View From the Plaza

Do you Dare Summit the Deception/Lake Peak Hike?

Lush fields of wildflowers

Most of the Santa Fe National Forest is now open and is very green and lush for hikers. On a recent hike from the bottom of the ski basin (a 20 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe) to Deception/Lake Peak, we saw lush fields of wildflowers and more chipmunks than I can count.

Just one of the chipmunks that came out to greet me. Click the photo to get a much better view of the little thing.

We started out intending to climb Lake Peak, but when we got to the last teeny stretch to the top, I said no way.  The ascent is way, way too cliff-like for me, the scared-of-heights, love-to-hike type of  hiker. See picture below to get my drift.

Would you dare?

If you’re not brave enough to go it alone, there’s an active Santa Fe Hiking Meetup Group that schedules regular group hikes. You can see what they have going on here:

Forestry service helicopter with load of hay.

This hike takes 5 or 6 hours, including a lunch stop, gains around 2600 feet in elevation, and is about 5 miles up and back. Make sure you dress appropriately as it is normally windy at the top and often storms hit late in the afternoon.

One interesting thing going on the day we made the trek is the Forest Service helicopters that were picking up and spreading hay to mulch over the forest areas burned by the Pacheco Fire earlier this summer. Very interesting project to watch. The hay is spread aerially to cover over seeded areas to protect the seeds and encourage new growth. This is just one way the Forest Service helps wild areas re-establish ground cover after a wildfire.

The darker area in the center of the photograph is part of the burn area of the Pacheco Canyon fire. Click for a larger version of the picture.

5 Responses to “Do you Dare Summit the Deception/Lake Peak Hike?”

  1. Andy Ritch

    I love the chipmunk but what is that in which it sits, something from the past?
    The photo of the fire is really telling. I cannot believe, even at my tender age, the power of fire.
    I am with you on the cliff climbing. I do not want a helicopter coming after me with or without hay.
    Truly a great posting
    Andy Ritch

    • Jenny Kimball

      Andy, Thank you very much. The chipmunk hideaway is rusted metal encased in old concrete. It’s near the bottom of the trail. I can’t say for sure exactly what it is, but my best guess is that is is from a former incarnation of a chairlift

      • Andy Ritch

        I wonder if the Historical Society would be interested in restoration? Just kidding but I am glad I have had a tetanus shot.

  2. Robbin Close

    love the photographs Jenny….no, I would not go to the top either though I love to hike! interesting about the hay drop…..XORobbin


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