Picacho Peak Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#4 of 73 trails in

Picacho Peak Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back 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 March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1190 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views. We started the trail around 4pm and stayed to see the sun setting on the way down.

3 months ago

Fantastic hike with great views of Santa Fe! this is a must-do hike when in Santa Fe. Well marked trails ensure you won't get lost and there are many interconnecting trails. well maintained trails and this hike will give you a good workout.

hiking
4 months ago

Ben Lind's review is very helpful - especially the parking lot coordinates. Periodic maps and clear signage make the trail easy to follow. It's a good workout through one lovely setting after another. From the top, the views to the east are especially beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

This is one of the Dale Ball trails. I did not see "Picacho Peak Trail" anywhere at the trailhead. Choose the Dale Ball trail heading south toward Picacho Peak (there is a creek and road crossing near the beginning). The parking lot is at 35.686449, -105.895548.

I enjoyed this hike. The views on the way up were all right, and the top view was rewarding. Maybe it's the flatness of the New Mexican terrain or the lack of diversity in its vegetation, but I did not find the valley views to be that interesting. If I come back to Santa Fe I will look for a trial that has more elevation and/or is next to a body of water.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great out & back ramble on the Dale Ball trails. The trails are well marked and you can turn it into a lollipop or a loop as you please. There are lots of roots and rock steps, but the trail is well maintained and a pleasure to walk.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike with views at top. I have added a track with nice loop option to make the hike a bit longer. We went counter-clockwise.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike if time is limited, can do in 2 hours without much difficulty. Great shade in the morning, very green with some water at the bottom. I never saw any sign for this trail, took Dale Ball route 29 to 30 to 31 then at sign for 34 veer left to peak about 150 ft up. Great 360 views at the peak.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful view that you can see while you hike up. The trail also provides some shade. Also from the trailhead all trails leads you to its actually 3.8 out and back just be aware of that.

8 months ago

it was a very nice hike and great trail...great view !

walking
8 months ago

Great trail, close to town. This is Atalaya Light (the next mountain to the south), just a shorter hike. Nice to have some shade along the way, especially in August

9 months ago

Nice workout. Great views. Well marked trails.

9 months ago

This is our everyday trail, a bit of a grind so you feel like you've done something but not enough distance to really knock you out. The nice thing about this trail for people with dogs, is the little river to start and end the hike with, perfect for them to cool off and get hydrated - make it a great day! ✌

birding
9 months ago

This was a nice trail. As usual, Google Maps took me to the wrong place. When you get to Cerro Gordo Rd. and Upper Canyon Rd. intersection, turn left onto Cerro Gordo and there's a parking lot on your right. There's two trails there. One going to Dale Ball, and the other is Picacho. Picacho is the left side trail. It's a nice trail. I went for some wildlife photography. Saw some common lizards and birds, but they were good photos. Saw a rat snake, it scurried to fast to get a picture; no need to worry about these if you don't like snakes. A small lake had some goldfish in it. It was a short trail, about three hour trip at a photographer snail pace. The loop back to the parking lot is a challenge to find because the trail is a bit brushy in spots. When you get to the end you have three options: turn around and go back, continue onto another trail (I think was also named Dale Ball), or attempt to locate the vague path cutting to the parking lot(if you see a path headed towards the wooden fence in the distance that's the one). No worries though, it's an easy going trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing view when you reach the peak! There's one lookout about halfway up. I had to take a few breaks going up, be ready for a good hike! Took me about an hour to get to the peak, and about half an hour coming down. My dog loved the trail, met a few people with other dogs and was passed by a few runners. Gorgeous views of Santa Fe and the surrounding mountains at the top. Some low trees were great for shade and meditation too. Definitely will go again.

10 months ago

Great in town hike with nice views at top!

10 months ago

Great views from the top! Mildly challenging going up but the way down is easy.

hiking
11 months ago

Loved this hike! Wonderful views and great workout.

11 months ago

A little difficult but the view at the end is definitely worth it....

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Narrow trail but beautiful views and challenging incline. Lots of dogs off-leash but luckily all were friendly.

hiking
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Beautiful views, great variety, and pleasantly strenuous. Very muddy in early April.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

Good trail. Well marked. Great views.

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

We loved this hike. Amazing views, given all the cut-backs on the trail, ended up doing 4.4 miles not the 2.8 listed.

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hiked this trail with my family yesterday. It was incredible! I found it to be challenging, but oh my gosh the views at the top were amazing! Worth every step! I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Great views of the city and surrounding mountains

Friday, July 29, 2016

This is an easy/moderate trail that has two entry points. You can traverse over from Atalaya for a nice big day of hiking. I really love the 360 views. It's a great trail for snowshoes/yak traks in the winter.

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

Lovely hike with beautiful panoramic view at the top. Moderate in difficulty. I enjoyed the views and wildflowers along the way as well.

trail running
Thursday, July 07, 2016

I've run both little Picacho and big Picacho several times. I like this trail because there is a decent amount of shade at all times of the day. I run with my dog and usually encounter a handful of people every time I go out, but not ever so many that the trail feels busy.
It takes me about 45 minutes to do little Picacho if I come down the longer way (a hard right after coming back down from little Picacho) and about an hour and 10 min. to run Big Picacho doing an out and back and not opting to add the little extra distance.
The trail has a lot of switchbacks and gets rocky as you near big Picacho, but it is not a difficult hiking trail. There are great options for adding distance by connecting to other points in the Dale Ball trails.
I usually park in the lot near the intersection of Cerro Gordo and Upper Canyon Rd. If you pass through both green gates to the right, cross the stream, and immediately go up and across upper canyon road,
You will see a wood post with the Dale Ball trail marker.
There are wonderful views in all directions as you near the top, very rewarding trail!

hiking
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beautiful scenic hike with meandering switchbacks and a nice 1100+ ascent over about 2 miles, summiting at 8570. Gorgeous vistas of the valley below and distant peaks. Can continue another mile or so to hit Atalay mountain or shoot off other trails along the way. I would rate this as a moderately strenuous hike, however.

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Good trail, great hike. Moderate to a bit strenuous for me. Kept a good pace up and got in a good workout. May take it easier next time and enjoy the experience a bit more. View from the top is definitely worth the hike. NOT a waste of a few hours. Will be putting this on my list of favorites.

hiking
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Am I really the first person to notice the complete misspelling of the name of this peak by All Trails? It's Picacho Peak, not Picheco! I live in Santa Fe, have climbed it many times and I drive on Picacho Street in my neighborhood.

As for the hiking, instead of climbing Picacho from the parking lot on Upper Canyon Road, you can park at the trailhead lot on Camino Cruz Blanca and follow the Atalaya Hill trail to the top of Atalaya Mountain and then continue on to the north to Picacho Peak. Then you can follow the trail that leads down from Picacho back to the trailhead lot on Camino Cruz Blanca. I think it's about eight miles total. I strongly recommend doing this with someone who is familiar with the loop because there are a couple of places where the signage isn't clear, but once you have it down, it's the best close-in hike in Santa Fe, in my opinion.

Load More