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Nambe Lake

The most popular alpine lake near Santa Fe.

Trail Running Moderate

10 km
609 m
609 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
3.1 km
High Point
3.5 km
Nambe Lake Map

This out-and-back run to Nambe Lake is one of the most popular alpine lake trails in the Santa Fe area. When sitting in downtown Santa Fe, you might have a hard time believing that you could find a trailhead leading to a beautiful alpine lake just a few miles from downtown, but the road to the Nambe Lake trailhead climbs steeply from downtown, quickly leaving the arid desert behind and exchanging it for a lush alpine environment. By the time you reach the trailhead, you'll be surrounded by aspens and towering pine trees, the dry sand exchanged for dark black dirt.


The run to Nambe Lake begins by traversing the flanks of Ski Santa Fe before entering the national forest. Here the route continues to follow the named Windsor Trail before turning off onto the Nambe Lake trail.

After turning right onto the Nambe Lake trail, the route will follow Nambe Creek. "The trail becomes relatively steep at this point and ascends the remaining 1.2 miles to the alpine lake," writes Blaine Hoppenrath on OutdoorProject.com.

Once at the lake, soak in the incredible scenery of this alpine bowl tucked below Lake Peak. There's an optional loop trail that circumnavigates the lake if you're looking for some bonus miles and a few different perspectives of this idyllic lake.

Once done at the lake, return to your car the same way you came.



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and October

Guidebooks in this area