I took my walking group to hike the Aspen Vista Trail on October 9. This trail is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains about 13 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza--almost all the way up to the Santa Fe ski area. The Aspen Vista is a beautiful, wide trail that starts at 9800 feet elevation and continues on up. (This makes it about 10 degrees cooler than the 7000 feet elevation we all live in. We went up the trail about a mile and a half and then back down again.
The key issue in walking the Aspen Vista this time of year is timing--getting to the trail when the aspen leaves have optimal golden color (and hoping that a windstorm doesn't do early damage!). And I have to say October 9th this year was perfect! There was a lot of rain and wind the weekend after the walk, so we were glad we made it when we did.
The aspen stand that gives the trail its name grew up around 1900 after a forest fire destroyed the pine trees in the area. Now the aspens are in decline because the conifers have regrown and are beginning to dominate sections of the forest.
It's still incredibly beautiful though!
After our walk we sat in a little rest area near the trailhead, and drank our coffee and looked out over the amazing view--layers and layers of mountains disappearing into the distance.
Lots of visitors to my blog have found it looking for information on the Aspen Vista Trail. For more photos, see my posts from September 27, 2007 and October 1, 2006.