The hike up Pajarito Mountain doesn't follow the best trail ever, but the view from the top is truly incredible!

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

397

m

397

m

20

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Difficult

Description

The hiking-only trail up Pajarito Mountain begins from the base area and ascends directly up a ski slope under the Aspen Triple chairlift.

There are no switchbacks, no grade reversals, and very little trail maintenance: it's simply a fall-line social trail that punches straight up the mountain. As a result, it's a pretty grueling climb: there's no respite, and you'll be exposed to the harsh New Mexico sunlight beating down on you the entire time.

Sure, there are great views if you turn around and look off the stunning slopes of the mountain, but as you face forward, you'll simply stare at a wall of grass as you grind and grind. Once at the top of the Aspen Triple chairlift, you'll enjoy a brief respite as you walk along ski trails on the top of the ridge before a short climb to the top of the Mother Double chairlift.

From the Mother Double, follow a faint trail heading up into the trees to wind your way around to the very top of 10,441-foot Pajarito Mountain and the spectacular viewpoint on the backside (south side) of the mountain. As you break out of the trees, you'll be confronted by a stunning panorama of the rolling mountains trotting away into the distance, with glimpses of the desert far below.

Wide-open fields unfurl below you, with beautiful aspen groves in the distance.

To savor the view, keep hiking along until you find the unique hand-built bench, providing the perfect spot to sit and contemplate the stunning vista. Once done enjoying the spectacular reward for your effort, it's time to retrace your steps back down the mountain.

However, if you choose to hike to the top during the week when the bike park is closed, you could opt to take a better-quality trail back down the mountain, like [Aspen for Trouble](https://fatmap.com/routeid/3359741/aspen-for-trouble:-downhill).

This would increase the total distance of the hike, but the caliber of the singletrack is much higher.