“Plaza to Plaza”: The Santa Fe Plaza to the Santa Fe Ski Basin

I’ve been toying with the idea of extending the thru hike so it’s more even for at least two years. Like “ski basin to ski basin”, or “plaza to plaza”. I started with ski basin to ski basin (“basin to basin”), probably because the Taos Ski Basin is gorgeous, and just a good place to be.

When I was up in Taos this spring for my Wilderness First Responder course, I spent a little time asking people and poking around trailheads and maps to see if there was a way to extend the hike to the Taos Ski Basin.

After some inquiry, it was clear “basin to basin” wasn’t going to work. The only reasonable way to get from El Nogal to the Taos Ski Basin is to go through the Taos Pueblo. Taos Pueblo is not open to the public, and I couldn’t even bear to ask; they’ve had enough disruption and overreach.

So I let that go. But while walking around Taos Plaza one night, I realized plaza to plaza would probably be better anyway. There’s better transportation to and from, for one thing. And finding a place to stay that’s within walking distance is doable from either plaza. It’s not at all from the basins.

I had no idea it was going to work so beautifully, though. There’s a completely lovely walk from the Santa Fe Plaza up to the ski basin.

The only road you’ll walk along is Alameda. There’s this completely gorgeous – and largely unknown – path from Camino Pequeno to the Dale Ball Trails Junction #27.

I found it scouring All Trails. The day I first tried to find it, we had gotten a ton of rain, and it was peak melt. The Santa Fe River was so high I got to see a rare, rare sight: Someone trying to kayak it.

The part of the connecting trail near Camino Pequeno wasn’t accessible because of the high water. Or at least it didn’t look like it was. The trail is fairly well concealed, because the people who live next to it have put up a lot of signs saying “No Trespassing” and “Private Property”. Being a polite person (or at least I try), these signs threw me off. It didn’t look like I could get through.

But I’m persistent. And on All Trails it really did look like a trail went all the way through. Just barely, with maybe some brief bushwacking.

So I went around and tried to find it from the Dale Balls Junction #27 side.

And found it right away.

This is a complete jewel of a trail. It’s lush and shaded and goes right along the Santa Fe River. If you get to walk it PLEASE (PLEASE!!!) be respectful of the property owners on either side. The trail goes right past their gardens at some points. Keep your dogs under control, be quiet. Tread lightly.

But it does go all the way through. And it is just lovely. Finding it felt like enchantment, including stepping through a tight spot, through some branches, and seeing a very dear friend that I hadn’t seen in months. Of all people, in all places, at all times. There she was. My bridesmaid at my wedding.

She and her fiance showed me the rest of the way through. The trail is not perfectly marked; some of the little bridges along the way go to private property; some are the actual trail. Follow my Gaia GPS trek and you’ll be fine. I took a lot of photos to help orient you.

Another excellent part of this route is how much of it goes right along Tesuque Creek. There’s ample water, and once you’re a few miles along the creek, it opens up and gets quiet enough to find good places to camp.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *