Hike to Picacho Peak and Atalaya Peak

Santa Fe, New Mexico

based on 1 reviews


Added by Sarah Levant

Beautiful scenic hike 10 minutes from Santa Fe Plaza on the Dale Ball Trail system offering panoramic views from both peaks.

Begin this trail from the Cerro Gordo Trailhead which is only about 10 minutes from Santa Fe Plaza. You can park in the lot near the intersection of Cerro Gordo and Upper Canyon Rd. The lot will fill up on the weekends so arrive early. From the lot, take the short Nature Conservancy trail to the Dale Ball trail marker. You will pass through two green gates, cross a stream and meet back up with Upper Canyon Rd. From there you will see a wood Dale Ball trail marker. Continue on by following the map to Picacho Peak. The Dale Ball trail system is easy to follow with numbered trails and maps at every intersection. 

You will climb a little over 1,100' in elevation on the 2.5 mile hike to Picacho Peak. The trail is very well maintained and follows several switchbacks which will turn rocky as you get close to the peak. Take a well deserved break at the top and enjoy the 360 degree views. From there, hike back down to stop #34 then take the trail for about a mile to Atalaya Peak by hiking to spot #36 then to the peak. If you liked Picacho's views, Atalaya is almost 600' higher and offers even more limitless views of the valley and mountains below. 

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Hike to Picacho Peak and Atalaya Peak Reviews

I hiked only to the Picacho Peak (~3.5 miles RT) the first week in February. Lower parts of the trail required spikes and I saw a few other hikers with poles to help. Otherwise, this was a fantastic winter hike close to Santa Fe. I was actually surprised at how few people I saw on a trail so close to town, but that's one of the many things I love about New Mexico.

Leave No Trace

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