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Winsor Trail Trail No. 154 - Part 2

Contact Info
Santa Fe National Forest
1710 N. Riverside Drive
Española, NM 87532

Phone:
505-753-7331
Basics
Length:
5 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
2.5 - 3.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10300 feet
Elevation Range:
10300 feet to 11070 feet
Elevation Change:
770 feet
Usage:
Heavy
Season:
Year Round

Description

After you cross the small bridge over the Rio en Medio, the Winsor Trail branches left and downhill to Tesuque, or right and uphill toward the Pecos Wilderness. Take the right here and follow the trail uphill as it begins a steady climb, switchbacking in about a half mile to the Pecos Wilderness boundary at a wooden fence with a walk through gate. This section is rather steep, and many people get discouraged here: don’t be, as the trail grade will soon level out. Follow through the gate, and continue on the well-worn trail as it winds through a mixed conifer forest of spruce, fir and aspen. In another half mile you will reach the junction with the Lower Nambe Trail 403 to the west- this is a steep foot trail leading down to the Rio Nambe, and is not recommended for travel with stock.

Keep following the Winsor Trail, in another mile you will meet the junction with the Nambe Lake Trail 400 to the south. This is a steep trail climbing up to Nambe Lake, a major source of the waters of the Rio Nambe. Crossing this fork of the rio on a small footbridge, continue on the Winsor through dense stands of aspen with the occasional glimpse through the trees to the distant peak of Santa Fe Baldy. Soon you will meet the junction with the Upper Nambe Trail 101 to your north- this is a meandering path through the aspens down to the Rio Nambe, and a beautiful meadow known as La Vega.

Continuing on the Winsor Trail, you will pass the junction with the Rio Nambe Trail 160 to your north just before you cross a couple forks of the upper Rio Nambe. The Winsor Trail then climbs through several switchbacks before leveling off at a large alpine meadow known as Puerto Nambe. There are many good campsites here. Enjoy the views here of the high craggy peaks all around you. The Skyline Trail 251 will soon take off to the north, climbing rapidly towards Santa Fe Baldy; continue east on the Winsor, which for a short section here also shares the tread with a section of the Skyline Trail. You will leave the alpine meadow and return to a mixed conifer forest, and soon the Skyline Trail 251 will branch off towards the south and Penitente Peak. At this point you are leaving the Española Ranger District and entering the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District. Continue east along the Winsor Trail and in about a mile you will arrive at the edge of Spirit Lake.

Tour Companies

  • Santa Fe Area
  • Snowshoeing, Hiking
  • 505-660-0394

Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing From alpine to desert, Outspire guides enrich your experience by giving context to your hike. So that your destination is not only what you see, but a sense of where the area fits in New Mexico's history, geology and natural world. Our hiking guides are experienced, enthusiastic, and motivated to share the joy of being outside! Day hikes and winter snowshoe outings are planned to suit your interests and fitness.

Details

Length:
5 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
2.5 - 3.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10300
Elevation Range:
10300 feet to 11070
Elevation Change:
770
Usage:
Heavy
Season:
Year Round
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Aspen Basin, Cowles, and Pecos Wilderness Map
Additional Details:

The Winsor Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail and is one of the most popular and heavily used trails on the Espanola Ranger District.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Fifteen miles from downtown Santa Fe on NM 475 will bring you to the end of the highway and the parking lot for Ski Santa Fe. Park in the lower or western side of the lot. The trailhead is just north of the toilet building for the Aspen Basin Campground, at a large informational kiosk.


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