We spent our late Wednesday afternoon scaling one of the most scenic urban hiking trails one can imagine. The Sun Mountain Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a visual and technical delight. Rising some 813 feel above the roadside parking area, this nifty climbing test has an average grade of 10 degrees and a maximum of 24 degrees during 0.9 mile climb to the top.
The reward offered by Sun Mountain Trail is some of the most spectacular views of Santa Fe and the surrounding landscapes. Furthermore, throughout the hike the trail is bounded by a lovely mixture Pinon, juniper, yucca, prickly pear, cholla plants, as well as blue grama, just to name a few. One can only imagine what the wildflowers look like in spring.
This lovely site has been a popular hiking place for many years and was purchased and placed into a conservation easement in 2009 to prevent the development of a dozen pricey homes on the bulk of the property. Atop the 7,955 foot tall peak, one can view nearly all the city and it’s suburbs, with grand vistas of the mountainous terrain in all directions. It is definitely a prize worth reaching!
Parking is limited alongside Old Santa Fe Trail, and hikers are asked to keep voices down, leash their dogs, and pick up after their dogs, as the trailhead begins amid residential homes. Unfortunately, during our trip, dogs were not being uniformly leashed, nor cleaned up after. Hopefully, the inconsiderate actions of a few will not cause the loss of hiking privileges for the rest of us, for Sun Mountain is a treasure to behold.
If you are ever in the Santa Fe area and have a couple of hours, definitely trek on over to Sun Mountain on the city’s southeast side for a spectacular adventure amidst the scenic beauty of New Mexico’s capital city.