Backpacking Nirvana in the Santa Fe National Forest

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Looking for an unforgettable backpacking experience? Look no further than a trek up to Santa Fe Baldy or to Lake Katherine via the Winsor Trail to find serenity, breathe in cool mountain air and reconnect with the great outdoors.

As the prominent summit in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, Santa Fe Baldy is widely viewed as the mother of Santa Fe hikes. The trail is challenging and climbs to one of the highest peaks in the area. This strenuous trail isn’t recommended for those visiting Santa Fe on a weekend excursion, as the elevation change is no joke. However for those seeking a serious challenge with rewarding incredible views, this one’s for you.

Popular opinion maintains that fall is the absolute best time of year to make the trek when the aspens lay out a carpet of golden hues and the monsoon season is long gone – lessening the risk of being caught at the peak in a thunderstorm.backpacking,backpacking,backpacking

At 14 miles roundtrip, this hike requires an early start at day break in order to allow plenty of time to reach the summit. The trail takes off from the 10,250-foot base of the Santa Fe Ski Basin and meanders under towering aspen and fir trees across plenty of trickling streams and tranquil open meadows.

The Pecos Wilderness is a protected wilderness area within the Santa Fe National Forest.  (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

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