Lake Katherine via Winsor Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(127)
Pecos Wilderness

Lake Katherine via Winsor Trail is a 13.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tererro, New Mexico that features a river and is rated as difficult. 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: 13.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,090 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The strenuous Stewart Lake trek has a big payoff: lunch on the shores of a glacier-formed lake in high country. The route departs Cowles Campground at a tough grade but quickly levels off a bit to a steady climb that's not too steep. The forested trail will keep you cool and occasionally reward your efforts with views of the more than 200,000 acres of wilderness. You'll pass through fields of purple geraniums, Indian paintbrush, and sunflowers, as well as copses of aspen and fern. The area is so lush you'll wonder if you're in New Mexico. A small waterfall marks the way to a glassy alpine lake, whose clear waters reflect the ponderosa forest and the surrounding 12,000-foot peaks.

hiking
blowdown
icy
23 hours ago

We hiked up from Stewart Lake. Last bit is lots of snow. I postholed through and smashed my knee on a boulder. Luckily a nurse was nearby and gave me some help! I did the hike in shorts just fine and did bring a down jacket to wear. The effort was totally worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat. The lake is still partially (mostly) frozen over. At the last ascension stay in the tree line for a clear path --- avoid climbing up through the snow.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 days ago

The trail is still covered with snow once you get over the saddle and try to take the switch backs down to the lake. There is snow covering the entire first half of the switch backs. It’s passable but a bit of a suffer fest (total suffer fest lol). To avoid that, there’s a bit of a sketchy steep scramble down the cornice to the left when looking down at the switch backs. We didn’t see it one the way down but took that on the way back up. If you can get past that, there’s still snow that you fall through occasionally (shorts not recommended) but it’s possible to get to the lake. It’s frozen over rn and super beautiful.

hiking
snow
7 days ago

We tried to hike to Lake Kathrine but snow was not passable , still a great hike to the summit of Santa Fe Baldy and nice camp below at Puerto Nambe . Great time of year .

hiking
icy
rocky
7 days ago

This was my first ever hike in New Mexico. I went here in falls. Saw lot of colors. Need a stick as it ll be little icy in the end.

hiking
muddy
snow
10 days ago

hiking
snow
11 days ago

Great trail! Overestimated what we could do in a day so we didn’t make it to the lake, but still a beautiful hike. Spotty snowy/slushy spots that weren’t too bad. Hikeable in running shoes. Definitely want to come back and backpack in to break up the hike next time.

hiking
snow
11 days ago

May 16-18th, weather is beautiful and picturesque. Patches of snow for the first 4 miles up to Puerto Nambe meadows. Once you get on the Skyline trail to baldy, the snow increases but it is manageable. The switchbacks down to lake Katherine on the backside of the baldy saddle are all snowed in approximately 5ft. of snow for about 100 yards down. You can see the trail pick up after that point. You can still make it down that way if you have an iron will - head up the mountain and cross over where the snow is least steep. You can make your way down through the trees and snow and get to the switchbacks!

hiking
14 days ago

PERFECT TIME TO GO is IN August!! No snow and not to hot

hiking
snow
23 days ago

too much snow. couldn’t finish before losing daylight.

hiking
1 month ago

All snowed up trail 1/2 no tracks at all beutifull trail 6 hrs hike

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Still about 3 foot if snow, if you’re careful this is a harder path to follow until about the 4 mile mark when it’s not packed down. Easily the best trail in NM, winter or summer

hiking
icy
snow
6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful and well worth the trek!! We did this as a day hike in just under 8 hours. Felt the altitude big time (we’re from Rhode Island) so I’m sure seasoned hikers in the area can do this in less time if needed. Started at Winsor trailhead by Ski Santa Fe. We took route 254 to 251 to 242. Well marked signs until the Baldy/Lake split. At the split go right. There was a lot of snow on the ridge going down to the lake after the split. It made the path on the ridge very narrow and a little scary but it was ok taking it slow in baby steps. Rock forms helped us get to the lake from there. Every mile of it was beautiful from the views to the birch trees to the animal tracks in the snow!

