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Chamisa Trail

MODERATE 227 reviews
#7 of 112 trails in

Chamisa Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,148 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Really enjoyed the trail. Fortunately people had gone before us and showed the way through the show. Otherwise we would have been lost in a few spots, not being familiar with the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

So, I think what they mean by a loop is a loop with a tail. the loop is really only a little over two miles. Now, if you take the tail down chami(z)a trail and back to get back on the loop, it'll give you a little over 4 miles. I did the clockwise loop starting at the 'alternate' route. If you are a hiker and do uphill regularly, this will not seem difficult for you. it is a nice incline with one more steep area. About a mile up you will find connection trails. One is a saddle back (I haven't done it), one is down chamiza... about a mile down - and this will hook up with windsor trail - then you'll have to come back up to get on the chamisa loop. overall a peaceful hike, good amount of people and cute dogs. I did the 4.5 miles in a little less than 2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

For me, the trail was very narrow so because I have a balance issue it was not a good trail for me. But it was beautiful and if you could hike all the way down to the creek it’s really special.

hiking
2 months ago

Great Trail for conditioning. I've actually only done the smaller loop, coming in the main way, which has a few steep inclines, and then take a sharp right where several routes intersect at the top, and you have a leisurely walk down to the parking area where you begin. I run back down. If you go the opposite way it's less challenging. I'm using the trail for athletic conditioning and it's perfect for someone in low to moderate physical shape to achieve a healthy level of fitness. It's well shaded in morning and afternoon, which is excellent for folks who are prone to overheating. It does have quite a bit more sun from 11 - 3, but still enough intermittent shade to make it doable any time of day. Trail is mostly smooth dirt although there are some occasional roots and rocky spots. Some of the trail washes out a bit when it rains, but nothing too crazy. Above and below most of the trail is a steep slope up/down the mountainside, which has made my family members nervous in spots, but I don't think it's very concerning... although I would wear shoes with good tread. Takes me 50 mins to do the loop that I described. I'm looking forward to doing the rest of the trail when I have more time for it... I have heard that it goes down to a meadow and stream, which doubles the length of going the experience. Ps - I always enounter a few dogs on the trail... less than half are leashed. generally, people seem to be good about picking up after them.

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail. We went the main trail first and then looped back down the alternate. If I were to do with kids, I’d flip that, as the alternate is not a steep incline but does ha e a few scrambles that would be easier to go up than down. The wildflowers down by the creek had gone beyond, so want to do this again in late spring/early summer to enjoy those. A nice shaded trail either way

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful brook, lots of woods, amazing growth, incredible chamisa field at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

Calming hike with few people for a Saturday. Highly enjoyed taking the little trail to the lower right at the sign that signifies you are beginning to loop around. It’s probably a little less than 3/4 of a mile to a little creek and the walk down there is really nice.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Nice meadow and babbling brook at end. If weather has been dry the alternate route is better, more shade less narrow ledge with drop off.

hiking
3 months ago

I really enjoyed the gradual incline. The shade is excellent on a 90 degree day. I went 1.6 miles out and returned due to time but was told if I kept going to the 2.5 mi Mark there is a beautiful wild flower field and river. Next time!!!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

4 months ago

loved it. hiked with dog, no problem. beautiful place.

hiking
5 months ago

We did the Chimisa Trail with extension all the way to Bear wallow loop. it was 8 miles in 4 hours it makes a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great shaded walk through the mountains & pine trees. The trailhead is on the north side of the road and offers the regular trail on the right & the alternate route on the left. I took the regular trail first. It starts off climbing right away but levels off for the majority of the trail. When you get to the Saddleback trailhead, follow the trail down & to the right. When you get to the end of the trail there’s a little meadow next to a stream. Great place to take a break. On the way back, chose the alternate route. While it is billed as more difficult, there is only one small hard spot although it is much narrower.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike through the woods. No significant view point but beautiful the whole way.

6 months ago

This trail is quite popular with dog owners. The signs say on leash only, but 80% of people I see take the leashes off once they are away from the cars. The alternate route on the left has a lot less shade, more rocks vs earth, and contains a small scramble section. The main route on the right starts quite steep but quickly eases up. The main trail gets fairly narrow in places. I recommend some form of walking stick for either route, as both have some steep areas. The top is the midpoint. If you keep going, there's a moderately steep section down before you get into the area where a lot of the flowers start. I saw columbine, strawberry, roses, irises, dandelions... very pretty. The trail dead ends perpendicular to another trail. If you look right at the end you'll see a large rock in a meadow. To the left of this rock is a little path to the edge of a little stream, great for dogs to play in.

6 months ago

I had the worst time trying to even recognize where this trail was? There was kind of a defined trail for a bit, but after going more into the forest I couldn't find the trail. Had to turn back.

hiking
6 months ago

perfect for families and beginners. nice and shady.

hiking
7 months ago

Did a day hike. Ran into several dog walkers so seems to be pretty dog friendly. Some bikers too but there’re some steep slopes so gonna be quite challenging for biking. Scenic view and connected to several other trails made it a great choice! Road condition pretty good and I went after several days of raining.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was a very pretty walk through the woods! Uphill for most of the way there, not a whole lot of views, but nonetheless a beautiful, peaceful hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun day hike for My fiancé, dog and myself. Lots of shade from the sun and if you go to the end there’s a nice creek pay off. Couple of short very steep spots with loose gravel but you’ll just fall on your butt at worst and keep going.

hiking
7 months ago

The “alternate route” through the bottom of the valley is better for those who might be bothered by heights. The main trail has sections of narrow path along steep sloping hillside. Pleasant hike among the poderosas.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful forested easy trail - can use trail runners or hiking boots...minimum gurgling water in creeks today, and was shaded and cool. Wee tiny flowers scattered around. A very pleasant and and non-strenuous jaunt in the woods!

hiking
8 months ago

This was a very fun trail. Which leg you take depends on if you want to climb steeply at first or later in your hike. At the information board, we turned down the hill and continued on. After awhile the stream that runs in that little valley merged with the trail and we were not prepared to walk for a prolonged time through a few inches of water so turned around. Very beautiful, some snow on the ground.

hiking
8 months ago

We didn’t go the whole trail because we saw bear tracks. Would have been a nice hike.

recorded Chamisa Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Steep trail in the beginning, but well maintained. We had a fun hike with our dog.

This was a long trail. Not always clearly marked. Could use some cairns or more signs. But great views.

hiking
11 months ago

I generally always start on the trail to the right of the trailhead sign. The trail is relatively steep to start but overall, it’s probably a medium-difficulty trail. If you take the entire trail and not stop at the peak (connects with Windsor at the end, I think), there is a meadow and stream. I’ve camped there before and is a nice spot.

11 months ago

I also went clockwise (left trail up) as the steep rocky riverbed terrain was much easier on the incline than would have been coming down. Pleasant forest trail, with no substantial views but great for a trail run. Microspikes were helpful for half of the trail.

hiking
11 months ago

All advice to take the alternate trail up and the Chamisa 183 trail down is good advice. The alternate trail begins to the left of the sign/map in the parking lot you’ll come down/out on the trail just to the right of that same sign. Both routes take you up to intersect at a sign that points towards Saddleback Ridge (to the left). I chose to go down toward the right for about an hour toward Tusecque, then doubled back to that sign to sit and lunch and then traipsed up the Saddleback Trail a bit just to get some different views and then doubled back take 183 back down in the parking lot. 11:30 AM to 3 PM. The trails are good it was a nice workout, moderate.

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

This is a great trail, I was advised to go counterclockwise and happy I did. Steep incline on the last part of trail. Nice switchbacks going up.

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