Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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
4 days 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.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful lake hike and the aspens right now can’t be beat!! We’re frequent hikers in Colorado and the end kicked my butt, but well worth it! The first part is just switchbacks through the woods, then you jump right into the aspens for a rather flat section that is STELLAR! Trail splits and you take the trail that goes UP. The last mile and a half you gain the entirety of the elevation (or at least it feels) and the trail can get super unclear at some points, but follow the carens for a path. You take the creek up a majority of the way, and then cross over at a meadow. The last half mile we saw everyone taking a different path, so whatever gets you up there. We were all winded together. Lake is LOVELY, we only had three other people there with us (lots of dogs on the trail). Perfect fall hike, dress warmly though! As always- the earlier the better as the lot was completely full when we got back. 3.5 hours RT.

hiking
15 days ago

Great and challenging hike! Took us 7.2 (we walked around the lake) miles and 3 1/2 hours. Certainly a tough hike but well worth Nambe Lake at the end. Advice: once you veer right at the Nambe Lake sign, follow on the right side of the creek until you reach an open meadow on the right side. Then cross the creek and travel up the left side of the creek until you almost reach the lake. Lots of random trails so, as others have suggested, stay near the creek.
I think the lake is beautiful- I found it strange that other reviews said they were not impressed with the lake.

Perfection

hiking
30 days ago

This is a really nice hike that starts at the Santa Fe Ski Area parking lot. Look for the Windsor Trail sign and there is not a Nambe Trail sign at the start point. The trail starts off with a moderate incline along a well-maintained trail through the woods with Aspen and Pine trees. At the first intersection of another trail, there is a fence that you go through straight ahead to stay on the trail. The trail then starts a long slight decline towards the Nambe Creek. Again, mostly shaded with the same trees and some views of the valley and Mt. Baldy. As you get to the botton and to the creek, there is a sign that states Nambe Lake. Veer off to the right just past the sign and the trail starts uphill. if you go left or straight you will be off the trail. The trail at this point is more difficult to follow so bring AllTrails along. You will be gaining elevation from this point on and it does get steep. At the top is Nambe Lake which is rather unimpressive, small, shallow and greenish, but it is a good workout to get to this point. We are a mid50's couple in good shape and the hike was a great workout!

on Nambe Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Not too difficult; just right on the legs. There are a lot of user-made trails to distract you once you leave Winsor Trail, but keep going up and stay near the creek all the way. There are also some cairns occasionally if you doubt. Took me about 4 hours total. Ran into some cows on the way down.

on Nambe Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Fun hike to a lovely cirque. Made the lake in 1:37. A bit of a slog once you leave the Windsor trail, and the trail can be hard to follow exactly but there are many possible ways to go.

Just a quick note on the prior review. You don’t go up through the Ski area. You park below the ski area in an overflow lot.
You hike up the Windsor trail until the turn off for the lake.
The hike is beautiful and reasonably hard but not really tough. The Lake is a special place. If it’s calm the mountains reflect in it so you can’t tell them apart in your photos.

camping
1 month ago

What a beautiful hike, originally went for an overnight to lake Katherine but decided to do NAMBE instead. He hike down is tough but not terrible. First .5 is uphill then it gets easy until the 3 mike mark. The lake is pristine and chance are you’ll have it to yourself. I camped overnight and fixed up/added to the partial structure near the lake. Breathtaking views and night sky. Took me 3.5 hours each way.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did a 1-night overnighter with my 5 year old daughter. It was great - the last push to the lake is steep and long (esp for little legs!). Very worth the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

What a beautiful destination. The lake and surrounding area is just gorgeous. The views of the trees reflecting off the water was amazing. The trail is a little tricky to follow at times, used the map in this app and it led us right to it. We ended up with a bit over 7 miles out and back.

beautiful trail and lake

hiking
2 months ago

First of all what a Trek!! I got 4.8 miles on my Apple Watch, but I’m pretty sure it was more. If it wasn’t for my husband being there before I think we would have lost the map due to poor cell service. This hike is incredibly difficult at certain points. It’s a straight up incline up the ski basin slopes. We hit almost 12,000 feet in elevation just to give you an idea. You go to the top of the towers where you would normally ski the big tesuque trail from the top. I recommend snacks and extra water in a backpack. It took us 4 hours there and back. And just remember what goes up must came down. The hike down was more awkward on your knees. But overall the view is worth it! All I’m saying is being prepared for a long hike. Enjoy the views!! We saw herd of cattle and lots of deer!!! Enjoy <3

