Deception Peak

HARD 39 reviews
#12 of 70 trails in

Deception Peak is a 6.1 mile out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and horses and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,536 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

27 days ago

LOVED IT

hiking
2 months ago

For a good challenge I definitely recommend this hike. We made it past the treeline but not all the way to Lake Peak (didn't think our skills were up to par) Past the treeline I recommend a wind breaker or light jacket as it did get chilly. The views are amazing and the trail was not too hard to follow. Some small patches of snow and ice in the shade but none on the trail. My partner and I are in our early 30s and in somewhat good shape. The incline is pretty consistent and rocky at times but it is so worth it. I recommend doing the Nambe Lake trail first like we did (not in the same day) and then doing this one where you get an amazing view of the lake from above.

hiking
3 months ago

May 2018. This year certainly has been one filled with false pretenses. Things, people, places, aren't always what or who they seem to be. Today Deception Peak was a last minute decision (thought I was going for a long bike ride). I thought if I make it to the top, I'll do my little ceremonial dance, thank the universe that I'm healthy enough to be up here and say "good riddens" to ALL the deception vibrating around me this year. Deception Peak here I am....I need a word with you.
Follow the trail from the start of Winsor at the SF Ski basin. Once you get to the gate, it's not marked but do take the trail to the right to the Pecos Widerness. The trail will run adjecent to the fence line for some distance. There is lots of rock a tree roots so watch your step. About half the way up, the trail does become harder to locate but follow your GPS and you should be just fine. The trail is mostly shaded- a light jacket is recommended. It does get windy at the top once you come out of the tree line.
Okay, false summit... but that's the whole point right - why else be here if I wasn't absolutely enjoying myself. I'm here.. guess I'll head over to Lake Peak and check that out too. Just about made it to Lake Peak but the trail that runs on the back side of Deception Peak was a bit too unsafe for me or I missed the safer trail.
Anyway, I did my dance, performed a couple of Qi Gong poses, tossed my resentment into the wind, and headed back.

hiking
3 months ago

This was such a fun hike! Was sad that I didn’t get past the rock wall but once I found the trail around it it was like a blizzard at the top. I highly recommend taking poles as the second half before you reach the tree line is pretty snowy. I post holed several times so watch your step. The views were spectacular at the top. Can’t wait to do this one again. Oh and careful next to that barbed wire fence if the trail is icy. One slip and ouchie!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Starts on the same trail as Nambe Lake/ Baldy, but turn right when you get to the fence marking the Pecos Wilderness. Follow the fence until you can't anymore (at a beautiful overlook), then turn right again and head up the mountain. The trail is a little hard to follow, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. The views from the top are incredible. We hiked this last September, and had great weather, though it was very windy and cold above the tree line - make sure to bring layers!

hiking
6 months ago

Did this trail 3 days ago. The snow near the ascent to get to the peak was too high; no one had broken the snow yet and snow shoes were required to go further. Had a lot of fun on the trail. Still a great hike.

10 months ago

Absolutely stunning views on a clear September day. There are a few sections that are brutal, in terms of elevation gain, and they'll have you wondering just what you must have been thinking on your way back down. We overestimated ourselves slightly, but still made it down, haggard but happy.

Some folk have said

10 months ago

Absolutely stunning, make sure to be off peak by noon during the summer due to thunderstorms.

hiking
11 months ago

Completed this trail October 2014 with a friend. Good to have a compass and be careful not to get lost when utilizing the Deception Peak trail, coming from the Ski Basiin. I have not yet done it via Aspen Vista trail, and hope to do that by the end of this year.

11 months ago

Tough but beautiful, and almost no people on the trail (on a weekday)

Monday, August 07, 2017

This is not an easy hike with rapid elevation gains. But the scenery is beautiful the whole way and the view from the top is breathtaking. Looking north towards the Truchas peaks was a stunning view. Where else can you do a hike with a view like this and be back in Santa Fe for a late lunch.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pretty awesome hike. It's got some steeper areas so make sure you're in shoes with good traction, but it's a nice hike if you've got a few hours and want a workout. Took me 3:40 to go round trip, but the weather was starting to change so I only rested at the top for a few minutes.

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

The trail is easy to follow. From the ski basin parking lot it's steep up to the Pecos Wilderness boundary. Take a right turn there and follow the fence and you'll be fine. Up and back in about five hours for someone in good condition. When you're at the top and look east, you're looking at Penitente Peak, which is about another hour, passing Lake Peak as you go (300 ft. higher than Deception Peak). From Penitente Peak, you can turn left and head north towards Santa Fe Baldy, heading down a gently sloping trail to Puerto Nambe. Then left again, and you're heading back to Santa Fe (about 8 hours total). Beautiful hike and quite easy from Penitente Peak on.

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

I took ravens ridge trail to get here. Once you get to the top there is a spectacular 360 degree view and on a clear day you can see for miles.

Monday, June 05, 2017

I didnt make it all the way because it was getting late and there was alot of snow. At least a foot deep towards the point i turned around. I made it to 3 different scenic overlooks that were amazing.

hiking
Monday, May 08, 2017

Perfect day. Great trail conditions in early spring with some knee deep snow in places near the ski resort. Views well worth the effort. Be ready for the elevation gain.

hiking
Friday, November 04, 2016

This trail is perfect if you like a rugged steep workout with AWESOME views all over. There are plenty of options to explore other trails as well. We made it a loop and went down the ski area back to the parking lot which made it just over 5 miles round trip.

hiking
Friday, July 29, 2016

This is a pretty tough trail, almost like stairs up to the top of the ski area, so make sure you're fit and prepared. I went in summer, and the clouds rolled in early, so be cautious of afternoon storms.

hiking
Monday, October 12, 2015

The hike up to Deception Peak offers shade and great views of nearby peaks. Please be somewhat conditioned before taking this one one because you will surpass 12K feet

I attempted to continue on to Lake Peak, but the narrow path combined the strong winds put a fork in that idea.

Below is a helpful link which provides detailed instructions.

hiking
Friday, January 30, 2015

Did this trail on the morning of the first snow fall back in November. Took my dog and met a few others with their K9s. Not for the beginner as it's steep at points going up, but once out in the open the view is fantastic. Good for a up and down one day trip, but awesome for an over night as there are plenty of places to set up "base camp". I agree its a great all year hit, snowshoeing in winter, regular hiking in the other seasons. bring water and edibles.

snowshoeing
Monday, June 25, 2012

Good all year round - snowshoes in the winter - stay on the trail. Excellent views of Nambe chute

trail running
Friday, July 02, 2010

Nice haul. Some good views on the way up and at the top.

hiking
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