Explore the most popular trails near Santa Fe with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Beautiful hike. Lots of trail junctions so I was glad to have the GPS map!

beautiful views. nice quick workout.

walking
3 days ago

More walk than trail. With time to kill, we walked up from the plaza. I was not wearing hiking clothes (dress and sandals) and easily managed the walk. The view from the top, looking over the city, is amazing. We were there in the fall so the colors changing was a bonus. The easier walk is from the parking lot but you miss the "historic markers". Great little piece of history.

We’re on a roadtrip from Arkansas to Grand Canyon & this was a perfect spot to stop & get some exercise.

Hiked up to the summit on 11/3/18. The trail is now broken (until the next snowstorm), but microspikes or Yaktrax are necessary.

Nice trail! Great for anyone new to the area, well marked and a good amount of use. Little chilly once you get close to the summit. Water, hat, gloves. Great views of Santa Fe!

hiking
8 days ago

November 3, 2018: I loved the hike! It is moderate but nonetheless demanding. Especially once you start hitting the snow the higher you go. Super rewarding hike, it’s a beautiful view!

hiking
8 days ago

A nice long hike that really cranks up the elevation gain right at the end. It was one of the worst marked trails I've been on in a while though. We were never lost really, since you are along the creek the whole way, but many times we weren't sure if we were on the right side of the creek, if we were still on the trail, or how much longer it was to the lake. We saw plenty of other hikers contemplating in the same way. We did ultimately find the lake, which is very nicely situated.

The middle section of the hike through the aspens is just lovely, especially as the fall colors were turning.

While there are no stunning views or vistas, this was a perfectly pleasant hike through the woods, and very beautiful when the fall colors were just starting to show. Lots of happy dogs on the trail, and not too much elevation gain - was great after a day of driving 8 hours.

Beautiful trail , took my two dogs, we had a blast.

hiking
12 days ago

Gorgeous fall-time hike. Starting at Norski parking lot toward Ski Basin (north). Make sure you do not step up to the Norski trail. The Windsor trail leaves from the north end of the parking lot. After 30 minutes and crossing the creek, turn left on to the Rio En Medio trail, heading down-hill along the creek. Beautimous and easy. If you later reach a fence line blocking the trail, you will have a steep up-hill portion before reaching the Aspen Ranch trail head (that means you did not turn left at an un-marked fork) Following the Ranch Road south is an easy passage and took one hour. We encountered nothing but two ranch trucks hauling cows. Turn left onto Windsor Trail for the last 2 miles. That's a bit of huffin' and puffin' up-hill to get back to the 10,000 foot level and parking lot. All together: 7.5 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes including picture taking and lunch picnic. A few nice panoramic views and plenty of colorful Aspen trees.

hiking
14 days ago

Used to do this hike as a kid growing up in Los Alamos. Recently went back and it was just as awesome! Would recommend for an easy hike with fun sites

hiking
14 days ago

This is a great trail, I was advised to go counterclockwise and happy I did. Steep incline on the last part of trail. Nice switchbacks going up.

off road driving
15 days ago

I had a much different experience than many of the reviewers below. As of October 26th, 2018, this is not an "easy" or "fast" off road trail. Sure, if you stick to the cattle roads, you can push 30 mph. However, you will run into washed/rutted out sections of the road that sink 2-3 feet down. I sincerely doubt that you want to slam into some of these ruts/whoops/etc. at any sort of speed.

I went as far to the north as Ortiz Mountain and Montoso Peak. (I actually went between Ortiz and Montoso). I went as far to the south as Tetilla Peak. At no time were any of the roads/trails hazard free. It was quite common to drive up to a 25-30 yard stretch of deep mud; patches of washed out roadway filled with jagged rocks; or deeply rutted out sections of the road that required careful straddling. None of the hazards were incredibly difficult, but if you come out with the impression that you're going to fart around at 45 mph, you're going to get snap your "stuff" up.

Cows. Lots of them. I would guess that there are at least 5 different herds grazing the Caja. It was not at all uncommon to find a cow drinking from a mud puddle in the roadway. It would be a damn shame if someone came barreling around a turn only to slam into a 1700lb Hereford. I'm telling you, there's a high probability that you're going to have a bad time if you act like a dummy.

I sincerely doubt that anyone in a high clearance 2WD (think crossover) will make it anywhere substantive in the Caja. There's a gnarly section of cattle road approx. 1-2 miles into the trail (near where the makeshift shooting range is), and it would be very entertaining to see a Subaru go through it. It's not impossible, but I don't think it would be wise.

