Hike to the Summit of Lake Peak

New Mexico Winsor Trail, Santa Fe Ski Basin

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2600 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Hike to the summit of Lake Peak at 12,409ft. Enjoy beautiful views of the Pecos Wilderness and Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Lake Peak is an accessible day hike to one of New Mexico's 12er peaks, located close to Santa Fe and within the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Leave your car at the Santa Fe Ski Basin parking lot and look for signs for the Winsor Trail on the northwest side of the lot. Follow the Winsor Trail as it switchbacks through aspen groves, slowly climbing its way to the Pecos Wilderness.

When you reach a fence with a gate marking the entrance to the Pecos Wilderness, take the fork going up to your right (east) rather than continue straight ahead. This begins the steepest section of the hike along the Raven's Ridge trail in dense forest, although you'll come across a few places along the way to pop out on a rock outcrop for some beautiful views of Lake Peak ahead and Nambe Lake beneath.

The Raven's Ridge trail will take you above tree line and you'll soon top out on Deception Peak at 12,320ft. From here, continue to the north along the South Ridge of Lake Peak along a rocky ridge. The route is not very technical but there is decent exposure and a few sections requiring third class moves. You'll reach the summit of Lake Peak after about a quarter mile from the start of the ridge, where you can bask in the 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and wilderness. Time your hike in the fall and you'll be surrounded by the bright yellow and oranges of the aspens changing. If you're hiking in summer, be prepared for quick changes in weather at the summit and be ready to move quickly off the peak if a thunderstorm is brewing.

Return the way you came and then head back to Santa Fe for a delicious and well-earned meal and margarita at La Choza!

Getting there: From downtown Santa Fe, take Paseo de Peralta to its intersection with Bishops Lodge Rd. Head north on Bishops Lodge Rd. for a couple of blocks and then take a right up Hyde Park Rd./NM 475. Follow this road to its terminus at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.

Pack List

  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Good hiking boots
  • Camera
  • Hiking poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Layers for the summit
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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It was a beautiful area, with many trails heading into the Pecos Wilderness that I would love to come back and hike someday. Although I wasn't able to summit due to the weather, I was able to get within 500 vertical feet of the peak. I did see a lot of people on the trail, but only because it was Labor Day Weekend. I'm sure that the farther into the Pecos Wilderness that you get, the less people that you see. All that being said, I would love to come back again at some point and summit Lake Peak, and possibly other mountains in the area.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Didn't get all the way to the top due to rain but absolutely loved the hike! Within an hour and an half we were looking at amazing vistas of the surrounding mountains. This is totally worth your time and it's not too hard either. Definitely going back to the summit.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

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