Very nice easy hike through meadows and Aspen.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. I headed up mid morning and got back early afternoon. More foot traffic as I was heading out. All the up was worth it! The lake and surrounding area was beautiful. Additional notes: ran into a cow herd on the way up. Peaceful forest. Trail is rocky. Download the map to help with the section after the switch in trails; trail was easily lost.

hiking
2 months ago

Very steep in parts, really tests your endurance. The lake at the end is beautiful and well worth the effort.

ahh ok. I am glad to see this trail is rated difficult! I thought I was just in bad shape! seriously this trail definitely has some really steep stretches that makes it quite exhausting but really worth it! beautiful waterfall along the way and the lake is crystal clear! my twelve year old made it too and I am nearly 50 and not in the best shape so it's not that difficult! I also heard a hermit thrush along the way. beautiful bird with a flute voice!! overall a great hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

July 29 2018. Gorgeous day to be hiking considering all the recent heavy rain around Santa Fe. Today clear skies and nothing but beauty every where you look. This hike out and back was right at 7 miles. I too took a few wrong turns and had to back track out. I do agree the trail is a bit hard to follow after the Windsor /Nambe fork. There is a high and a low trail, I suggest following the lower trail near the creek. After crossing the creek continue on - from here the remaining portion of the trail is frickin' hard. Upon arriving at the Lake, all the sweat was more than worth it. The Lake was crystal clear and just sparkled with the sun's reflection. Amazingly beautiful. Enjoy.

One of my fave day hikes

hiking
2 months ago

It was absolutely beautiful but we lost the trail and were wondering around for a while. The lake was amazing and cold !
Hiking took us around 6 hours total including our stop by the lake for 2 hours. We are not expert hikers..

3 months ago

Some shade on the lower half in summer, which is nice. Go up early on summer and fall weekends if you want to beat the crowds. The aspen and pine are showing drought stress this year, but it’s still a fabulous hike. The width makes for a more sociable trail. It’s also fun in winter for snowshoes or xcountry skis.

Yesterday I hiked four miles in to the vista overlook. Today I went up to the radio towers and Deception Peak, for a 13.6 - mile hike. Views from the peak were spectacular. This is a popular trail for runners, mtnbikers, dogwalkers, hikers and families with small children. The grade is mellow. This is a great training hike for taller peaks. Come early as the parking lot fills up fast even during the week. This morning a herd of cattle were in the middle of the road.

Weather changes fast during the monsoon season. I started with clear skies and ended with storm clouds.

hiking
3 months ago

Pristine wilderness. Makes you proud to be a New Mexican.
Not sure it the trail is really 6.4 miles.
Stick to the left of the Rio Nambe after the Windsor Trail forks.
Took about 5.2 miles to get there and 3.4 miles to return (following the trail to the left of the Rio).
Get an early start, afternoon showers could make for flash flooding at the lake.

Trail closed due to fire danger.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, beautiful lake at the top. Can have snow until mid-May depending on the year's snowfall.

Trail can be hard to follow as the climb starts after the Winsor Trail split, but stay near the creek and you'll be fine.

Great trail. Short. Beautiful falls.

This a a great hike with lots of up. As folks have noted trail can be hard to follow at times after the turnoff to Nambe Lake trail 400. It took us about 4 hours including about 20 minutes at the lake. There was still ice on the stream which made for some cool pics.

Hiked on 5/21, trail is clear of snow but as others have said the trail is hard to follow at points with numerous spur trails leading seemingly nowhere. Once you turn off trail 254, just make sure to keep hugging the creek on either side, and the trail will come back into focus. Otherwise, pleasant hike with some beautiful meadows en route to an awesome payoff. The lake is framed by a giant granite bowl and is a perfect place for a lunch. Trailhead is over 9000 feet and they trail climbs another 2000 so, even after three days in and around Santa Fe, we still had to take the big climb slowly. The air up there is thin.

We got hailed on during our hike down, which is way better than being rained on because my shoes stayed dry.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike. We went at the end of April. A lot of snow and ice near the top. It even started snowing very heavily for about 15 minutes. The trail is hard to follow at times. Always find the creek! If you stay with it you will be fine. The lake is beautiful and worth the work. Beginning and end are fairly steep. Don’t give up!

The trail is clear of snow, hard to follow at times because there are many off-shoots. Alltrails app was intermittent with Verizon service so I was able to use it with some success to get to the lake.

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