Dale Ball to Big T Campground
ElevationAscent: 4,380' 1,335 m
Descent: -4,380' -1,335 m
High: 9,658' 2,944 m
Low: 7,240' 2,207 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)
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“An out and back run that climbs and climbs...”— Peter Olson
From the Sierra del Norte Trailhead parking lot, head up the trail to intersection 2, turn right. Run up the nice hard-packed smooth trail to the intersection with La Piedra Trail. The trail is a great but steep connector from the Dale Ball trail system to the Santa Fe National Forest trails.
This is a connector trail from the Dale Ball system to the trails in the Santa Fe National Forest. The steepest section has 30 switchbacks for your enjoyment. Follow La Piedra to Little Tesuque Trail, which is a sweet little trail along a seasonal stream through a lush riparian zone.
Turn right and run upstream along the trail that has been recently improved to by-pass swampy areas.
Follow the easy-to-find trail along the stream bed and give in to the temptation to take the trail climbing up the hill to the left. Follow this trail through the trees on a trail well-used by horseback and mountain bike riders.
As this trail crests the ridge pass through the gate in the fence and descend on smooth singletrack to the Winsor National Recreation Trail. Turn right and head uphill. Follow this trail for a long time, not forever but it might seem like it as you cross the stream and wind around giant ponderosa trees. You'll even be treated to some dense underbrush as the trail criss-crosses the stream.
At about 10 miles into this run you'll come to a Y intersection. The Winsor National Recreation Trail bears left and the Big Tesuque trail heads to the right. Follow this nice trail with smooth tread over pine duff, some exposed bedrock as it climbs gently and contours up to the campground on NM475 (Ski Basin Road). Filter some water from the stream and turn around to scamper all the way back the way you came.
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Land Manager: Santa Fe County Open Space, Trails and Parks.