Espanola Ranger District

Area Status: Open
Aspens in full color at Santa Fe Ski Basin

Española Ranger District contains the western segment of the iconic Pecos Wilderness, the Caja Del Rio Plateau, and many more scenic areas. The Truchas Peaks border the Pecos/Las Vegas and Española ranger district boundaries and are a popular hiking destination. Every fall, people are drawn to Hyde Park Road to view the enchanting golden fall foliage of the quaking aspen.  There are plenty of developed sites to stop and enjoy the view! Both the Santa Fe and Los Alamos areas have trails nearby maintained by the Forest Service, providing an escape from city life and the summer heat.

There are four geographic 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. A general map of popular recreation sites and trails in each of these areas can be seen by selecting the map area of interest below:

Map Disclaimer


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Areas for Campground Camping at Espanola Ranger District

RV Camping

Areas for RV Camping at Espanola Ranger District

River and Stream Fishing

Areas for River and Stream Fishing 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


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

Viewing Scenery

Areas for Viewing Scenery at Espanola Ranger District

Interpretive Areas

Areas for Interpretive Areas at Espanola Ranger District


There are two developed picnic areas in the Espanola District.  Both Little Tesuque and Aspen Vista are off the State Route 475 that takes you to the Santa Fe Ski Area. Little Tesuques site is closed for the 2013 season.

Areas for Picnicking at Espanola Ranger District



The Santa Fe Ski Area sits at the end of NM State Route 475 (also known as Hyde Park Road), in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, 15 miles from the red light at Artist Road (NM 475) and Bishop’s Lodge Road in downtown Santa Fe. The area operates on 660 acres of National Forest land, under a Special Use Permit. There are seven lifts serving 73 runs, with a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs.  Equipment rentals and lessons area available, and the area also sponsors the largest Adaptive Ski Program in the state.   The base area elevation is 10,350’ and the summit 12,075’, for a total vertical gain of 1,725’.

Areas for Skiing/Snowboarding at Espanola Ranger District

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Nordic Sports in the Espanola District

Areas for XC Skiing/Snowshoeing at Espanola Ranger District

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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