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“A fun way to experience Santa Fe”

Atalaya Mountain Hiking Trail
Ranked #37 of 266 things to do in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
390 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“A fun way to experience Santa Fe”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

This is a very enjoyable trail. In the winter, the 7 mile hike requires some slip-protection on your boots, as it is steep in places and very icy. Worth the time, if you have it. The rewards are great views, and an appreciation of the New Mexico flora and fauna. Quite a few birds on the way, occasional rabbits, and vegetation typical of the region.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank elkabelka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Atalaya oh mama!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Hubby researched hikes after we realized we weren't going to be able to Bandolier Nat'l Park due to the government shutdown. ;-) So he decided on the Atalaya Trail given it fit our hiking experiencing (we love a steep challenge).

We parked at St.John's College, hike through the arroyo for about half a mile, crossed the road, and up we went. The trail is very well marked. It took us 2hrs. 45 min. to get to the top, that was with frequent stops to catch our breath given the steep incline and thin air. The views were breathtaking (pun intended)!

You do have a couple of choices for reaching the top. Midway up there is a sign, steep hike go left - easier (if hiking 2K ft up to 9K ft peak is easy) go right. We popped some Advil and went left. As you reach the top, there are 3 challenging switchbacks, whew! Hubby and I recommend walking sticks, they were (are) our saving grace, especially coming down.

Next visit, we're hitting the Aspen Trial in Santa Fe!

Visited October 2013
7 Thank ReadEatTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
307 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Great day hike”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I am a moderate hiker and this trail, beginning at St Johns College, was somewhat challenging. As stated in other reviews, the trail begins rather easily, level, good footing and not a problem. As you get to about 2 miles in, the trail begins the steep uphills, which at first seem like it won't be a problem but then continue on and on. I am a slow and steady up-hiller, both on bikes and hiking, and I was definitely slow on this mountain climb. The plus is that the trail is well marked and had absolutely beautiful, stunning views. The weather was perfect, lots of sun but not too hot. Be sure to wear sunscreen because there is not complete shade. There are places where you experience a cool rush of air (in the shade) and other places where the sun beats down on you intensely. Getting to the top was heaven! We stopped to sit for a bit, got some nutrition, took photos, then headed back down the other side. All total we hiked for 6.2 miles in approx 3 hours. This is a hike that I would not recommend for folks who experience significant knee problems from going down hill. Shoes with good footing are a must. Enjoy.

Visited October 2013
5 Thank plbbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
106 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great Day Hike from Santa Fe”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

The Atalaya Mountain Trail is a local favorite. It is accessible either from St. Johns College (Trail 174 about 7 miles round trip) or a few miles past the entrance to the college up Paseo de la Cruz Blanca (Trail 170 about 4 miles round trip). There are about 10 spaces total for cars; we had no trouble. We took Trail 170. You walk about 10 minutes up the road then through a gated community and up stairs to the trail. It is not too difficult if you're in relatively good shape. (The middle selection has a "Difficult"/"Easy" option.) Hiking boots are recommended. There are panoramic views of the surrounding country side. At a fairly leisurely pace it took us 3 hours 15 minutes from our car and back, including 15 minutes at the top. Morning is better to avoid afternoon storms in the summer.

Visited August 2013
5 Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“It's tough (for me!) but don't give up.”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

The info on this hike says '4 miles round trip' or something like that, so I thought-- no biggie. Well, it is a biggie because a lot of that 4 miles is up hill.
However, the view from the top is great and you can pig out on dinner without any guilt after-- so go for it!
BTW, start out by parking at the higher (later) point of Ponderosa Ridge development (only about 6 parking slots there); not at the lower college parking lot.
Secondly, the initial few hundred yards is thru' a residential area. The start of the actual trail is actually easy to miss as there is no sign there-- it is where the gravel path takes a sharp right. If you reach a dead end on the gravel path, you went too far- come back about a 100 yards and you will see the start of the trail.

Visited October 2012
10 Thank nymi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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