Wednesday, September 30, 2015

With the onset of Fall, we drove up to Santa Fe to do the Aspen Vista hike and check out the color change. Apparently, everyone else had the very same idea because the place was packed with cars and people — even at 0930 on a Wednesday morning! πŸ™‚

Take State Highway 475 out of Santa Fe up towards the ski area. The trailhead is located after Mile Marker 13. The Aspen Vista “Trail” was really just hiking on Forest Service Road 150 for the entire 4.1 miles up to the overlook area. There was a lot of color, but it wasn’t readily apparent (at least to me) on the way up because the sun was in front of us. On the way back down, with the sun behind us, it was a different story because the sun lit up the leaves and the colors really jumped out. The yellows were especially vibrant. As far as grand views go, there were some, but not many, on the way up, with the more impressive views coming once we got close to the overlook area.

The hike was 8.2 miles round-trip. Elevation at the trailhead was 10,013 feet. Elevation at the overlook was 11,358 feet. Total climbing was a few feet shy of 1,400 feet. Average grade was 6%, with some grades around 9% for short stretches. Total time to complete the hike was 3 hours 42 minutes. Actual hiking time was 2 hours 56 minutes.

What I really didn’t enjoy about this trek was hiking on a rocky, gravel road for 8.2 miles with people all over the place. I much prefer the peace and quiet of a narrow trail running through the woods with no one else in sight. All in all, though, I’m glad I did the hike, but don’t think I will do it again.

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Aspen Vista Trail Map


Aspen Vista Elevation Profile

Aspen Vista Trail Elevation Profile

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