Santa Fe Baldy is the Southern Rockies premier mountain, boasting at an altitude of 12,622 feet. It sits high at the southern terminus of the Rockies. Essentially it is the beginning of the incredible range that extends into Canada. This is a strenuous day hike and is recommended as an overnight trip. These high altitudes are no joke and if you’re coming from sea level prepare to spend several days acclimatizing prior to taking on an endeavor such as this. This trek takes one deep into the Pecos Wilderness, providing huge 360 degree views and a taste of the solitude to be found here in the land of enchantment. If you are an experienced hiker and want the ultimate tour of the Pecos then this is the trek for you.
Our trek will begin at the Santa fe Ski basin (10,250 ft). From here we will begin our climb. The well used and well maintained trail switchbacks up about 600 ft in less than a mile before it enters the Pecos Wilderness. Dramatically everything changes, as it usually does when you enter preserved lands. This is the backcountry! From the boundary the trail gradually descends through spruce, lodgepole pine and beautiful aspen groves. Glimpses of Baldy are at times seen through the dense forest. After about 2 or so miles of easy hiking we will come to our first water source (Nambe creek). Also, the junction with the steep Nambe Lake trail. From here more casual walking will bring us past more streams that feed into the Nambe. At 4 and a half miles we will come to the spectacular Puerto Nambe. Meadows and vistas of the nearby mountains are what this area is known for. About three more miles to go for the summit of Santa Fe Baldy. If you are deciding on a backpacking trip this is the area where we will try to make our basecamp camp. The air gets more thin and eventually we will reach the tree line (around 12,000ft) where the trees stop growing.) Now we are in the tundra-a lunar land. This is no place to be during a storm as there is minimal protection from the elements. If we are up here and something does roll in we will have to retreat immediately to timber line where we can seek shelter. This is non negotiable. We will return the same way we came. Total hiking distance: approx 14 miles, Elevation gain 3600ft, Estimated Duration: 8-10hrs. Although this trek is suggested for the Summer months snowshoe treks are also encouraged. Recommended months are late June through mid October (snow permitting)