1710 N. Riverside Drive
Española, NM 87532
- 5.6 miles
- 3.5 - 4.5 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 9800 feet
- Elevation Range:
- 9800 feet to 12040 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 2240 feet
- Spring to Fall
Beginning at the north end of the Aspen Vista parking lot, go around the gate and into a forest of conifer and aspen. After about a mile, the road crosses the north fork of Tesuque Creek. From this point, the road makes a series of climbs for about a mile, through one of the largest continuous stands of aspen in New Mexico. Soon the aspens thin out, giving way to pure stands of spruce.
In another mile the road has climbed to about 11,000 feet in elevation. To the southwest is an excellent view of Santa Fe and the Big Tesuque drainage. The road comes to a steep, sharp left turn after which it levels out somewhat. In another mile the road leaves the trees at timberline. The final stretch to Santa Fe Ski Area and the Tesuque Peak Electronic Site is out in the open and is often quite windy. Just after you pass under the chairlift, you can turn left onto the Skyline Trail 251 to the summit of Lake Peak and beyond, if you wish, or continue on the road to the summit of Tesuque Peak. The vegetation at the very top is alpine tundra with exquisite wildflowers. However, it is very delicate.
- Santa Fe Area
- Snowshoeing, Hiking
In fall, the colors are spectacular.
Please avoid walking on the vegetation and leave the flowers for others to enjoy.
The easy grades make the first few miles of this road ideal for walkers of all abilities. The trip becomes a bit more difficult at higher elevations and a few steeper grades are encountered.
Restrooms and picnic facilities are available at Aspen Vista.
The upper reaches may be quite windy and cool, so carry extra layers of clothing.
Map + Directions
Take Hyde Park Road (State Highway 475) northeast from Santa Fe to Aspen Vista Picnic Area, just beyond the 13-mile marker. Ample parking is available.