For a limited time only, save 30% on a year of AllTrails Pro!
Get Started
Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Nambe Lake Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 7.0 mi Elevation gain 2,089 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Running

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (13)

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 bottom 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 small, shallow and greenish, but it is a good workout to get to this point.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (671)
Photos (597)
Recordings (490)
Completed (959)
S Chavez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
WalkingOff trailWashed out
Nick Blonski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

The last mile is a straight uphill climb but the end is worth it! Best hike I have done in New Mexico

View Nick's Recording
Marty Leal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
Backpacking

The trail starts off with a few switchbacks with a moderate incline up. The last mile of the trail is hard as it's very steep, and the trail can be easy to lose. We got lost, which made it harder, but eventually found our way to the lake. Once you cross the first stream crossing, stay to the left. That's where we went wrong as we went right. The lake itself is very beautiful.

Christian A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Christian's Recording
Marsha Gottlieb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

Steep, beautiful workout.. not all that well marked but enough hikers that you won’t get lost.. best trail by far since getting to SF, 58 when I started this AM & very shady. Perfect day!

Aron Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Aron's Recording
Rachel Burke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Steep but worth it!!

View Rachel's Recording
Amber Gray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownScramble
Deborah Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

This was one of the nicer trails I’ve done in New Mexico. It is pretty easy to lose the trail. Stay close to the creek and you’ll end up at the lake. Pretty steep and constant incline going up. With the elevation change, I had to stop frequently but it’s doable for most people. Nice little lake at the end. More like a pond by California standard but beautiful. Also quite a few people on the trail. Most wore masks as they passed you.

D V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Awesome view, steep at the end and the trail is hard to find over the last mile. Download GPS. Start early enough that you don’t risk getting caught in a monsoon.

View D's Recording
Malia Kummerer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

gorgeous trail, helluva climb

View Malia's Recording
Christian Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingRockyScrambleWashed out
View Christian's Recording
Juan Guaba
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingOff trailRocky

It was a a bit hard the last part it’s a bit steep.

Michael Miggans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Great trail with a beautiful lake to mark halfway. The last mile is pretty steep with a rock scramble to end your way up to the lake. There are multiple trails going up all within sight, take whichever they all go to the same place. Just different routes around rocks. Would recommend good hiking shoes for this one. Passed a few people in tennis shoes who were struggling towards the end.

View Michael's Recording
Drew Kiesling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

24 July 2020 Conclusion: 4 stars. A nice half-day hike for moderately capable folks. My spouse and I are mid 50’s and in decent shape, but certainly past our glory years as hardcore hikers. A few sections are steep but otherwise “moderate” is an accurate description. Caution: The first half/two-thirds of the way is straightforward and easy to follow the trail. After that, the trail fades, splinters and becomes quite ambiguous. It is pretty close to “bushwhacking” in areas. “Is this the trail? No, maybe this is it? Or perhaps this is the way...” Recommendation: Take a GPS-based map if you are unfamiliar with the trail to the lake. Thankfully, we had All Trails with us. Yes, you can more or less follow the stream all the way to the lake, but if you “don’t know what you don’t know” about the way, you can still get lost. Odds and Ends: Other than getting stuck in a pretty epic rain/hailstorm for the last 90 minutes of the walk down, I’d say it was a pleasant, successful hike. It took us about 2.5 hrs from the Santa Fe ski basin parking lot to the lake and just under 2 hours to get down in the midst of the storm. We didn’t exactly stop to smell the roses on the way down, of course.

Gary Hand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

A nice moderate hiking. Only got to see 20 people in/out. The view of the lake with the peaks in the back is refreshing. Started to get cloudy around 11 am and gets quite chilly. Left the lake and got to the parking lot before the first raindrop fell, something you need to expect in Santa Fe during the monsoon season.

View Gary's Recording
Amerique Monagle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike over the weekend. We started around 7am, which was perfect. The trail started to get busy as we hiked out. But most people masked as we passed one another or kept their distance from us. Will be adding this to my list of annual hikes in NM!

Sarah Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike solo yesterday! Started at 6:45 and highly recommend starting early as it got super busy as I was coming down. There are cows up towards the end. (I thought it was a black bear.) Beautiful hike with lots of different views!

Haley Rader
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Trail was extremely steep in some areas. Once the trail breaks off from Winsor it became very hard to track the trail. The views were beautiful but a ranger described the hike as easy with a few areas that would make you out of breath, and this description did not do the rocky terrain and steep inclines justice. Also, if you plan to take your dogs expect lots of other dogs off leash.

Lisa Blair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

The pros: This is a truly gorgeous hike. One of our favorite hikes ever in terms of beauty and variation of views along the trail. Breathtaking aspen stands, a view of Baldy Mtn. at one point, a beautiful creek with little waterfalls, green grass, purple, white, and yellow wildflowers, wider trail than expected, an unexpected herd of grazing cows near the top, and the final destination of Nambe Lake is truly picturesque and "worth it." Even with what I'm about to say, the hike was wonderful and memorable. The cons: Like others said, the trail is very hard to follow. I was skeptical of this, but it's true, we unknowingly went off course several times at various points and referred to the All Trails GPS app on our phone to get us back on track. Do not rely on a regular map or written instructions for this hike! My first time using it and the All Trails GPS was a MUST for this hike. Second, we read the reviews and somehow both got the impression that the first mile was the steepest and hardest. It was definitely steep but a decently wide trail with few rocks and tree roots and it was gradual enough that we felt okay with it, going slower. The trail then levels off more with some gradual down and up for awhile. We thought, this is not a difficult trail, what are the reviewers talking about? It's moderate for sure. It's the last third (?) or so of the trail up to the lake that is really intense. There are three longer-than-you-think sections of very steep, very rocky and rooty terrain that is exhausting to hike up (not a short "scramble"), kind of like hiking up stairs constantly with unstable footing. We are in reasonably good shape, regular short-distance runners (I'm 45 & my partner is 64 yrs old) who live in Santa Fe so are accustomed to higher altitude in general. By the time we reached the steep sections, I already had a bad headache and thought it was allergies, pain in my sinus cavities on my forehead and nose. Felt just like allergies. Took over the counter pain meds, didn't help. By the time we reached Nambe Lake, the headache was severe. We ate food and turned around to go back because of the pain I was in. Soon, I got very nauseous, too, and exhausted, light-headed. After a total of 5 hrs. 30 min. of hiking (7.7 miles), we drove down the mountain and my nausea started to dissipate. By the time we got home to 7,200 ft. the nausea was gone and headache was minimal, gone by the time we ate dinner. Realized only then that I had altitude sickness and not allergies (headache wouldn't go away so quickly with allergies). Be careful, read about altitude sickness before this hike so you know the signs and descend quickly if you start getting symptoms. Hydrate more than you think and keep eating even if you're not hungry. We agree - this should be considered a Difficult hike.

Rebecca Dalley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail! Challening. The last 1-1.5 miles is steep. The hike is so worth it. The lake and rocky faces are stunning. The temps were amazing even getting a late start around 11. Lots of people hiking dogs and we even passed people on horses. Loved this hike.

View Rebecca's Recording
Brianna Rose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Great hike! Went up to the lake ate lunch and took a nap in our hammock for awhile and went back down. Took about 7 hours altogether.

View Brianna's Recording
Showing results 1 - 22 of 671