Santa Fe Baldy via Windsor Trail

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Santa Fe National Forest

Santa Fe Baldy via Windsor Trail is a 13.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 13.5 miles Elevation Gain: 3,517 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

running

forest

views

wildlife

It had rained/snowed 5/25, so there was a light layer of snow around the trail on the way up. Started around 8:00 and reached the summit in just under 3 hours. One significant snow patch above the treeline but other than that the trail was clear.

hiking
8 days ago

This trail starts off challenging with 5 pretty steep switchbacks but then you get a few miles of level to downhill trail. You’ll do three river crossings before you make it to the meadow. Make sure you switch from the Winsor trail to the Skyline trail in the meadow. Then you’ll go up 7 more switchbacks to make it to the base. Those switchbacks are buttkickers! We were hiking up with all our gear because we wanted to camp at the base to make it a two day trip. It was way to cold up at the base to camp there. Fast winds and no coverings. So we decided to stash our packs and just finish the hike that day because it was only 12:30 when we made it to the base (left at 8). The last mile to the top is really steep. Make sure you’ve had enough water and food to have the energy to make it up, but the trail up is easy to spot. There was one area covered in snow but the snow was solid and didn’t cause any problems. Once you’re at the top, enjoy the views and enjoy the 5+ miles of downhill on your way back! This hike can easily be done in a day so take your time. Elevation is no joke.

running
rocky
scramble
snow
13 days ago

Overall loved this trek! This is a bit of an unusual time of year (May 16, 2020) to do Baldy since the trail goes from being clear and dry to patches of knee-deep snow. The snow was deep, but I was able to navigate it just fine by following the footsteps of others. These patches become more frequent after the Winsor/Skyline junction, and the overall terrain becomes much more challenging to navigate after the third stream crossing. While I attempted to run most of the way, the final scramble up to Baldy was a bit too steep and rocky. Above the tree line, the snow was mostly cleared except for one manageable section on the side. I definitely recommend this long adventure to the one of the highest points in NM, but I think it would be worth it to wait until June when more snow clears, but seeing frozen Lake Katherine was cool!

Awesome trail very beautiful make sure to take plenty to water and food, baldy is very high up so be prepared for the altitude.

1 month ago

Last mile or so is pretty tough. If you're camping, I recommend hiking in and staying at lake katherine, then hiking to the peak as a day trip - it will make the overall experience significantly more pleasant.

hiking
7 months ago

Started at 8am, made it back to parking lot by 4pm. First and last mile up to Baldy requires some stamina. Not going to lie, altitude sickness and the wind made the last mile pretty brutal. Clear skies & perfect weather the entire day. Slow day on the trail only saw a handful of people!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Great hike today, started at 6:30 AM and it started snowing at 8 and didn't stop the entire hike. Started to accumulate up high roughly 3 inches at top when I turned around at 11am. no views at summit but got a 5 min window of views on the way down. all in all enjoyable day. long hike but easy terrain most of the way.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this hike years ago with slight modification. I went to Spirit lake, Katherine, and then baldy over a 4 day period. Well worth taking your time.

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous views. Easy to find trail. Totally worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Th hike isn't too difficult. What makes it difficult is the length. Very beautiful trail with a lot of birds. I was lucky enough to see a bouquet of pheasants on my hike. Then a little way down I saw the rooster.

hiking
8 months ago

Long, hard, but well worth the effort. Trails well marked. Met a local guy on the way and he showed us the way. Views are stunning. Patch snow at top

hiking
9 months ago

Best hike ever! Views were spectacular from the saddle. Altitude was an issue for me (a flatlander from the east), though, as we neared the summit.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail was just cleared and rebuilt some in the last two weeks, so that’s a plus. I took the route to Lake Katherine and made my way up to the ridgeline and Baldy. The way I took (see recording) was perfectly doable without scree or cliffs, but of course it is silly steep at altitude. Needless to say, the way up from the lake and most of the way to Baldy is not a trail. This loop clocked 16 plus miles and over 3700 feet of climbing.

This hike was great! I’m most definitely feeling the 13.5 miles but worth it. I hit the trail at 6:30 am and was out by 2pm to avoid thunderstorms. Still got chased off the summit by lightning but was able to dodge the storm on the way back.

running
rocky
10 months ago

Lucky with the weather as I got a late start around 1 pm. There were dark clouds overhead but no thunder or rain this afternoon. Love this route with 3-4 water crossings, tons of elevation and well marked trails. RT was just over 4 hrs while jog/hiking most of the hills and running the down hills. Flowers, marmots, wild turkeys, and a few bugs, but not bad. This peak needs a summit marker! And a nice military ammo box up top with a notepad and paper so we can record our efforts, haha. Maybe next time if I get up again this season?

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Once you hit the Ridgeline (with the fork to lake Katherine), not too bad to head up to the summit. The way back can be a little frustrating given the Windsor trail's long, curvy windup back to the Pecos wilderness fence. It was a gorgeous day when we hiked so the views were definitely worth it!

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

What a great trail. The views are fantastic and worth every step!

Super easy fun day. Bring your bug spray. The last mile is NOT A BIG DEAL.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike. The last mile up is rough!

hiking
10 months ago

If you’re a fan of the quiet that can go with hiking this trail, please go early this time of the year. I started at the Ski Basin at 7:10am, & there were already about 20 vehicles parked in the lot. I started back down from SF Baldy at about 10:30am. The crowds got thicker, & evidence of inexperience was bountiful. Folks wearing flip flops, no water, no hats, etc. I encountered a family that was lost after parting ways with their friends. They asked if I had a map. I was able to guide them back to their party via AllTrails. When I got back to the lot, it was packed, & still people coming in.

hiking
11 months ago

Solid. No snow. A lot of people

backpacking
11 months ago

Awesome Views. Backpacked this one last month. We stayed in the valley just below the saddle with a nice view of the Baldy. There were a few snow patches but the trail was clear all the way up. It was cold and windy at the top. I had a light rain jacket on and a beanie and it was fine. Expect to see a lot of people on this trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked this trail 6/11/2019. Snow was easily manageable. Great 360 views from the top. Only the last mile past the pass is hard, the rest of the trail is moderate. We had planned to continue to Kathrine Lake but there was way too much snow.

hiking
blowdown
snow
Fri May 31 2019

31 May still not insignificant snowpack starting around 11000 feet. Not much fresh at that altitude, but the old crusty stuff that can be treacherously slippery if not careful. For the next couple of weeks I'd suggest bringing microspikes or be comfortable with possibility of early turnaround like I did today. Some fresh blowdown as well, but nothing that can't be easily hopped.

hiking
snow
Mon May 27 2019

backpacking
snow
Sat Apr 27 2019

Went back-packing 4/27/19 and stayed one night at the base of the peak. Snow all the way through. Give my thanks to the person who snowshoed up there, because I would have no idea where I was going otherwise. Although it was a difficult trek, it was well-worth the effort. Good weather. If I knew how close I was to the summit, I would have kept going, but unfortunately at that point I lost my way from my original destination to Lake Peak. If you're inexperienced like I am, I would recommend taking a better map with you and snowshoes, or waiting until the snow melts!

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