Hermit's Peak Trail #223
ElevationAscent: 3,207' 977 m
Descent: -1,133' -345 m
High: 10,182' 3,104 m
Low: 7,537' 2,297 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)
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“Astounding views and the chance to see wildlife as you ascend a mountain that was once the home of a hermit monk.”— Anthony Hjalmarson
You must pay to park at El Porvenir Campground; however, if you are just running the trail, make use of the first parking area you'll drive by that has trail information and a trail registry. You'll then cross the bridge and the small stream as you make your way to Hermit Peak's "official" trailhead north of the campground.
Shortly after you begin the run, you'll see a sign reminding you to stay on trail because adjacent land is private property requiring special permits to access. You should not have any issues as the trail is quite obviously marked all the way to the summit. Please remember not to cut the switchbacks; this causes erosion and vegetation loss. During your run, you may see notable wildlife such as deer and black bear (specifically cinnamon-furred). There are several reports from other runners of bear sightings and tracks on and off the trail, so please be vigilant and "bear aware."
The trail is very rocky for the majority of its duration up until the summit plateau. Proper running shoes with good support are necessary. After running through the open forest for about 1.5 miles, you'll find yourself between two large rock formations as you navigate up several steep, rocky switchbacks during your ascent to the summit. There is water available near the summit shortly after the final switchback. It is signed as "Hermit's Spring." The last 0.5 miles on the summit plateau are relatively easy running as the grade flattens appreciably before you arrive at the mountain's rocky edge and are greeted with fantastic 360-degree views.
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Land Manager: USFS - Santa Fe National Forest Office
Jan 5, 2020: SFNFâ€™s Cuba District Plans Prescribed Pile Burns