Explore the most popular hiking trails in Santa Fe National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

I guess this place experienced a burn in the last few years, so the view isn't anything to write home about. We went back via pipeline and got lost, so that wasn't super fun. On a positive note, the weather was gorgeous and our dogs enjoyed playing in the scattered piles of fluffy snow. Won't come back, but glad we got a good workout.

hiking
6 days ago

This hike was great, we've never been on such an intricate trail before. First, you follow the GPS coordinates to a road that keeps getting sketchier and sketchier until you have to eventually just get out of your vehicle and walk. Continue to walk until you reach a fence with a gate that you must open. Remember to close it or the cows will get out! Once you reach the end of the road you will meet a guy drinking a Coors Light on a four-wheeler with a couple of ladies riding on the back. He will then give you instructions to hike back up the road, through the gate, and back to your vehicle where you will get in and drive a quarter mile or so down the road to a sign that says "Jemez Falls". Here you will have to park on the side of the road and hurdle the "Road Closed" sign in a single bounding leap. Walk along this road for approximately 1.3 miles, while being careful not to step in dog poop. There is so much dog poop on this road. If you are taking in the views of the pines and beautiful snow covered landscape, you will most likely step in dog poop. At the end of this road you will reach a parking lot with restrooms (that dogs obviously don't use) and a map of the Jemez Falls and McCaulley Springs trails. From here you are not far from the falls. Depending on what kind of adventure you are seeking, you can either follow the marked trail or get completely lost for hours. There may be wet silty mud that feels weird when you step on it and that may freak some people out. The view of the falls from the overlook is absolutely breathtaking. When there is no one around this a great place to make out. For the more daring, you can carefully climb down the mountain side and make your way to the bottom of the falls. There is a small cove to the left of the falls that has "Fenn's Hunters" spray painted on the rock wall. We're pretty sure there is no treasure here, but it is also a totally awesome place to make out. Ascend back to the top like the champion you are and soak in the falls one last time before heading back up the trail to the parking lot. Take Dookie Drive back to the "Road Closed" sign and do a victorious limbo underneath it and back to your vehicle. Be sure to tell all of your friends how awesome it was. Or don’t. Whatever.

First off you have to bring your own whiskey. Second off byow (water). The trail starts out with fascinating foliage and scenic views. Although beware because there may or may not be an enormous aggressive snake running rampant through the trails. Later on, the trail begins to ascend about the same rate as a child’s playground slide although with slightly more igneous rock. You also may encounter feral badger as we had to remove one from a cholla cactus (see photo). If you choose to bring a metal detector, you will not be disappointed. We may or may not have buried some treasure ;) You’ll eventually reach a fork in the trail where you have to decide if you actually have aspirations in life or you are a total piece of trash that takes the easy way out. Be aware of various attire you may encounter on the trail (old man shorts). Make sure you are mentally prepared for that. Once you reach the the summit, enjoy your climax. Eat the Cheetos drink the whiskey and descend a new person with an optimistic view on life. This was truly life changing.

This hot spring is absolutely amazing. We went yesterday 12/7/18 and it was just the perfect combination of snowy and hot. The gate was open for us but the road was 100% completely covered in snow. We were driving like 5 mph all the way up. I was in a Subaru so I didn’t have an issue. We at first were the second people there but people started to arrive as we soaked. Tons of hot springs to choose from and the hike was not difficult at all. 15 min to get from the hot spring to the car but I would recommend spikes or poles this time of year as the ground was super icy!!! The gate closes on 12/14 when the hike goes from 15 min to two hours! Wear snow gear if you’re going in the winter and have fun! Super good time!

This hike was fun. Hiked in late November. No problem with the Glorieta Camp and no problem with any gates. Simply delightful.

Difficult but worth it.

hiking
19 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

20 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.

walking
21 days ago

Great little walk from the trailhead. I’ve been to this site once before but remember hiking a way along the stream.

Fantastic views for such a short hike. Recommend for a gentle stroll, kid friendly, mountain vistas.

Great trail - good views and easy access. We took the kiddos and parts of the trails are a little narrow and exposed to steep drops, otherwise the perfect family hike.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful trail! This is definitely a difficult one with about 2000 feet of elevation gain from the ski basin parking lot to the lake. We had a sunny day with packed snow on the trail, so yaktrax and trekking poles helped a lot. I could see how it would be difficult to follow the creek at other times of year, but the snow makes the trail a little clearer at times. Also my Strava tracked a total of 8 miles from the parking lot and back, so a bit longer than what the maps say.

Great short hike, perfect for kiddos, just the right distance, and terrain!

I RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE TODAY ABOUT BORREGO TRAIL Just a quick note, we hiked the Chamisa today and ran into a Forest service woman that was posting a sign. She said NO Borrego. 2 bears on the Borrego, a dead cow. A mountain lion took the Irish wolfhound when it was 40ft off of the owner and dragged it away. Scary!!

hiking
28 days ago

Absolutely loved this trail from start to finish. The view at the end knocked my socks off! No more than 4-6” of snow in the canyon, but more like 1’ on the summit plateau. I wore gaiters to keep snow out of my boots. Plenty of water for my dog. I’m an avid hiker and summit hunter, and his route was plenty of a physical challenge!

backpacking
1 month ago

I took this path as an exit after a week of back woods trekking through the wilderness. The trail is well maintained and has places for water (streams and small pools). Weather is cool/slightly warm during the day and cool/cold at night during the peak season. The area is rife with beautiful views, crisp mountain air (whatever you can get at 10,000+ feet) and meadows that seem to exist in another world.

Be prepared for the back woods if you plan to venture into this area, I went with seasoned veterans and realized how under prepared I was for the adventure.

Side note-There are some wind fallen trees that bar some paths to the point of being incapable of traverse. Though these paths may have been cleared by now. No cell phone reception unless you are on top of mount baldy or trail riders wall.

gorgeous riverbed canyon hike. you have to pass the blue fence to get to the river.

We’re on a roadtrip from Arkansas to Grand Canyon & this was a perfect spot to stop & get some exercise.

Hiked up to the summit on 11/3/18. The trail is now broken (until the next snowstorm), but microspikes or Yaktrax are necessary.

Nice trail! Great for anyone new to the area, well marked and a good amount of use. Little chilly once you get close to the summit. Water, hat, gloves. Great views of Santa Fe!

7 miles of badly maintained washboard dirt road makes getting there a little jumpy, but the trail is easy and the cliffs are incredible. Full sun the whole way but not so bad in fall.

hiking
1 month ago

November, 55 degrees, fall foliage against a southwest landscape, boulders, beautiful. This is a hike through a river bed the entire way, so yes, the trail was soft/sandy. To see the Rio Grande, you'll have to go another 2/3 mile beyond the end of the trail in the description, through a simple fence. Not intimidating in the slightest. Worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

November 3, 2018: I loved the hike! It is moderate but nonetheless demanding. Especially once you start hitting the snow the higher you go. Super rewarding hike, it’s a beautiful view!

hiking
1 month ago

A nice long hike that really cranks up the elevation gain right at the end. It was one of the worst marked trails I've been on in a while though. We were never lost really, since you are along the creek the whole way, but many times we weren't sure if we were on the right side of the creek, if we were still on the trail, or how much longer it was to the lake. We saw plenty of other hikers contemplating in the same way. We did ultimately find the lake, which is very nicely situated.

The middle section of the hike through the aspens is just lovely, especially as the fall colors were turning.

While there are no stunning views or vistas, this was a perfectly pleasant hike through the woods, and very beautiful when the fall colors were just starting to show. Lots of happy dogs on the trail, and not too much elevation gain - was great after a day of driving 8 hours.

Beautiful trail , took my two dogs, we had a blast.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous fall-time hike. Starting at Norski parking lot toward Ski Basin (north). Make sure you do not step up to the Norski trail. The Windsor trail leaves from the north end of the parking lot. After 30 minutes and crossing the creek, turn left on to the Rio En Medio trail, heading down-hill along the creek. Beautimous and easy. If you later reach a fence line blocking the trail, you will have a steep up-hill portion before reaching the Aspen Ranch trail head (that means you did not turn left at an un-marked fork) Following the Ranch Road south is an easy passage and took one hour. We encountered nothing but two ranch trucks hauling cows. Turn left onto Windsor Trail for the last 2 miles. That's a bit of huffin' and puffin' up-hill to get back to the 10,000 foot level and parking lot. All together: 7.5 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes including picture taking and lunch picnic. A few nice panoramic views and plenty of colorful Aspen trees.

backpacking
1 month ago

As someone mentioned before, this is a great trail for an easy overnight backpacking trip. Beautiful views and fall colors. The trail is in good condition and is easy to follow. Park at the "upper" parking lot next to the road (not in the Picnic Area)- they don't care if you park overnight as long as you don't camp within 1/4 mile of the trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun challenging trail. All the reviews below hold true. The last portion is quite steep with loose rock, but i was able to comfortably hike it with my 6 month old son strapped to my back. As far as getting their the directions are spot on. You can park on either side of the bridge. The trail head is essentially the road closed sign across the bridge to the right going up the hill. Awesome views and rock formations at the top. We didn’t bother with the loop. When we got to the top we took a left at the fork and shortly after you get to the circle rock formation shown in the cover picture. To get to the rock formations and forgo the loop the trail out and back is only 5.5 miles

Will definitely do again.

on Pajarito Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Easy uphill grade going in with beautiful Mountain View’s!

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