Photo of Hiking Trails in Santa Fe, NM

The Best Hiking Trails in Santa Fe, NM

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Trail adventures in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Santa Fe New Mexico is a charming city with incredible access to the outdoors. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are only minutes from the Eastern edge of downtown and the Santa Fe National Forest is nearby. We used the data from tens of thousands of hikes to put together this list of the best hikes in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

If you’re looking to try out the most popular hike near Santa Fe, you should head for the Atalaya Mountain Trail. This moderately challenging hike has incredible views and an amazing diversity of desert wildlife. For an easier route, check out the Dale Ball Trail which is just a few miles northeast of the city.

It’s our mission to help you explore the world around you. We use the data from millions of hikes to create accurate lists and trail maps so you can have a great time on trail. Have fun out there and be sure to share your adventure on Strava!

Top 10 hiking trails in Santa Fe, NM

1

Atalaya Mountain Trail

Moderate
4.98 mi(1h 55m)·
1,035 ft
The Atalaya Mountain Trail is a fun hike with great views of Santa Fe and the surrounding mountains. Atalaya is Spanish for “watchtower,” which is fitting considering the views from the summit. This trail follows an out and back route. Because of its length and overall elevation change, most consider this a moderate hike. The Atalaya mountain trail is one of the most popular hikes with Strava members in Santa Fe. If you’re planning to arrive by car, there is ample parking near the trailhead at St. John’s College.
2

Sun Mountain Trail

Hard
1.52 mi(49m)·
729 ft
The Sun Mountain Trail is a short but challenging hike with steep switchbacks to the summit of Sun Mountain. From the summit you’ll enjoy views of Santa Fe and the surrounding National Forest. This trail follows an out and back route. Because of the steep grades, most consider this a hard hike. This hike is one of the most popular with Strava members in Santa Fe. Take a look at the photos from the community to get a sense of the great views from the top.
3

Picacho Peak Trail

Hard
3.61 mi(1h 45m)·
1,241 ft
The Picacho Peak Trail is a challenging hike that rewards adventurers with panoramic views of The Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The trailhead can be found just off Upper Canyon Road. Once on the trail, the hike follows an out and back route. Because of the steep grades and demanding switchbacks near the summit, most consider this a hard hike. The rewarding views and fun challenge make this one of the most popular hikes in the area with Strava members.
4

Dale Ball Trail

Easy
2.29 mi(53m)·
279 ft
This welcoming loop in the Dale Ball Trail System is a great option for an easy hike. There are a number of possible hikes within this interconnected trail system, and this is the routing Strava members most often select. The trail follows a loop route. Most consider this an easy hike which may be suitable for the whole family. This hike is popular with the local Strava community.
5

Aspen Vista

Moderate
5.77 mi(2h 12m)·
1,092 ft
The Aspen Vista hike along a popular forest service road passes by groves of aspen trees and delivers you to a nice viewpoint. The hike follows an out and back route. Most consider this a moderate trail. A majority of the route follows the forest service road marked FS-150. Did you know that a grove of aspen trees share a root system and are biologically considered one organism? This only adds to the beauty of the hike!
6

Nambe Lake Trail

Hard
6.3 mi(2h 57m)·
2,005 ft
Climb through stunning Sangre de Cristo Mountain scenery to a serene alpine lake. The Nambe Lake Trail begins near the parking lot of the Santa Fe Ski Basin. From there, follow signs for the Windsor Trail. This hike follows the most popular route taken by Strava members and uses a few differently named trails. This takes the shape of an out and back route. The last push to the lake is steep. As a result, most consider this a hard trail. This hike is popular with Strava members in the Santa Fe area. Nambe Lake is a great place to have a snack and take in some beautiful views.
7

The Borrego Triangle Hike

Moderate
4.03 mi(1h 38m)·
903 ft
This hike, which some locals refer to as “The Borrego Triangle” is a fun route that takes advantage of Santa Fe’s great trail system. You’ll begin on the Borrego Trail at the north end of Hyde Memorial State Park. Most hikers stay to the right and take the loop counter clockwise, but the clockwise route is fun too. If you’re proceeding counterclockwise, you’ll turn from the Borrego Trail onto the Windsor Trail then eventually onto the Bear Wallow trail which will return you to the start point. This hike is popular with Strava members in the Santa Fe area.
8

Chamisa Trail

Hard
2.52 mi(1h 0m)·
614 ft
The Chamisa Trail is a fun hike through a peaceful section of the Santa Fe National Forest. You’ll find the trailhead and parking lot just off Hyde Park Road. From there, the trail follows a loop route. Most hikers choose to travel counterclockwise. This is a popular trail with Strava members in the Santa Fe area. It’s a great place to escape the world for a while and settle your mind among the flora and fauna of New Mexico.
9

Bandelier National Monument: Pueblo Loop Trail and Alcove House Trail

Easy
2.71 mi(1h 13m)·
356 ft
This hike within Bandelier National Monument takes you to some of the park’s ancestral Pueblo dwellings. Most hikers begin along the Pueblo Loop trail, check out some of the Pueblo historical structures, then continue along the Alcove House Trail to the Alcove House itself, which would have been home to approximately 25 residents. This is a spectacular trail rich with history of the Ancestral Puebloans. Most hikers consider this an easy trail which can be completed by entire families.
10

Santa Fe Baldy

Hard
13.62 mi(5h 56m)·
3,520 ft
The Santa Fe Baldy hike is a challenging day hike to one of Santa Fe’s tallest summits. You’ll begin along the Windsor Trail, continue onto the Skyline Trail, then take the Baldy Trail to the summit. This trail follows an out and back route and eventually takes you above the treeline. Because of the large elevation gain and long overall route, most consider this a hard hike. This hike is popular with Strava members in Santa Fe. Be sure to bring plenty of food and hydration when you enjoy this spectacular summit.