“A fun loop that has it all: singletrack, steep climbs, exposed ridges and a couple summits.”
— Peter Olson
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Treat any water you collect along this route.
This hike brings you over the cool traverse to Lake Peak and zips you down miles of great singletrack snaking through the forest.
This hike begins in the parking lot of the Santa Fe Ski Basin and climbs the Winsor National Recreation Trail
to the fence at the Pecos Wilderness boundary. At the fence line, turn right and follow the trail and fence uphill. There are several scenic overlook spots as the trail climbs Raven's Ridge
to Lake Peak.
As you break free from treeline, continue uphill to the shoulder of Deception Peak (once you get there, you realize there is another peak higher just over there). Traverse the rocky and exposed ridgeline to the top of Lake Peak. From Lake Peak, drop toward the east and the treeless Penitente Peak. Look for Big Horn sheep up here as they like to hang out in this area.
From the top of Penitente, follow the Skyline Trail #251
down, down, and down to the Winsor National Recreation Trail
at Puerto Nambe. A lot of the dead-fall has recently been cleared, so the trail is in great shape. Follow the Winsor National Recreation Trail
back to the ski area parking lot. This part of the hike crosses a couple of streams so your faithful pooch can get water and you can refill your bottles, but you MUST treat the water.
Flora & Fauna
Be on the lookout for Big Horn Sheep - they love the rocky, exposed side slopes in this area.