About the thru hike
There is a way to hike from the Santa Fe Ski Basin over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains all the way to Taos Plaza.
This website documents how I did it on an 11-day backpacking trip. It was a “solo” trek, in that it was just me and my dog.
The thru-hike covers 118 miles, with 20,368 cumulative feet of ascent and 25,216 cumulative feet of descent. It spans four counties – Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Mora, and Taos.
I did the trip in two sections: The first from Santa Fe basin to Santa Barbara campground and the second section from Santa Barbara Campground to Taos Plaza.
This is the summary map:
The red section of the map is a better way through. I didn’t take it when I did the thru-hike because of the Sardinas Canyon fire, which closed route 76 for several months. Now that 76 is open again, I’d highly recommend taking it up towards Cerro Vista. Also, as you are coming down from Ripley Point through to Route 518, go out through Agua Piedra Campground.
Never been done before?
As far as I can verify, a Santa Fe to Taos hike over the mountains has not been done before… though honestly that seems unlikely.
A hiker friend of mine says he read a series of articles in the Santa Fe New Mexican about two women who went from Santa Fe through to Taos over the mountains. He thinks the articles were published during the 90s. The reference librarian at the Santa Public Library Main Branch, who is the archivist for the newspaper, has not been able to find the articles my friend says were published, or any reference to someone doing this thru-hike before. No one else I have spoken to has ever heard of such a hike. I don’t doubt my friend’s memory, though… I just haven’t been able to find those articles.
If you know anything about this earlier thru-hike, I would love to hear from you via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.