Santa Fe, NM: Chamisa Trail

Wander ponderosa pines through the Sangre de Cristo foothills to a serene river scene just outside Santa Fe.

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Stop and savor the butterscotch aroma of ponderosa pine bark on this 4.7-mile, dog-friendly out-and-back just outside Santa Fe. Weaving through the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Chamisa Trail departs east from its trailhead, ascending ridge contours through open evergreen forest. Before long, the sound of Hyde Road is exchanged for the chirping of birds and the rustling of wind wandering through the trees. In some spots, rock outcroppings line the well-worn trail and flecks of mica glitter in the sun.
About 1 mile in, the trail arrives at a three-way junction at the top of the ridge. Head to the right to continue over the saddle and descend to the Tesuque River. After a quick drop the trail rolls along past aspens and junipers as the sound of the river gradually increases.
Soak in the river scene for as long as you like before backtracking up to the saddle. From here, retrace your route all the way back to the trailhead, or continue straight (west-northwest) at the saddle junction to loop back to Hyde Road. This hike is doable in springtime, but large portions of the trail may be covered in snow, making for a fairly slippery adventure.
-Mapped by Sarah Curry

Chevron – St Francis Plaza
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Conoco Phillips
215 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM
500 Market Street #100
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works
328 S. Guadalupe St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Kaune’s Neighborhood Market
511 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Whole Foods Market
753 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Back Road Pizza
1807 2nd St # 1
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Aztec Café
317 Aztec

Five & Dime General Store
58 E. San Francisco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.6



Location: 35.728775, -105.8659127

From the trailhead, ascend up the maintained path.


Location: 35.732163, -105.863492

Continue on the ridge through the open forest. Be on the look out for pointy-eared squirrels.


Location: 35.732291, -105.863387

A trail sign to the right of the path reads: Trail 183.


Location: 35.74271, -105.858239

The trail comes to a 3-way junction with a trail map in the middle. Head right over the saddle to go down to the Tesuque River. On the return trip through this junction, you can either backtrack to the Hyde Road trailhead, or take the trail to the west (straight after ascending back up from the river) to loop back to Hyde Road.


Location: 35.752786, -105.858105

The Tesuque River and junction with the Windsor Trail. Head right for a few hundred feet for better access to the river. This makes a great spot for a picnic.

Main Chamisa Trailhead

Location: 35.728693, -105.865186

Chamisa Trail

Location: 35.731032, -105.864243

A wellworn path cuts along the ridge

Nearby Peaks

Location: 35.739243, -105.859706

Winter near the Tesuque River

Location: 35.75323, -105.857636

Emergency Toilet Paper

Location: 35.752547, -105.858277

In a jam? Take your chances…