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Here Are 8 of The Best Santa Fe Hiking Trails

Panoramic view of the red rocks area in northern New Mexico

Most people come to the City Different in search of art, culture, cuisine, and history. While that is undoubtedly the heart and soul of our Northern New Mexico paradise, the hiking trails around Santa Fe offer a bevy of ways to explore the scenic landscapes, from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the tree-shrouded hills of Santa Fe National Forest.  

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The Top Santa Fe Hiking Trails 

1. Atalaya Mountain Trail 

This 5.8 trail takes you from St. John’s College in the Santa Fe foothills to the peak of Atalaya Mountain. The moderate difficulty rating on this trail means that most people can conquer this trail with little resistance. The first portion of this popular out-and-back Santa Fe hiking trail is relatively easy, but the path near the top of the mountain can get slippery and have patches of snow depending on the time of year. It’s well worth the effort, though, as the sweeping views of Santa Fe and the surrounding areas are fantastic! 

2. La Tierra Trails 

The La Tierra Trail network features a loop that connects several different paths around the New Mexico backcountry 10 minutes north of Santa Fe. Local bird species and wildflowers are the main draws on this 10.5-mile loop. This is one of the easier Santa Fe hiking trails, as it is predominately flat and very well-marked. 

3. Arroyo dlos Chamisos Trail 

One of the only paved Santa Fe hiking trails in the area, the Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail stretches 10.4 miles from Governors Mile Road to the outskirts of downtown. This takes you through miles of neighborhoods and city parks, where you’ll encounter wildflowers and serene stretches of well-maintained pathways. It’s the perfect place for a morning run, and you can’t beat the views of the surrounding Santa Fe Mountains. 

4. Santa Fe Rail Trail 

Runners searching for a long trail will fall in love with the Santa Fe Rail Trail. The path starts at the Santa Fe Railyard near the outskirts of downtown and follows the railway south for 15.5-mile point to point trail south past Eldorado at Santa Fe. While most people run or walk the first part of the path, it’s the perfect Santa Fe hiking trail for convenient access and a long, uninterrupted jog. 

5. Dale Ball Trails 

The Dale Ball Trails consist of a 22-mile network of paths and hikes through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You’ll find walks of varying difficulties in the trail system. Advanced hikers can challenge themselves, and beginners can go for a leisurely tour of the Santa Fe foothills. One of the best parts about this trail network is that you can easily access it from the heart of town (10 minutes away). 

6. Arroyo Hondo Open Space Trail 

Head south of the City Different to the end of Old Agua Fria Road for a quick hike on the Arroyo Hondo Open Space Trail. This 1.8-mile path is excellent for all experience levels and winds its way through New Mexico brush and backcountry. We recommend this Santa Fe hiking trail for a quick run or jog away from the heavily trafficked areas in and around the center of the city. 

7. Rio En Medio Trailhead 

Venture 25 minutes north of Santa Fe to discover one of the few lush areas in the Northern New Mexico desert ecosystem. The reward at the end of the first two miles of this out-and-back trail is Rio En Medio Falls, which is a welcome reprieve from the dry, dusty terrain that dominates the Land of Enchantment. Revel in this peaceful, lightly trafficked mountain nature before heading back to your car. 

8. Chamisa Trailhead 

The Chamisa Trail takes you for a moderately difficult journey through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains east of town. The first part of this Santa Fe hiking trail is steep, but other than the incline, but most hikers should be able to navigate their way through the loop with relative ease. Keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers and trees in bloom. You’re down the road from Hyde Memorial State Park, which has several easy short trails. 

Book Your Stay at Four Kachinas InnThe interior of Kachina Room 1 

Return to your comfortable room at Four Kachinas after a day of hiking through the Northern New Mexico wilderness. Each of our authentically decorated accommodations features gracious amenities and beautiful interiors, providing you with an unmatched stay in our one-of-a-kind city. Wake up to a delicious breakfast every morning before walking out of your door into the heart of Santa Fe! 

Start planning your trip to the City Different and book one of our rooms today! We look forward to welcoming you to Four Kachinas! 

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