Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

Galisteo Basin - Nathan - Derek Loop Hike
In Santa Fe Region

Hike Id H10663
Last Update 2018-11-18 21:57:30.0
Hike Class B
Hike Miles 5.3
Minimum Elevation 6220
Elevation Gain 260
Total Uphill 435
Total Downhill 435
Avg Grade 2 %
Route Type CW Loop
Drive Miles Round Trip 150
Drive Time Oneway 1:30
Hiking Seasons Sprg, Smmr, Fall, Wntr
Hike Rating (Hike not rated)
All On Trail Yes

Highlights Winding bike trails through pinyon-juniper forest with views of the distant mountains.

Cautions Some steep areas-poles may be needed.

Trailhead Directions There are two ways to get to the preserve. The first is to take I-25 to the Hwy 285 exit 290. Travel 6.2 miles to the preserve entrance on the right.

The second option is to travel east on Interstate 40 to exit 196 north on 41 approximately 33 miles to the junction of 285. Turn left. Just past the Max Coll Corridor sign 1.2 miles turn left onto Astral Valley. Drive .4 miles and turn on to Thornton Road. Continue 2.2 miles to the end of the road. This road can be impassable if muddy, wet conditions exist. If it is impassable the hike can be re-routed from Cowboy Shack TH.

Actual Hike From the Cottonwood Trailhead, cross the arroyo, then at INT48 turn left. Pass INT26 (Derek's Delight). At INT27 (0.3 mi), take the left trail (Nathan's Trace). Stay on Nathan's Trace at INT28 (1.6 mi) by taking the right-hand (north) trail. At INT29 (2.3 mi), join Leona's Loop for a short distance, then join Julia's Crossing at INT38 (2.6 mi). Continue east to INT30 (2.8 mi) for the highest point of the hike at Derek's Delight. Turn south (right) here. Continue past the intersection with Bob Was Here at INT44 (3.4 mi) all the way back to INT26, where you'll take a left to cross the arroyo again and return to the Cottonwood Trailhead.

Comments The Thornton family donated their ranch for hiking and residences. The preserve is managed and maintained by the Commonweal Conservancy in Santa Fe.

Garmin Topo U.S. 24K Southwest, Garmin BaseCamp Version 4.6.2 © 2008-2016 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries (

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

Text Author Cathy Intemann
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Marilyn Warrant
Track Author Marilyn Warrant
Maintainer Cathy Intemann