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3 “Must-Do” Hiking Trails in Santa Fe


View from Atalaya Hiking Trail in Santa Fe, NM near Diamond Tail, Placitas, NM
View from Atalaya Trail in Santa Fe - taken by N. Ouimet

Santa Fe is only 45 minutes from Diamond Tail and offers a myriad of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. From picturesque mountains to serene forests, Santa Fe boasts an extensive network of hiking trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. In this article you’ll learn about three “must-do” hiking trails in Santa Fe: Atalaya Trail, Chamisa Trail, and Aspen Vista Trail. Lace up your boots, grab your daypack, and get ready to embark on unforgettable journeys through the enchanting wilderness of Santa Fe.


Atalaya Trail: located just minutes away from downtown Santa Fe, the Atalaya Trail provides hikers with a rewarding experience, blending scenic beauty and a beginner level of challenge. This 6-mile out and back trail is known for its breathtaking vistas and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. As you ascend through the aspen, pinon and juniper forests, you'll be greeted by sweeping vistas of the city, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the vast expanse of the Santa Fe National Forest. The trail reaches its highest point at the Atalaya Mountain summit, standing tall at 9,121 feet, where you can soak in the awe-inspiring views before making your way back down. This hike is good for families on an afternoon excursion. Dogs are also welcome on the trail as long as they are kept on a leash.


View from Chamisa Hiking Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico near Diamond Tail, Placitas
View from Chamisa Trail in Santa Fe - taken by S. Hartgers

Chamisa Trail: for those seeking a more challenging but tranquil hiking experience, the Chamisa Trail offers a serene escape into the wonders of nature. Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this 4.5-mile loop trail meanders through ponderosa pine forests, open meadows, and fragrant juniper groves. The trail showcases the region's diverse flora and fauna, including wildflowers in spring and vibrant foliage in the fall. Along the way, keep an eye out for resident wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and a variety of bird species. With its moderate difficulty level and captivating surroundings, the Chamisa Trail is an ideal choice for hikers seeking a peaceful communion with nature. This trail is best enjoyed April-October when the weather is typically warm and beautiful.


Views from the Aspen Vista Hiking Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico near Diamond Tail, Placitas
View from the Aspen Vista Trail in Santa Fe - taken by M. Escudero

Aspen Vista Trail: if you're in search of a trail that showcases Santa Fe's natural beauty in all its glory, the Aspen Vista Trail is a must-visit. This moderate level 11-mile out-and-back trail, situated in the Santa Fe National Forest, takes you through a breathtaking landscape adorned with towering aspen groves. The trail is especially captivating during the fall season when the aspens turn a vibrant golden hue, creating a stunning display of colors. The gradual incline of the trail makes it accessible to hikers of various skill levels, and there are plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the surroundings. Whether you're an avid photographer or simply seeking a peaceful walk among the trees, the Aspen Vista Trail is sure to leave you in awe of nature's wonders.


Wildflowers near the Aspen Vista Hiking Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico near Diamond Tail Lots for Sale in Placitas, NM
Wildflowers near the Aspen Vista Trail in Santa Fe - taken by J. Cocoran

Santa Fe, with its natural beauty and diverse landscapes, offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and hiking aficionados. The Atalaya Trail, Chamisa Trail, and Aspen Vista Trail exemplify the scenic splendor that awaits visitors in this enchanting city. From panoramic views of the Santa Fe skyline to serene walks through fragrant forests, these trails provide an immersive experience that will leave you with lasting memories. So, pack your hiking gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and discover the magic of Santa Fe's hiking trails that beckon you to explore their wonders.


Priviate Hiking Trails at Diamond Tail in Placitas, NM - Lots for Sale  - minutes from Santa Fe
Priviate Hiking Trails at Diamond Tail in Placitas, NM - minutes from Santa Fe

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