Espanola Ranger District

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Aspens in full color at Santa Fe Ski Basin

 Recreation opportunities within the Espanola Ranger District range from the high alpine trails in the Pecos Wilderness to the lower elevation areas in the Caja del Rio. 

There are four geograpic regions that make up the Espanola Ranger District within the Santa Fe National Forest.  These are the Forest lands South of Abiquiu, the Forest lands around Los Alamos, the Forest Lands West of Santa Fe known as the Caja del Rio, and the Forest Land North of Santa Fe within the Sangre de Cristo Range.  This last category is further divided below according to the most popular recreation access.  Recreation destinations to the North are often accessed from Borrego Mesa.  In the middle, the most popular access is from the Santa Fe Ski Basin, and to the South are the recreation destinations closest to the city of Santa Fe.  A general map of popular recreation sites and trails in each of these areas can be seen by clicking on the map area of interest below:

Quarterly Trail Condition Report for the Pecos Wilderness updated June 1, 2015.  For further information on trails and specific recreation opportunities, please see the categories below:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Camping & Cabins

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Backpacking in the Espanola District is most popular within the Pecos Wilderness.  See our Pecos Wilderness Trail Report.

Click here for trails starting near Borrego Mesa.  

Click here for trails starting near Aspen Ski Basin.

Be aware of the trails affected by the Pacheco Fire including the Rio Nambe Trail 160, the Cienega Redonda Trail 162, and the south end of the Borrego Trail 150 out of Aspen Ranch.  These trails were severely burned and in very poor, sometimes dangerous conditions. Trail 162 and 150 were washed out and parts no longer exist.

The Abiqiui Area also provides some great opportunities on primitive trails along the Polvadera Creek and various tributaries.  Primitive camping is allowed along all Forest Trails in accordance with any current fire restrictions or closures.  Please use minimum impact and leave no trace ethics.  Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.  

Areas for Backpacking at Espanola Ranger District

Day Hiking

The Espanola Ranger District features a large variety of trails for hiking from remote alpine wilderness to the desert like terrain along the Rio Grande.  Hiking destinations are featured in association with proximity to communitities.  These include:

Trails near Santa Fe

Trails in the Pecos Wilderness North - Borrego Mesa Area

Trails in the Pecos Wilderness South - Aspen Basin Area

Trails in the Caja del Rio, near the Rio Grande west of Santa Fe.

Trails around  Los Alamos

Trails south of Abiqiui

Trails near Espanola

Within the Pecos Wilderness, be advised of current closures and conditions due to the Pacheco Fire.

Within the Los Alamos area, some trails may be under construction or no longer in existence due to the Las Conchas Fire.

Areas for Day Hiking at Espanola Ranger District

Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Scenic Driving

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Winter Sports

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Fire Danger Level: Moderate
Areas & Activities


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