Explore the most popular birding 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.

Solid class 3 scrambling at the traverse from Deception Peak

hiking
11 hours ago

Pristine wilderness. Makes you proud to be a New Mexican.
Not sure it the trail is really 6.4 miles.
Stick to the left of the Rio Nambe after the Windsor Trail forks.
Took about 5.2 miles to get there and 3.4 miles to return (following the trail to the left of the Rio).

Great trail with multiple options, really a network of trails. Altitude gains of 500 to 600 feet. Connects to the Little Tesque trail. Easily accessible from Santa Fe. Trails well marked with junction markers and on trail maps. We loved it. Lot’s great views.

Only thing it lacks is a view - but a lovely stream and trail - a few big trees down but just reopened this morning after 5 weeks closed due to fire hazard - so no complaints!

Trail closed due to fire danger.

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail, beautiful lake at the top. Can have snow until mid-May depending on the year's snowfall.

Trail can be hard to follow as the climb starts after the Winsor Trail split, but stay near the creek and you'll be fine.

Pretty trails to hike. Not very challenging.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike, but I would not call it easy! Moderate is my rating, lots of rutty and rocky parts, lots of ankle twisting opportunities. Path hard to find at points, look for helpful cairns and piles of dead branches creating tiny visual barriers, indicating the trail DOESN't Go that way. It took me an hour and 50 minutes to do the whole Loop, but I took my time and thought I was lost about 40% of the time :-) turned out I was on the trail the whole time!

on Stewart Lake Trail

25 days ago

Great trail with the lake as a reward at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is well maintained and easy to find with the app. The length is short but it’s an uphill climb almost the whole hike. There are three major viewpoints along the trail that offer some nice views of the city. A worthy hike if you’re in the city as it’s located downtown.

Great trail. Short. Beautiful falls.

hiking
1 month ago

On a whim, went on a portion of this hike on the way out of Santa Fe and was glad we did. The landscape is scrub brushy and there’s not a ton of remarkable plant life. However, I enjoyed the views of Santa Fe housing from above. A good antidote to all the shopping and overstimulation of Santa Fe.

Something I really enjoyed was the regular trail signage. Lots of options to shortcut home should you be running low on water or energy.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Park at cowles camp and walk down the main road to the right a bit to find the trailhead. Elevation was a bit challenging for a Texan coming from sea level with a 40lb bag. Not too bad if you can take your time though. Some great valley views along the way. Camping on lake Stewart was secluded and amazing. Had an accessible water creek right next to camp. Day hike to lake katherine the next day was amazing, but even steeper (6 mile round trip). Beautiful ridge! We did it as a loop and took Windsor trail back down the mountain on 3rd day. Beware if you do there are 2 trails, Windsor creek (shorter, but sign said closed) and Windsor to the right (a few miles longer, epic aspens, but you’ll get to a different parking lot and have +1 mile back to cowels). Great trip.

Great Short trail just outside Santa Fe. took me about 2 hours with stopping for pics. When dry it's easy for any 4x4 and most high clearance 2wd should be able to make it. AT&T has phone service through out most of the trail, so it's a safer one to go alone.

Hiked this last week. Perfect hike for a sunny day as altitude and shade were in abundance. We extended the hike north on the Windsor trail to make it a total of 8.5 miles. Would do this one again.

This a a great hike with lots of up. As folks have noted trail can be hard to follow at times after the turnoff to Nambe Lake trail 400. It took us about 4 hours including about 20 minutes at the lake. There was still ice on the stream which made for some cool pics.

