The Atalaya Trail is a 2.6 mile trail that starts at the Wilderness Gate Trailhead and ends at the peak of Atalya Mountain.
Trail Condition: Excellent
Starting from the Wilderness Gate Trailhead, walk up the road and through the adobe gates. Take your first left, through the gated road, which has a side passage for hikers and bikers.
Follow the road uphill. It will curve to the right and shortly after, the official trail will begin on the left. After about 1/4 mile, you will reach a junction. Turn right to switchback uphill and gain the ridge. Once atop the ridge, you will hit a junction with the St. Johns Trail – Trail #174. Turn left to follow the trail uphill towards Atalaya.
After about 1/2 mile, you will reach another junction. One trail is a much steeper shortcut. The main trail goes to the right and slowly meanders uphill in what becomes one large switchback. Assuming you have the time, opt for the longer route.
Toward the top of the next ridge, the trail switches back to follow the ridge back north. Shortly after gaining the ridge, the shortcut trail will come back in. Veer right to continue uphill and remain on the Atalaya Trail.
After following this ridgeline uphill for another 1/4 mile, the trail meets a steep face and begins switchbacking, yet again, slowly up to the final ridge. Upon gaining the final ridge, the trail turns northwest and after a 5 minute hike, you should reach the peak, which provides excellent views over the city of Santa Fe.
Return the way you came, or continue straight to follow the Dale Bale Trails to create a loop.