Motorized Vehicles: No
Dog Friendly?: Yes, with leash
The Dale Ball Trail system is a nearly 25-mile network of natural-surface trails in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Located a short distance from downtown Santa Fe, it is the quickest way to get from the city into the mountains. It offers great opportunities for beginners and advanced hikers alike, along with amazing views of both the surrounding wilderness and back towards the city. The trail features a unique numbered sign system at each trail junction to provide easy navigation, as well as connecting to other local trails, including the La Piedra, Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, Dorothy Stewart and Atalaya Trails.
As the name would suggest, the trail system is named after Dale Ball, who was instrumental in the conception, design and construction of the trail. The City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County and private landowners contributed key parcels of land for the trail, while contributions for the construction came from an anonymous donor and the McCune Foundation, along with a large amount of public support. For the construction itself, Dale enlisted the help of Mike Wirtz, a retired Forest Service trail specialist; the advanced way-finding sign system was made with the design help of Bill Field.
Two parking lots were built to serve Dale Ball Trail hikers: one off of Hyde Park Road where it intersects Sierra del Norte, and another at the intersection of Upper Canyon Road and Cerro Gordo. Additionally, parking can be found at St. John’s College and along Camino Cruz Blanca, which is the closest parking to access Atalaya Trail.
For additional information and resources, visit the Santa Fe City website here.