We hiked the loop as shown but extended at the top as well as across the road at the bottom to add about 4+ additional miles. Shade was intermittent as we started at 11am and the sun was straight overhead. Bring lots of water. There is one overlook that had a great view of the mountains along with a sign board to identify the peaks. Would do again if in the area.

on La Bajada Trail

hiking
1 month ago

It was fun drive out, black car was completely tan colored upon arrival. Awesome view from the top. Drove back to I-25 then tried to visit the bottom from the Pueblo but access to the trail was fenced off.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Great trail, however a little too rocky for my liking. (mountain biking)

This trail was an nice easy hike for the morning- very well marked and good shade. We got here a little after 7 and there were about 4 cars in the lot, left about 9 and lot was nearly full. Nice views and variety of plants. May 27 2018

We did this hike Memorial Day weekend 2018. Start at ski basin and follow Windsor trail 254 signs, next to the bathroom outhouse . At the 1st fork, take a right and stay along the fence line to make it to Ravens Ridge, Deception Point, and Lake Peak. This is a steady gradual climb over 3miles at high elevation. Plan for 1mile an hour hiking . There are many social trails from Ravens Ridge To Deception Peak - you can take any of them.

When you get to deception peak, there is a high and low ascent to Lake Peak. Recommend the lower ascent — a lot safer without having to do the Knife’s edge on the high ascent. Both the high and low ascents meet up at top of the Lake Peak. There is great cell phone service at the top! It is windy and exposed at the top, so bring wind breakers. Hiking poles are helpful.

The trail from Lake Peak to Penitente Peak switchbacks down the backside of Lake Peak to the green treeless Penitente Peak. Once you get to Penitente Peak the trail is completely gone, so very very helpful to download the all trails map and use your GPS. Also be aware that you will need to hug the Penitente Peak Ridge line and backtrack a bit. Hikers have stacked stones to help mark the trail . Hiking experience very helpful here , as is a compass. Once you find it at the top of the ridge line, the trail is extremely well marked the rest of the way.

The rest of the hike is through a shaded forest with lots of switchbacks. You meet back up with the Windsor loop 254 at some point.

Our Apple pacer had this hike at 12.4 miles and it took us 7hrs (3 hrs for the 1st 3miles and then much faster the rest of the way).

hiking
1 month ago

Great views at the top. We come from low elevation so we took our time with the climb. Worth it though.

Trail starts with the Dale Ball trail head.

Not much to see. Couple of good shots of the surrounding mountains but otherwise just a lot of scrub pine. Lots of offshoot trails, so you need to keep watch of the trail numbers.

Hiked on 5/21, trail is clear of snow but as others have said the trail is hard to follow at points with numerous spur trails leading seemingly nowhere. Once you turn off trail 254, just make sure to keep hugging the creek on either side, and the trail will come back into focus. Otherwise, pleasant hike with some beautiful meadows en route to an awesome payoff. The lake is framed by a giant granite bowl and is a perfect place for a lunch. Trailhead is over 9000 feet and they trail climbs another 2000 so, even after three days in and around Santa Fe, we still had to take the big climb slowly. The air up there is thin.

We got hailed on during our hike down, which is way better than being rained on because my shoes stayed dry.

Hadn't been on that trail in about 10 years. Use to mountain bike that regularly. Still a great trail. Lots of people anymore but still worth it. Keep your ears out once you hit Windsor. Bikers come up faster then you run, unless you're Usain Bolt.

1 month ago

Great views, great petroglyphs, and a lot of interesting caves. It was an easy hike, but I would suggest going early, especially on the weekend. I went on a Sunday around 2pm. At first I was the only one there, but before long it was getting busier.

on Picacho Peak Trail

hiking
1 month ago

This trail offers many options for an out and back day hike as part of the Dale Ball trail system. It IS a climb to the top of Picacho Peak and along the way the views are endless. Take every oportunity to stop, sun bathe, meditate, think, or just allow those spaces between thoughts to be just the sounds of a crackling trail beneath your feet - and breathe...Santa Fe, it's no wonder why so many people love it here.

Beautiful hike. We went at the end of April. A lot of snow and ice near the top. It even started snowing very heavily for about 15 minutes. The trail is hard to follow at times. Always find the river! If you stay with it you will be fine. The lake is beautiful and worth the work. Beginning and end are fairly steep. Don’t give up!

The trail is clear of snow, hard to follow at times because there are many off-shoots. Alltrails app was intermittent with Verizon service so I was able to use it with some success to get to the lake.

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