I was in a Titan PRO-4X and I did OK. I was in 2WD for most of the trip, but I switched into 4HI once we got into the nastier stuff just to make life smoother. I did not fit around most of the turns or between tight sections with trees. If you're in a wider truck, you may want to consider this. Trees/branches/bushes will be rubbing up against you, and you will need to fold your mirrors in. Some of the river crossings were gnarly. Washed out with jagged rocks 1-2 feet deep. Some of the river crossings required a steep, sharp turn once making it across. Not overly technical, but I don't think a longbed truck would make it without doing an Austin Powers 30-point turn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGiQOCX9UbM

Overall I had a blast. I drove my dad out here (copilot #1) and we had a ton of fun as a team. Our primary suggestion is that you come prepared. Google a section of the trail that you think leads to a great view of the Rio Grande. Believe it or not, but Google knows de wae. I would sincerely recommend downloading some sort of map. I promise you, you will get lost if you go off of the main roadway without some sort of knowledge of how to get back. There are sections of the trail that disappear; it's highly likely that you won't see the trail that you need to turn onto once you're off the cattle road. The trails branch off suddenly, and it was totally common to drive over pathless sections of the desert via Google Maps' directions. (You could just barely see where a trail used to be once upon a time.)

Outside of that, PLEASE (1) bring food and water. If you snap your "stuff" up out here, you're probably going to be walking out to the main roadway and waiting for someone to come by. At times, I was several miles from the main cattle road. (I'm remembering somewhere between 10 and 20 miles away.) (2) There is 4G/LTE out here, so bring an car-type phone charger. You may be lucky enough to find an area that has signal. (3) Create a contingency plan. There are sharp volcanic rocks out here - what happens if you shred a tire? You're not going to have fun using a Hi-Lift jack in loose desert mud, believe me. (Bring a first aid kit, too.) (4) Finally, bring the proper mindset. You're going to have to constantly troubleshoot this trail in its current state. Again, this is not Moab or the Rubicon, but you're not going to find pretty manicured dirt roads out here. The cattle road is OK (I uploaded a picture of a nice section), but it gets nasty too.

Come prepared, have fun and God bless.

So many different trails to choose from. Very close to town but feels very remote. Amazing 360 views from the top. Loved it. Not too hard either

Great trail, easy at the beginning but then a nice workout uphill

Fun. Slippery when the rocks are wet. Perfect for a drizzly day.

Easy trail and the signage is good but at the end it is confusing about how to get back to the parking lot. I would do it again and it was beautiful with all the colors changing

Well groomed trail. Some areas steep climb. Relatively open to sun but frequent opportunities for shade. Beautiful!

off road driving
21 days ago

Great little trail for a quick adventure. You can do the whole thing in 2 to 3 hours from the trail head. I saw reviews saying this could be done in a high clearance 2wd... that may be true but I would not recommend. While most of it is pretty tame, there are a couple of rocky sections that can be a little more technical. If you are unsure of your skills or vehicle, I would stay to the right at the top and then back track. The trail is an out and back with a "lolipop" at the top. If you go counter clockwise, the west part of the lolipop along the power line cut is pretty technical. Nothing major, but can be challenging due to steep grade and large rocks.

Pay attention to the map, the turn off from 24 is easy to miss. It is just past the 11 hundred well site, which you will see and notice by the cattle corral off to the right. Most of 24 up to the turn off is very easy and fast with a few rutted areas and washout areas but all in all very easy. Once you turn off of 24 the trail gets narrower and a little harder to follow. In particular, there is a twisty section through some cedars among a bunch of small rocks where you might question if you are even on the trail. Just keep going.

We went right or counter clockwise. At the top, you will have to get out to see the canyon. There are a ton of scrub bushes and small cedars blocking the view. I would recommend to keep going and watch for a turn out toward a power line pole. From here you can see great views of the Rio Grand and the canyon below. Once back on the trail you will go along the power line cut and this is probably the hardest part of the trail. If you are unsure, go back the way you just came.

We did the trail in a stock Land Cruiser with AT tires and had no problems. We did not see anyone other than some ranchers on horseback looking for their cows. We chose to drive back and picnic with the snow capped mountains in the back ground rather than the top. There was really no place to have a picnic at the top among the brush and trash.

I would recommend this trail if you have limited time. The canyon is worth the trip. Happy trails!

hiking
22 days ago

Delightful short trail up and down. Climb elevation about 1000’ with 360 degree views from the top. Many cacti and mountain flora to enjoy. runners were sharing the trail as well.

hiking
23 days ago

If you are a beginner at hiking, do not come to this trail. The trail is not marked well, and there are tons of scattered rocks that you could trip over. I could see this trail being a moderate or hard, but definitely not easy.

Well marked and good trail! Definitely would recommend to everyone. Also, amazing views.

Great trail!!!

very good trail system. well marked.

hiking
24 days ago

Well marked trails with lots of options. Not too crowded.

Nice hike. About 4 miles RT. Easy going switch-backs make the climb doable and enjoyable. Nice views along the way.
This is from the perspective of a 67 yr. old in decent condition. Even at my slower, smell-the-roses pace and hanging out at the peak for 20 mins, this trip was 2hr 30min. My 20-something kids were much faster.

Nice hike with lots of trees and shade. Description is very accurate.

hiking
25 days ago

Cool blustery day but perfect for the up hill sections. Beautiful views of the valley. Only a few hikers on a mid week October hike. Definitely worth the effort..

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