hiking
7 months ago

I took the Winsor trail to Lake Katherine, then hiked up to the saddle of the Santa Fe Baldy ridge and took that over to the summit and down from there. The first few hours of the hike are through the woods and kind of unremarkable. It doesn't really get good until you get to the junction where you can hike up to Santa Fe Baldy on the trail or go down to the Lake. Then it was more interesting and well worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike and great views.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike. Well worth the effort it takes to get there. I did it as a day hike. Took me about 8 hours total. I was a little unsure once I got to the Baldy summit / Lake Katherine split (no signage to say which was which) Luckily my instinct to keep right was correct. The rock cairns were extremely helpful getting through the boulder fields and leading right to the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail started at the Santa Fe Ski Area. The first mile or so until the Pecos Wilderness was probably the toughest. It gets easier after that. This trail should be rated moderate. I think it’s just the distance which makes it hard. This trail, according to my GPS watch was closer to 16 miles to the lake and back. The lake is absolutely gorgeous right now and makes the hike totally worth the long trek in. Make sure you take the skyline trail when you get to the opening near baldly. It will be to the left. There were lots of bees, but they didn’t bother me at all. I also saw some mountain goats on top of baldy when I was at the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

I’ve been wanting to do this hike for years having seen the lake from Santa Fe Baldy, and it’s definitely one of my new favorites. The description is incorrect...you do not start this hike in Cowles, unless you want to come up and over and extend your trip a few miles. Start at Ski Santa Fe, make sure to take Skyline trail towards Baldy and then keep right at the saddle. I had the whole trail to myself on a September week day. Saw big horn sheep. Make sure to follow the cairns! Camp at Puerto Nambe or the lake if you can, but this is a doable day hike for the fit. The lake is much bluer than other alpine lakes I’ve seen in NM. Enjoy! Should be great for the next month. Pack layers.

camping
8 months ago

Great hike, definitely a tough one if you're not used to the altitude. Like Sheena said, start at Ski Santa Fe. The first part of the trail is pretty steep but it gets a little easier pretty soon. We camped at the lake, then met up with a different trail and passed by Spirit Lake on the way back to the parking lot. If camping, bring cold weather gear. It got into the low 40's at night and was very windy at times. Some lady was brave enough to swim in the frigid, crystal clear water, good on her. There's a few streams/creeks on the way where you can fill up on cold, clean water. Beware of random cattle.

backpacking
8 months ago

My wife, 6 yr. old, 9 yr. old, and myself started in Santa Fe and camped over night at Lake Katherine. Great views! We started late and after crossing the crest line at dusk, the tight switchbacks were difficult in the fading light.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful views about 5 miles in and very tempting to turn off and do Bald Peak, but the lake is well worth the effort. Some last mile climbing and scurrying rocks. The drop over ridge affords amazing views.

backpacking
9 months ago

Hard trail, beautiful views!! Definitely stay the night at the lake, the morning light is gorgeous! Not much firewood to scavenge, but plenty of fallen trees to cut up if you bring a tool. At the small meadow, take the Skyline Trail to the left to go up and over. After the goat-path switchbacks descending into the lake, the trail becomes hard to follow. God bless the hikers who mark the trail with stacked stones! Plenty of creeks for water refills on the way up. (There was zero snow on this trail, 8-23-2019. Don’t get caught at the ridge in mid-day thunderstorms. )

hiking
9 months ago

wow! this trail did not disappoint! awesome views and tough trail! make sure you have plenty of water!

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing and breathtaking! This is a difficult hike, but worth it. Make sure to drink lots of water due to higher altitude. we also did get a bit lost from the trail closer to the lake where there are more rocks and less defined trail.

Backpacked for an overnight. Good trail, more people than I expected. Light thunderstorms at around 7:30pm. The trail is a little hard to follow towards the end near the lake, just stay to the left or against the wall of the mountain and you should be able to pick it back up. Lots of rock piles marketing the route.

Showing results 1 - 24 of 127