NileGuide Expert Says:
An in-town favorite for locals, the three-mile trail to the top of Atalaya Peak climbs steeply in places through pinon and juniper and, near the top, ponderosa pine. Start at St. John's College or the higher parking lot at Wilderness Gate (spaces are limited, though); from the summit, you can see off the backside into the Pecos Wilderness, and the panorama of Santa Fe is unparalleled.
1160 Camino Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Hiking trails in the Santa Fe area are good and plenty. One of the best all-around is Atalaya south of the Plaza about ten minutes by car. It ranges from easy at the beginning to difficult nearing the top. Seven miles round trip - topping out at 9,121 elevation. Trail head is by the parking lot of St. John's College. Or there's a shorter 4.6 mile Trail 170 further up near the Ponderosa Ridge Development. Parking is limited. Nice panoramic views of Santa Fe below and westward to the Rio Grande Valley. From the Plaza drive south on Old Santa Fe Trail and follow the signs to St. John's College.