Atalaya

A high foothill of Santa Fe and essentially the Southern terminus of the Rocky Mountain range Atalaya is a well known hike to most Santa Feans. The proximity of this hike to town provides the hiker with an opportunity to get away from it all but still be within striking distance of Santa Fe. Rising 2,000 feet above the city different Atalaya is known for its steep terrain and exceptional vistas. There are two options for this trek: A. Begin from the St John’s trailhead making this a 7 mile hike or B. start from the Wilderness gate trailhead, which lies right at the foot of the mountain but has limited parking. Option B is more desirable in the sense that you can hike shortens to 5 miles instead of 7 however, the climbing begins almost immediately. I prefer option B. We will hike on a very well maintained trail through pinon and ponderosa pine country that is noticeably common to these elevations in this area. On most days Ravens frequent Atalaya’s rocky Summit. Watching them soar as they effortlessly catch the thermal ride is a intriguing part of this summit experience. We will have unobstructed views of the Ortiz, Sandia, and Jemez ranges as well as Mount Taylor on most days. The option B hike should take us approximately 3 and a half hours with another hour added if we decide on option A. This hike can typically be done year round without snowshoes (ice traction devices may be needed during the winter months). Recommended March, April, May, October and November. Hikeable in the Summer.

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