lot of water (3-4 liters). The trail in the canyon is essentially the wash, and the sand really zaps energy from your stride. It's a beautiful hike though, and if you're prepared, you should have a good time!

We did the entire loop under all three bridges. Great bridges - definitely recommend it but we don’t need to do it again. Took us 10.5 mi in under 5 hrs. Maybe about a mile of that was doubling back, trying to find the trail between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. Frustrating.

We parked at Sipapu and headed clockwise on the trail beginning with the Mesa - in case the winds picked up in the afternoon (they didn’t) - and so we wouldn’t have a 2.5 mile slog back to the car after climbing out of the canyon - and because we wanted to climb out of the canyon at Sipapu and descend into the canyon at Owachomo. There’s much more elevation difference at Sipapu than Owachomo and we’d prefer to climb than pound our quads on a long descent.

We lost our way a number of times between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. As others have noted, the trail is poorly marked - but we knew going in that the trail was unmaintained. Perhaps the trail is easier to read counterclockwise.

At one point around 3+ miles, we followed footprints and stayed too high on the east (right) side of the canyon. After a couple tenths of a mile, the “trail” would have required a little too much downhill scrambling for us to believe it really was the trail. And we hadn’t seen a cairn in awhile so we retraced our steps to find one, and figured that the trail had headed down to the streambed at that point. We were glad we backtracked to find the cairn.

Also, someone had stacked two beautiful cairns in the middle of the streambed at some point in there, leading us to believe the trail went there! Turns out the trail was elsewhere but since we weren’t confident about it, we left the cairns as we found them.

Part of our trouble may also be that a ranger warned us not to miss a left turn at the Knick-point pour-off (but she didn’t know what the pouroff was - FYI, it’s.a waterfall (when water is present) and is obvious when we passed it and looked back at it from the north side.). So we spent a lot of time not wanting to miss the turn, but when you’re going counterclockwise, that part of the trail turns out to be easy to find. Stay on the east side of the canyon and you’ll see the parking lot overlook rail high above you to the right. Way beneath the rail is a sign where the Kachina trail from the parking lot meets the loop trail in the canyon. Follow the sign

this is one of the most interesting hikes i have been on...not to mention the beauty

excellent interesting trail with a rewarding overlook

Very interesting easy hike. Not well marked. Some interesting hoodoos and painted mounds. Do not go after rains. Even 1 week after rains the path still had muddy areas that act like quicksand. Many wild animal prints from badgers to cats to deer. Didn’t see any but be aware they’re around. Not heavily visited. Poor signal in area. Bring water.

camping
10 months ago

Amazing hike to Lake Katherine camped at elv. 11,776 ft.: seven other brave enthusiast braved the heavy rain/snow and lodged in the mystic beauty on slopes of Santa Fe Baldy...

hiking
11 months ago

Incredible lake. Hiked first to Santa Fe Baldy and then on to Lake Katherine with my husband and dog yesterday. 16.6 total miles roundtrip in 8.5 hours. Lake Katherine is much larger than nearby Nambe and Spirit Lakes. The water is so clear! Only one other group there while were there. Trail is fairly easy to follow. No place to camp nearby (and don't camp within 200 feet of the lake!), but lots of nice rocks to eat lunch. Plenty of parking at the Ski Basin parking lot across the road from the trailhead. For those with dogs, there were several stream crossings that were running well for our dog to drink from. Highly recommend!

Beautiful high mountain lake. Tae a mask, as the National Forest signs do not identify destinations (lie Baldy or Lake Katherine. The signs only list the trail numbers. My Apple Watch showed a total distance of 15.25 miles, although I took a couple short detours. The first 0.75 miles is reasonably steep, then it levels out for about 4 miles. You hike up to the saddle below Baldy, go over the saddle and down several switchbacks to the final stretch into Lake Katherine. Watch for the rock piles, as the trail sometimes becomes indistinct. The lake is beautiful and in a gorgeous setting. I did this as a day hike in approximately eight hours.

Tough, but awesome trail. Can't wait to go again!

off road driving
11 months ago

Took this one top to bottom to get some evening fresh air. The road seems repaired - but I'm in a TJ with a lift and 32's so maybe I didn't notice the issue. But there was a tractor at the bottom of the road so likely it's been fixed up. Beautiful nighttime drive!

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