8 of the Best Hiking Trails in Santa Fe

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. Make sure you request our free Vacation Guide to find more outdoor activities and adventures in the Land of Enchantment!

The Top Santa Fe Hiking Trails

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 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!

La Tierra Trails

The La Tierra Trail network features a loop that connects several different paths around 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.

Arroyo de los 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.

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.

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).

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.

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 2 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.

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.

Stay at El FarolitoFireplace

Rest and relax in your Southwestern-themed room at El Farolito! Our beautiful adobe Inn provides you with the quintessential New Mexico getaway in the unique town of Santa Fe! Your room is steps away from the heart of the city, so you can easily get out and explore the Palace of Governors, Loreto Chapel, and other outstanding historical sitesaround town!

Ready to plan your Santa Fe trip? Check our availability and book your room today! We look forward to welcoming you to El Farolito!