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Southwestern USA Hiking Trails including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Northern Arizona


Tesuque Creek North Fork Trail Santa Fe, NM

Directions: In Santa Fe, turn right on Washington Ave off of Paseo de Peralta. Travel 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Artist Ave. Continue straight for 3.6 miles, then curve left onto Hyde Park Rd. You will travel about 8.2 miles until you arrive at your destination on the right.

About the Hike: The 3.5-mile trail winds through a forest of pinyon pines and shaggy bark fir trees. You will slowly wind upward with a 1702 ft. elevation gain. It was the middle of May 2021 when I did this hike, and the aspen trees still were not in bloom. I imagine it must be a spectacular hike in October when the aspens typically begin their fall display of color.

The Tesuque Creek North Fork Trail (no. 152) offers two trailheads from the parking area. If you go right, you'll hike directly along the creek. This path is not well maintained. The trail becomes challenging with an aggressive elevation gain.

We started our adventure heading right towards the creek.

We had only gone a half-mile when we were navigating through banks of snow, slipping and sliding our way up a steep embankment along the creek.

The trail became difficult to navigate the further we ventured into the woods. Our frustration was growing until we decided to head back down and see if we missed an alternate trailhead.

Back at the parking area off to the left, we found another trailhead. We decided to give it a go, rewarded with a clearly marked trail winding through aspen and pine trees. The elevation gains were minimal, and the path was smooth and easy to follow.

Shortly up the trail, we came to a quaint little wood bridge across the creek leading into the forest.

The best part of the hike was the smooth pathway making for an enjoyable trek without having to scramble over rocks or dodge trees.

Check out this homemade teepee someone built out of aspen trees.

I have been to Santa Fe twice, and both times I arrived too early to enjoy the aspens in full bloom. Next year I am planning to come back in October with the hope of catching the aspen's fall colors. I still enjoy the beautiful tree bark and the beautiful element that the tree bark adds to the forest across the horizon.

The last part of the trail the elevation climb kicked up a bit.

The trail connects to the Winsor Trail (254). Although, you can continue up the Tesuque trail, cross the Winsor trail and look for the trailhead up a ways on your left.

Rather than continuing on the Tesuque trail, we went left and continue on the Winsor trail for 30 more minutes. Stopping at this huge boulder to take in the view, we were visited by a chipmunk who popped out to say hello.

He scurried around us while we stopped to enjoy and take in the view. The higher we went, the chilly it became as the temperatures dropped with the elevation gains.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few wildflowers starting their summer show.

After our break we decided to snap a couple of pictures of us looking across the horizon at Santa Fe off in the distance.

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