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Did the first 4 miles today. Going back tomorrow to do it all.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was great all the way until the loop on top of the mesa. Trail seems to have washed away and there was a fire up there so lots of trees collapsed over what might have formerly been a trail.

Highly recommend taking a left once you get up the steep rocky portion around 3.6mi. There’s a neat rock formation over there you can catch your breath and look out across the valley. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have bothered with the loop around the top, though if you do poke around up there there’s a grave site to be found with candles, tobacco cans, and booze positioned around it.

The stream at the start/end of the trail was a nice chance to take a nice cool dip after the hike.

1 month ago

Note that this trail has been reopened. However, when we were headed to the trailhead via Wilderness Gate this morning at 7, neighbors driving by told us they had seen a large bear at the base of the mountain along the road, so we played it safe and hiked Picacho instead.

Fun hike! Some very steep inclines, and some rough footing, which to me is what makes it fun. Beautiful views. Must pay very close attention to the trail as it's not really marked and can be confusing in spots. It's nice that it is shady for long stretches.

1 month ago

Trail is closed due to high fire hazard.

on Cerro Grande Trail

2 months ago

We arrived this morning to find that about 95% of the park is closed due to fire hazard, including for hiking. I have never used fire as a hiking method and find it unacceptable to pay the $25 fee only to be able to hike the tourist trails, which is all that is open.

We have done many hikes on our road trip thus far and this was by far the worst hike we've done. There were many times where the trail was completely covered by bushes and the Del Agua loop especially had a lot of bugs. I got stung by something while climbing down rocks on the Del Agua loop. A lot of steep uphills for a moderate trail, and we could not have been happier to be out of the trail when we finished.

This was terrible I don’t know why it has good reviews. Was super steep and slippery uphill for the first mile, especially for a moderate trail. Both parts were poorly marked and we wandered off the trail a few times before having to use this map to find it again. Parts of Del Agua were completely covered in bushes and we had to sprint through them. Anti climatic peak, we didn’t even know we had reached the turn around. 0/10 would not recommend or do again.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked to the top and the views were great. We stayed on the correct path and took the easier route up but steep route back down. Both my wife’s phone and my tracker had our distance at 8.2 miles. This is well above the 5.8 listed miles so if you are looking for a short hike this is not it. Good trail though.

This was a great trail with plenty of up! The views from the top are worth it. The trail numbers switch from 174 to 170 as you reach the power lines. We took the harder route up and the easier down. There was an offshoot trail that takes you up to a lookout on the easy side. Take lots of water.

One of our favorite hikes in Santa Fe. Some of the best views in the area but you have to work for them.

hiking
2 months ago

We are fairly new to hiking and found the trail quite strenuous towards the top. Was able to make it to the summit in about 2.5 hours with many short breaks along the way. GPS Said 8 miles so if you are new to hiking and looking for an easy hike this may not be the trail for you.

Fun day hike.... it's like a huge "dog park"... our dog had fun :)

Easy trail with outstanding views.

Great hiking trail. Nice views. The first mile is moderately difficult as it consists of a fairly steep incline, narrow trail with a sizeable drop-off on the side along with loose gravel. We had to stop occasionally to catch our breath. The second half was easier, especially since you go on a different trail (Del Agua) on the way downhill since it's a loop. The trail is fairly well-marked. You will see a sign for Del Agua, just make sure to turn right (where the sign points out Del Agua) as that is the second part of the loop. Towards the end, you will turn right into a trail called Tightrope, which ends up into Piedra Lisa and right where you started. The Del Agua trail has slightly confusing parts as it splits into two smaller trails but those usually join up fairly quickly back into one trail so it's fairly easy to follow along.

There were a few bugs, esp when we got higher up in elevation and around the mossy areas. But we didn't really need bug spray. We also didn't see any bears or rattlesnakes. Although there is some shade in some areas, I still recommend wearing sunscreen.

My only complaint is that during certain parts of the trail, I had to push away some small trees and shrubs and they were grown along the trail. Also there was quite a bit of cacti really close to and along the trail so watch out for those.

When you drive, there is a mile or two of dirt roads (follow google maps gps it's very accurate) before you get to the trailhead. The dirt roads are a bit rocky and there is a hill you have to watch out for. After going down that hill, keep going until you see a small bathroom stall.

We took our dog (2.5 yr old cattle dog mix) and she did fabulous. It's a great hike for canines. Took us 2-2.5 hours to hike.

