Total Length: 24 Miles
Motorized Vehicles: No
Dog Friendly?: Yes, with leash
The Dale Ball Trail system is a 24-mile network of 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.
The Dale Ball Trails offer 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 connections to other local trails, including the Nature Conservancy, Dorothy Stewart, Atalaya, La Piedra and Little Tesuque Trails.
Most of Dale Ball Trails is managed by the City of Santa Fe, with maintenance coordinated by SFCT under our agreement with the City. The southeasternmost section, adjoining Santa Fe National Forest and including Picacho Peak and Talaya Hill Open Space, is managed by Santa Fe County.
The maps above are those that appear on the new junction signs that SFCT installed with trail volunteers in Fall of 2016, produced with support of the City of Santa Fe Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe.
The most recent full map of Dale Ball Trails is available within the City of Santa Fe’s Santa Fe Foothill Trails Map 2015.
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.