“Nice singletrack connecting to the Atalaya Mountain Trail #170.”
— Peter Olson
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route can be steep in some sections. There is no water so bring your own in the summer. Atalaya is a Spanish term meaning "watchtower". At the top you'll have a full view of Santa Fe and the surrounding valley.
This trail doesn't see much use, as it had historically been a primary way to reach the summit of Atalaya. Parking is an issue since you can't park on the Wilderness Gate Road, but never the less this trail is worth running.
From Wilderness Gate Road start up a loose and gravelly trail through the pinon forest. At about .8 miles the trail turns left or north and starts to climb a steep loose section as you transition into ponderosa trees. The trail reaches a ridge top with great pine duff covered singletrack. Looming just ahead, you'll see a headwall that looks intimidating, and it is one of the most difficult aspects of this trail. From this view, the trail climbs loose rocky terrain up the steep mountainside. Near the summit, it connects to Atalaya Mountain Trail #170.