Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

For a good challenge I definitely recommend this hike. We made it past the treeline but not all the way to Lake Peak (didn't think our skills were up to par) Past the treeline I recommend a wind breaker or light jacket as it did get chilly. The views are amazing and the trail was not too hard to follow. Some small patches of snow and ice in the shade but none on the trail. My partner and I are in our early 30s and in somewhat good shape. The incline is pretty consistent and rocky at times but it is so worth it. I recommend doing the Nambe Lake trail first like we did (not in the same day) and then doing this one where you get an amazing view of the lake from above.

on Deception Peak

hiking
9 days ago

May 2018. This year certainly has been one filled with false pretenses. Things, people, places, aren't always what or who they seem to be. Today Deception Peak was a last minute decision (thought I was going for a long bike ride). I thought if I make it to the top, I'll do my little ceremonial dance, thank the universe that I'm healthy enough to be up here and say "good riddens" to ALL the deception vibrating around me this year. Deception Peak here I am....I need a word with you.
Follow the trail from the start of Winsor at the SF Ski basin. Once you get to the gate, it's not marked but do take the trail to the right to the Pecos Widerness. The trail will run adjecent to the fence line for some distance. There is lots of rock a tree roots so watch your step. About half the way up, the trail does become harder to locate but follow your GPS and you should be just fine. The trail is mostly shaded- a light jacket is recommended. It does get windy at the top once you come out of the tree line.
Okay, false summit... but that's the whole point right - why else be here if I wasn't absolutely enjoying myself. I'm here.. guess I'll head over to Lake Peak and check that out too. Just about made it to Lake Peak but the trail that runs on the back side of Deception Peak was a bit too unsafe for me or I missed the safer trail.
Anyway, I did my dance, performed a couple of Qi Gong poses, tossed my resentment into the wind, and headed back.

hiking
24 days ago

This was such a fun hike! Was sad that I didn’t get past the rock wall but once I found the trail around it it was like a blizzard at the top. I highly recommend taking poles as the second half before you reach the tree line is pretty snowy. I post holed several times so watch your step. The views were spectacular at the top. Can’t wait to do this one again. Oh and careful next to that barbed wire fence if the trail is icy. One slip and ouchie!

walking
1 month ago

Fairly easy walk up and back, easy on the knees. Dog loved it! Great view

Nice trail !

Great trail through town. Easy to find.

walking
1 month ago

Just in the area exploring and decided to find a short trail to go for a walk. This was an amazing trail as far as the view. I was able to see the moon and sunset at the same time!!

Great trail. Beautiful with the light snow.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Starts on the same trail as Nambe Lake/ Baldy, but turn right when you get to the fence marking the Pecos Wilderness. Follow the fence until you can't anymore (at a beautiful overlook), then turn right again and head up the mountain. The trail is a little hard to follow, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. The views from the top are incredible. We hiked this last September, and had great weather, though it was very windy and cold above the tree line - make sure to bring layers!

hiking
3 months ago

Did this trail 3 days ago. The snow near the ascent to get to the peak was too high; no one had broken the snow yet and snow shoes were required to go further. Had a lot of fun on the trail. Still a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a busy trail for mountain bikers with minimal elevation change, so essentially you’re on a walk with mountain bikers who either aren’t willing or able to control their bikes and definitely didn’t yield to hikers, despite trail requirements. There is also a plague warning on this trail, so not great for pets either.

Always in good shape. Great views and good workout if time is an issue.

Very easy, but great for a quick hike. Really well marked, easy to find & navigate. Perfect for new hikers to get their confidence up.

Nothing special but definitely a nice leg stretcher. A lot of the trail is around private land and it is clear that you’re not particularly wanted. There also is active grazing so there will be cows. I imagine that parking is a problem in the high season as there are about 5 spots and menacing signs. I have done big sections of the trail from the top near the the ski basin. A good option if you want a leg stretcher but you can do much better in the Santa Fe area.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a gorgeous trail! However, as many others have said, I don't think it is for beginners. I would say intermediate, due to the steep inclines and having to cross several streams over slippery rocks. My husband and I were fine, but I would imagine an older couple might have trouble.

This spot has some stunning view during the Fall seasons. We went there around mid October.

I love the contrast between the yellowish, orangey, and reddish fallen leaves and the existing green pine trees.

Thanks to the running creek, there’s some spots you can see little fields of grass that’s rare in a desert like Santa Fe.

We didn’t finish the trail because it was getting a little late. We’ll be back very soon.

Nice views for an easy hike. Kept within view of the highway, which was a bummer. The rock and plant diversity was very fascinating for native Kansas though!

hiking
7 months ago

My wife and I completed this trail during a 3 month stay in NM. The trail is a wide and rocky old road, so it is very very easy to follow, but be sure to wear good shoes. Although the incline isn't too steep, it is steady throughout the majority of the almost 6 miles up and will be challenging if you are not used to the elevation. This trail is not shaded in several areas so be sure to wear sunscreen. We went on a week day and there were not many people at all, which was very nice for us and our 2 dogs. Along the trail there are beautiful aspen trees and some creeks. The best part is definitely the beautiful view at the top, you can see so far! Our dogs really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike!

hiking
7 months ago

I go there frequently when I want to get outside but don’t have time to go up into the mountains. The trail is short and relatively easy. The views towards Albuquerque are fantastic!

Absolutely stunning views on a clear September day. There are a few sections that are brutal, in terms of elevation gain, and they'll have you wondering just what you must have been thinking on your way back down. We overestimated ourselves slightly, but still made it down, haggard but happy.

Some folk have said

8 months ago

Absolutely stunning, make sure to be off peak by noon during the summer due to thunderstorms.

hiking
8 months ago

Completed this trail October 2014 with a friend. Good to have a compass and be careful not to get lost when utilizing the Deception Peak trail, coming from the Ski Basiin. I have not yet done it via Aspen Vista trail, and hope to do that by the end of this year.

hiking
8 months ago

Definitely go during October (I know I will be!) The trees are a phenomenal bright golden color at that time of year. The seasons are currently turning, and the weather is perfect. Starting early in the morning, this hike took me approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

8 months ago

Tough but beautiful, and almost no people on the trail (on a weekday)

This hike was very beautiful and scenic! It was an easy hike with little challenging parts here and there, but nothing too hard.

This is not an easy hike with rapid elevation gains. But the scenery is beautiful the whole way and the view from the top is breathtaking. Looking north towards the Truchas peaks was a stunning view. Where else can you do a hike with a view like this and be back in Santa Fe for a late lunch.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful scenery. Wonderful weather for the end of July. Trails were not clearly marked. As a beginner I would not rate this as an easy trail, especially if you want to go to the end of the trail and see the falls.

Watch out for the dogs! Very few people heed the dogs on leash rule. And of course those that don't are very fanatic about it. So if you have a dog phobia stay clear.

Previous comments about limited parking are very accurate. If you take something bigger than a medium size vehicle plan to wrestle with a parking spot. There is no parking lot; parking is roadside, and it's a one-lane road.

10 months ago

Pretty awesome hike. It's got some steeper areas so make sure you're in shoes with good traction, but it's a nice hike if you've got a few hours and want a workout. Took me 3:40 to go round trip, but the weather was starting to change so I only rested at the top for a few minutes.

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