Geological Significance · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The first 1.6 miles of the run takes you through a beautiful meadow and into the pine forest on a gentle run to where the West Spanish Peak Trail
meets the Apishipa Trail. Stay left to follow the West Spanish Peak Trail
for another mile along switchbacks offering beautiful views of the Cuchara valley, Sangre de Cristo mountain range, and Sierra Blanca peak.
This section of the trail ends at the tree line with a very steep and rocky climb to the top of the peak. As you climb, more spectacular views can be seen. From the top of the West Spanish Peak, there are 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys and rock dikes that extend from the base of the mountain.
The Spanish Peaks were designated as a national natural landmark in 1976. There is a plaque along the beginning of the trail about this.
Need to Know
There is a parking fee of $7. There is a restroom at the trailhead.
I would not recommend climbing the steep peak if it looks like rain. The rocks would become very slippery and make it difficult to descend the mountain.
This trail starts out through meadows and forest as it gradually climbs to the base of the West Spanish Peak. There are various points to stop along the way and enjoy wonderful views of the landscape surrounding the peak. There are wildflowers along the way. Beware, we did come across a black bear looking at us on the trail. I yelled "hey bear" loudly and it quickly ran away.
The climb up the face of the Spanish Peak is steep and rocky. Be careful when placing your feet; the rocks are unstable and will move and slide under foot. The trail can be hard to find at times. Keep an eye out for the next cairn and head in that direction. The views as you ascend the peak are spectacular, with views of the rock wall "dikes" spreading out like fingers from the base of the peak.
The views from the top of the peak are, again, spectacular. The beauty of the East Spanish Peak can be seen from there. There are views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
Flora & Fauna
There are wildflowers along the lower trail and on the steep rocky climb. There are birds, pica, marmot, and we did see a black bear.
History & Background
Visit spanishpeakshistory.com for more info.
Shared By: Gary Smith