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Picacho Peak

An achievable peak hike from the outskirts of Santa Fe.

Hiking Difficult

5.6 km
375 m
374 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
2.6 km
Picacho Peak Map

While Picacho Peak isn't as popular of a hike as nearby Atalaya Mountain, this route offers a shorter, less strenuous peak hike option near Santa Fe.


The trail starts near Santa Fe Canyon Preserve in a wooded area, climbing steeply up the mountainside. The hike passes through a forest of juniper scrub, ponderposa pine, and pinon pine. Eventually, the trees thin, and expansive views of the area begin to open up before you. "The last mile of the hike is up numerous short switchbacks," and the final 500 yards is even steeper, according to Denis LaBlanc on OutdoorProject.com.

At the summit, Picacho Peak provides stunning 360-degree views over Santa Fe! This short hike provides "perhaps the biggest return for the effort" of any hike in Santa Fe, according to LaBlanc.

Since Picacho Peak is located in the Dale Ball Trail System, you can either return to your car via the same route or utilize other trails in the system to create a longer hike. If you're up for a big day in the mountains, you could even connect to Atalaya Mountain for a big loop, tagging multiple peaks.

Sources: https://www.outdoorproject.com/united-states/new-mexico/picacho-peak-hike https://wandernewmexico.com/blog/best-day-hikes-near-santa-fe



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and December


  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area