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Very popular and well travelled local trail in the eastern foothills of Santa Fe.


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Map Key

0.8

Miles

1.3

KM

Point to Point

7,950' 2,423 m

High

7,201' 2,195 m

Low

748' 228 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

17%

Avg Grade (10°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views

Need to Know

No bathrooms or port-a-potties. Recommend taking a small bottle of water. Aproximate hiking time to the summit is 30 minutes.

Description

Park on either side of Old Santa Fe Trail near the trailhead. Pay attention to the no parking signs as there are stretches where parking is not allowed. Do not leave anything visible in your car, high incidence of car break-ins. You'll see a hand-carved wood sign reading, "Sun Mountain Trail". The trail is a very popular and heavily trafficked singletrack route that is used year round, including snowy days in the dead of winter. Santa Feans are very active and love to hike in all types of weather.

The first section of Sun Mountain is an easy, relatively flat approach that meanders through easement-permitted private property with a few adobe pueblo homes on the left and right of the trail. Since Sun Mountain is a steep foothill, the trail begins to gradually turn right in order to gain the eastern slope which transitions into a series of rocky switchbacks which get progressively steeper as you approach the mid section of the mountain.

Near the top, you come upon a large, smooth rock crop that cascades down like a granite waterfall. You'll find hikers sunbathing here in the summer and spring months. It's a great spot to take a breather and soak in the beautiful views of the Ortiz and Sandia Mountains to the south and southwest and Jemez Mountains to the West. After leaving the big rock crop, the trail moves into the upper section which eventually takes you up a fairly steep, rocky staircase and through a pink and white granite crux to the summit.

Flora & Fauna

Piñon pine, juniper, nopal cactus, yucca, black ravens, mule deer, coyote.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Keller with improvements by MJ Strand

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#1

in Santa Fe

#9969

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
83%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Santa Fe

#150

in New Mexico

#9,969

Overall
76 Views Last Month
5,062 Since Dec 2, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
17%
0%
17%
67%
0%

Photos

Summit Fever - Sun Mountain
Dec 7, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM
Summit of Sun Mountain
Dec 7, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM
Sun Mountain Summit
Dec 7, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM
Pano from top
Oct 25, 2023 near Santa Fe, NM
Sunset on Sun Mountain
Dec 7, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM
"Granite Waterfall" rock crop formation on Sun Mountain Trail
Dec 7, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 8 days ago
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