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Dale Ball South

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (6)

An exquisite network of singletrack trails winding through the foothills above Santa Fe.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.1

KM

Point to Point

8,439' 2,572 m

High

7,178' 2,188 m

Low

1,373' 418 m

Up

1,506' 459 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

An awesome system of trails running up and down through the pinon/juniper forest up to the ponderosa higher up the mountains. Follow the maps at each intersection for a custom made route up to the top of mountains or contouring around their shoulders. There is something for everyone here. These trails connect to the two other sections of the Dale Ball Trail System.

The most popular access point is at the end of Cerro Gordo Road. From this parking lot head through the gate east. The trail turns right (straight goes to the Audubon Center) and dips down into the headwaters of the Santa Fe River which doesn't always flow. Climb the bank to the road. Cross the road like a chicken would then start climbing. The trail is hard packed and makes many switchbacks as you climb to a large berm used to divert water into an irrigation acequia that has been out of service for many years. After traipsing along the top of this berm, you turn into a narrow canyon with a rocky floor and start to weave through big ponderosa pines.

These trails generally go up or down and not much level travel but the tread is good mostly hard-packed dirt, pine duff and some rocky sections. Around about a mile in you'll come to the first intersection, left continues to climb and right descends a bit but don't be fooled for what goes down must come up again...or so they say. Taking all lefts will bring you to the top of Picacho Peak. These trails are challenging but very fun with just enough up and down to remind you that you are in the mountains.

Contacts

Shared By:

Peter Olson

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes

#6185

Overall
  4.7 from 6 votes
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4 Star
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Trail Rankings

#88

in New Mexico

#6,185

Overall
33 Views Last Month
2,129 Since Jun 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Top of Picacho Peak
Jun 5, 2015 near Santa Fe, NM

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Check-Ins

Oct 11, 2020
Susan McKay
Picacho Peak 4.1mi — 2h 30m
Nov 30, 2019
Dan Delgado
Feb 3, 2018
Kamran S
Pacheco mountain 1.9mi
Oct 30, 2017
E L
Oct 3, 2017
Nick V
Great hike up to Picacho peak today! I started from the west end of the trail where it meets upper canyon road. The first quarter mile from here, t... 7mi
Aug 29, 2017
Ellie Hoffman