Enjoyed this hike with my family on Mother’s Day. Beautiful views. My sons 9 and 11 enjoyed the trek as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike! Bring plenty of water and snacks. Also, trekking poles if you feel you need extra support as there is a a steep area with loose rock, but the view is so worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great 6 mile out and back trail close to Santa Fe. It is strenuous so be aware of altitude (if visiting) and incline and be sure to bring plenty of water. It is popular therefore fairly busy but most hikers are courteous. There is a junction where you can by pass a steep grade and go around via an easier path. It is clearly marked “Steeper Way” and “Easier Way.” I suggest taking the “Easier Way” on the way up to conserve energy and taking the steeper route back down.
There is also a side jaunt called Atalaya Lookout Trail that is a loop shooting out to the south/southwest. It will add maybe .5-.75 miles to the journey if you want to take in that view.
Depending on your level of fitness or ability, it can take anywhere from 3.0-4.5 hours. Some are running it while others take multiple breaks and enjoy the gorgeous views of Santa Fe.

We hiked Picacho peak the other day while in Santa Fe, and really loved that trail. This hike is in the same area, not exactly part of the Dale Ball trail system, but it is still in very good condition. We started at the upper trailhead, where it guides you to mark post #43. This saved us about 1.5 miles total since we didn't start at the college parking trailhead. The beginning half is not too steep, though it is a constant steady climb. The last half is steeper, more rocky and consists of many switchbacks. It took us about 1.5 hours to reach the top, with a couple of stops to break and drink water(bring a good amount if it is a warm and sunny day).

The views from the top are quite beautiful, you don't get a great 360 panoramic view of everything, and there are a decent amount of trees at the top that block many views, but overall it was worth the 2.5 miles up. I would actually recommend doing the Picacho peak over this hike if you had to choose one over the other.

hiking
3 months ago

The drive up to this trail was gorgeous, but there is quite a long stretch of dirt road that may take smaller cars a little longer to traverse (though it shouldn't keep you from going). This trail is a little difficult to find, but if you follow the instructions given, you should be able to find it . This trail starts off very easy and relaxing, right next to the river, but the farther you go, the harder it gets. There's a short very steep, very rocky part right at the end. Incredible views and overall great hike! It took me almost two hours to get to the top of the mesa.

The Piedra Lisa part of the hike was really nice with a lot of variation in foliage and trees, however the Del Agua trail was really convoluted and hard to follow, with multiple small trails all seeming to lead to the right spot but don’t in actuality. The trail certainly lived up to its name because it was overrun by a stream in the upper parts of the trail. Overall an enjoyable hike with a good length, just make sure to keep to the left at the beginning of the Piedra Lisa, for if you keep right you’ll end up climbing up rocks through a natural arroyo, something I discovered for myself.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a favorite! Beautiful views! You do have to watch your footing, but that's hiking right?! Will come back again and again! Our dogs loved it too! Great 5miles!

Close to town. Limited Parking at upper trail head. Went on a weekday morning and there was a moderate amount of people hiking. Beautiful scenery and great view from the top. Trail is well maintained and marked. I ended up walking down the opposite side of Atalaya Mountain to meet the Dale Ball trail, path was a little smaller with many off shoots. Didn't encounter anyone on that trail. lots of lizards. I did end up getting off the Dale Ball path and onto an unmarked but fairly well traveled path, but it connected up with Atalaya trail.

hiking
3 months ago

A really lovely hike. Great views. We keep coming back to this one.

mountain biking
3 months ago

This is, hands down, some of the best downhill biking I've done! (Maybe I should get out more?) We did make the mistake of starting at the Ski Basin only to walk our bikes uphill to the Norski TH. (Hint: Just start there!) The trail is well maintained and was such a fun ride! My 11 & 13 year old loved it, too!

hiking
4 months ago

I good little work out. The views are just ok. Really convenient to Santa Fe so easy to pop in and out for a quick couple hour hike. Would give 4 for convenience, 3 for the hike itself.

Great trail !

hiking
4 months ago

Nicely marked trail with great views. It made for a very enjoyable afternoon hike.

Beautiful views at the top of all the nearby mountain ranges and the Valles Caldera Park. I wasn’t used to the altitude and the incline is unrelenting. I had to stop every 10-20 yards near the top to catch my breath. I didn’t quite realize how steep it was until I headed back down and really had to watch my step. I’m still a pretty novice hiker, and it took me about 2-2.5 hours up (lots of breaks) and 1 hour back down. I’m not sure I would do this one again unless I more acclimated to the altitude, but it was worth it at least once for the great views which start about halfway up.

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