Borrego/Bear Wallow Trail

View of the trail
This hike is a pleasant short-ish loop with some vertical relief (about 800 ft elevation change) in an aspen-fir forest. Because of the aspen, this hike would be especially nice in the fall. You could extend the length of this hike by taking one of several other trails which intersect this trail.

Hike data:

Controlling agency: Santa Fe National Forest; Española Ranger District
Official URL:Forest Service web page for this hike
Region: North-central; Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Near Santa Fe
start: 8838ft; 2694m end: 8838ft; 2694m
min: 8057ft; 2456m max: 8838ft; 2694m
elevation gain/loss: 813ft; 248m.
Elevation change is from track altitude data.
Length: 4.47mi; 7.20km. Total loop length from GPS track data.
surface: dirt
condition: Excellent
ease of following: Not all trail junctions have signs
obstacles: No value
If you are at a junction without a sign, the more heavily-traveled trail is probably the correct one.
Fee: $0.00.
Season: April 01 to November 30. The trail can be hiked whenever snow is not a problem.
Dogs: Yes. on leash.
Bikes: Yes. We met several mountain bikers on the first two legs of the trail.
Handicapped accessible: No.
Trailhead facilities: trash can(s).
Hike attractions: stream, wildlife (We saw many birds.), wildflowers.

When we hiked it:

Date: 2001-10-13 2014-09-07
Time it took us: 3:00. 4:54. 2:00 moving, the rest of the time taking notes, photos, eating lunch, etc
Usage (people/hour): 0.00. No usage data recorded. We saw several other hikers. 18.78. This trail is popular both with mountain bikes as well as hikers. 12 of the people in the people/hour calculation were on bikes.
Cleanliness: 0. No cleanliness data recorded. 9. We picked up 7 pieces of litter, one of which was an old, decomposing shirt.


Waypoint Type Description
150254Trail junctionSanta Fe National Forest tails 150 and 254
150TCTrail junctionUnsigned trail intersection
150THTrailheadSanta Fe National Forest trail 150 trailhead
150Y1Trail junctionJunction near 150TH
254182Trail junctionSanta Fe National Forest trails 254 and 182


Paper maps:
Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N from Amazon (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
McClure Reservoir USGS 1976 1:24000 Y from (free)
Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe and Carson National Forests US Forest Service 2004 1:54000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
Santa Fe BLM 1996 1:100000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
Santa Fe USGS 1954 1:250000 Y from (free)
Santa Fe National Forest US Forest Service 2004 1:126720 N from Amazon (purchase) East half
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

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Getting to the trailhead:

From the Santa Fe plaza, head north on Washington Ave. Just past the pink Scottish Rite Temple (pictured here), turn right on Artist road; the sign says that Hyde State Park and the Santa Fe Ski Basin are this way.
Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe
Sue, Diana, and Steve starting down the trail
Just after you leave Hyde Memorial park, there is a parking area on your left. This is the trailhead parking area. The trailhead is shown here in the photo, and it is at the edge of the parking area.

About the hike:

Diana, Sue, and Steve approach 150Y1
Right at the trailhead is a fork. One branch goes slightly up, the other down. You want the branch that heads down.

After about half a mile (~700m) (it took us 11 minutes of walking), you arrive at a fork in the trail (GPS: 150Y1). You can see Diana, Sue, and Steve approaching the Y in the photo to the left. At this fork, go right. You will be returning on the left fork. The trail has been all downhill to this point. Now, you begin climbing slightly. However, the climbing is only for a short period of time, and then you are slowly descending again.

The trail is dirt, occasionally eroded. You are walking through an aspen/fir forest.
Diana walking down the trail
Tesuque Creek
About 45 minutes after you left the trailhead, you reach another intersection (GPS: 150TC). You can take this to see Tesuque Creek, but continue on the main trail.
At 1.77mi (2.85km) from the trailhead (about 46 minutes of walking), you come to a bridge across the Rio Tesuque (GPS: 150Bridge). Cross here.

When the trail meets the stream, it makes a sharp right turn to get to the bridge. If you continue straight you can cross on a log, with the bridge about 20 ft to your right.

Diana on the bridge
Steve, Sue, and Diana approach the junction of trails 150 and 254
After you cross Tesuque Creek, continue for another few minutes for about 0.1 mi (190m). You will then reach the trail junction with trail 254 (GPS: 150254). Go left.
The trail parallels Tesuque creek in the bottom of the valley. It is more open here than when going up or down from the trailhead.
Steve on the trail
Trail sign
After about half an hour from the last trail junction (about a mile or 1.53km), and you come to the junction with trail 182 (GPS: 254182)). This is the lowest point of the hike. Turn left.
Cross the Tesuque Creek on this bridge and head uphill. After about 50 minutes, you will be back at the first Y in the trail and only a few minutes from the trailhead.
Diana on the bridge

Plants we saw along the trail:

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