Explore the most popular lake 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.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

First of all what a Trek!! I got 4.8 miles on my Apple Watch, but I’m pretty sure it was more. If it wasn’t for my husband being there before I think we would have lost the map due to poor cell service. This hike is incredibly difficult at certain points. It’s a straight up incline up the ski basin slopes. We hit almost 12,000 feet in elevation just to give you an idea. You go to the top of the towers where you would normally ski the big tesuque trail from the top. I recommend snacks and extra water in a backpack. It took us 4 hours there and back. And just remember what goes up must came down. The hike down was more awkward on your knees. But overall the view is worth it! All I’m saying is being prepared for a long hike. Enjoy the views!! We saw herd of cattle and lots of deer!!! Enjoy <3

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike. I headed up mid morning and got back early afternoon. More foot traffic as I was heading out. All the up was worth it! The lake and surrounding area was beautiful. Additional notes: ran into a cow herd on the way up. Peaceful forest. Trail is rocky. Download the map to help with the section after the switch in trails; trail was easily lost.

ahh ok. I am glad to see this trail is rated difficult! I thought I was just in bad shape! seriously this trail definitely has some really steep stretches that makes it quite exhausting but really worth it! beautiful waterfall along the way and the lake is crystal clear! my twelve year old made it too and I am nearly 50 and not in the best shape so it's not that difficult! I also heard a hermit thrush along the way. beautiful bird with a flute voice!! overall a great hike!!

hiking
19 days ago

July 29 2018. Gorgeous day to be hiking considering all the recent heavy rain around Santa Fe. Today clear skies and nothing but beauty every where you look. This hike out and back was right at 7 miles. I too took a few wrong turns and had to back track out. I do agree the trail is a bit hard to follow after the Windsor /Nambe fork. There is a high and a low trail, I suggest following the lower trail near the creek. After crossing the creek continue on - from here the remaining portion of the trail is frickin' hard. Upon arriving at the Lake, all the sweat was more than worth it. The Lake was crystal clear and just sparkled with the sun's reflection. Amazingly beautiful. Enjoy.

hiking
20 days ago

I have to agree with everyone else’s reviews. This was a challenge and I am in decent shape. Loved the breathtaking views . Ran out of time to get to the top so I will be definitely be coming back . Its a weekend so it was busy but everyone was friendly and sweet furbabies all around. The all trails kept us on track and we got to scramble up a few rocks too !

One of my fave day hikes

hiking
25 days ago

It was absolutely beautiful but we lost the trail and were wondering around for a while. The lake was amazing and cold !
Hiking took us around 6 hours total including our stop by the lake for 2 hours. We are not expert hikers..

hiking
26 days ago

We took trail #261 for a 8.5 mile there and back from the second trail head. Actually you start on #254 then turn right on #261. That trail is not officially maintained and not on trail maps. It is beautiful and not overly challenging. You do have to clamor over downed trees but it doesn’t slow you down too much. After following #261 for several miles you rejoin with #254. After half a mile you juncture with Skyline trail. Go right and reach the lake after about half a mile. Lake is beautiful and worth the effort. We did this first day at altitude and didn’t find it to be too much. It was a beautiful warm day with no clouds and the wild flowers were lovely. Highly recommend.

Solid class 3 scrambling at the traverse from Deception Peak

LOVED IT

hiking
1 month 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).
Get an early start, afternoon showers could make for flash flooding at the lake.

hiking
1 month 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.

on Stewart Lake Trail

1 month ago

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

Great trail. Short. Beautiful falls.

backpacking
2 months 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.

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.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

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.

on Nambe Lake Trail

3 months ago

Awesome trail ! Just hiked this with my husband today (mid may). A little snow but nothing we couldn't do in waterproof hiking boots ! It was steep at the beginning and at the end, relatively flat for the mid mile and a half. Took us about 4.5 hours including sitting and having lunch at the lake, and getting lost ! It wasn't well marked but following the map on all trails and talking to a few other hikers we figured it out. Well worth the time ! Start at Winsor trail sign follow 254 (other side of Parking lot - a little further down from the ski basin)

hiking
3 months 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.

backpacking
3 months ago

The lake area was totally free of snow this past weekend. The hike length in was just right for my seven-year-old daughter. (She was beginning to complain in the last mile before we got there, but she still had the energy to explore the lake.) We spent the night and headed back the next morning. Note that signs along the trail do not direct you to Stewart lake. Instead they tell you the trail name and/or the trail number. If you know the trail numbers to get to Stewart Lake from the Cowles parking lot (Trail #271 and #251), you should be able to find your way. Also, you come to a small pond on trail #251 right before you reach Stewart lake. You need to go another, say, 0.25 miles to reach Stewart Lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice hike. Only took about 3.5 hours moving time with another hour devoted to taking photos. Views from the top were incredible. A little ice and snow still on the trail, post holed a few times.

Hiked this trail last week. It is a beautiful hike but still pretty icy in a few spots. The lake is also still frozen but that was probably my favorite part. I highly recommend it!

on Nambe Lake Trail

3 months ago

A nice trail to do but at this point it’s still very icy. Proper equipment is a must. The trail itself is also not very well marked.

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect weather for a perfect hike!

hiking
3 months 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!

Load More