Directions: From Santa Fe Plaza
Take Old Santa Fe Trail road towards Foothills Road for 1.4 miles
Turn right onto Camino De Monte Sol - 0.1 mile
Turn right onto Camino De Cruz Blanca - 0.5 miles
Turn right to stay on Camino De Cruz Blanca
Limited Parking is on the left side of the road
About the Hike: The Dorothy Steward loop is a 2.9-mile trail, meandering through the Pine trees. The path has a modest elevation gain of 669 feet; I would rate it as easy. It is a perfect trail for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. Our furry friends are welcome but must be on a leash. Parking might be a challenge as there were just four spaces available alongside the road. But a little further up is another trailhead that offers a few more parking spots.
You start from the trailhead with a sharp decline into a small canyon basin of pine trees. The trail is shady and comfortable, offering a perfect spot to stretch your legs after a long workday.
Teddy bear cholla lined the path standing guard. These fuzzy-looking plants have sharp, barbed spines that are extremely painful to remove. They looked like little soldiers standing guard along the trail.
It has been so dry the winter and spring of 2021. I looked everywhere for color and only spotted flower buds emerging from the prickly pear cacti. Even the yucca looked sickly from the lack of rainfall.
I set my sights on the sky. I noticed clouds beginning to come in from the west. I knew within the hour, Mother Nature would paint the sky with bursts of color.
I felt calmness and serenity watching as the sun started setting across Santa Fe.
A bench was waiting just around the bend for my husband to relax and enjoy the views of Sandia Mountain Range. A little bit of snow was visible on her peak.
I always keep an eye out for both the birds and wildlife in the area. During this particular hike, I only saw one bird sitting at the top of a tree.
We came upon a Dale Bale Trail marker for the South Section of that trail. Until we hit this marker, we were unaware that the Dorothy Stewart Trail linked into this trail.
For today, we continued on the Dorothy Stewart pathway. A little further up the trail, we noticed something glittering among the pines.
We decided to deviate from the trail and check it out. Waiting at the truck of a towering ponderosa pine was this funny little ornament.
We left the ornament at the base of the tree for the next hiker to come and explore.
A mountain biker swiftly swept past us on the path.
I imagined he was having a wonderful time, riding along the smooth and well-groomed trail. The perfect track for someone wanting an enjoyable mountain bike ride.
At the end of the hike, Mother Nature blessed us with a beautiful painting across the sky.