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Hike Effort and Pace Description

Everyone's pace and fitness level is different and we want everyone to have fun. Should you find yourself on a hike that is too fast or too slow for you, your fun-factor smile is diminished. When using terms like “moderate” and “strenuous” each person interprets these terms differently. We want you to know what to expect from a hike and have the most amount of fun, so we have established a method to get everyone using the same guidelines.

Two measures are considered when rating a hike: Effort and Pace.
Effort - A physical description of the hike using distance and elevation gain.
Pace - The speed we will be walking
For example we might have a hike that is strenuous in effort (i.e. over 10 miles), but we might walk at a moderate pace.

Hike Effort

How much effort will the hike take? This does depend on your physical condition, but here are the guidelines we use that are similar to the book Day Hikes in the Santa Fe area:

xxxxxxxxxxxEasy: up to 6 miles xxAND less than 500' elevation gain
Easy – Moderate: up to 6 miles xxAND less than 1000' elevation gain
xxxxxxxModerate: up to 10 miles xOR x1000' to 2000' elevation gain
xxxxxxStrenuous: over 10 miles xxOR xover 2000' elevation gain

Hike Pace

How fast will we go? We use hiking up Atalaya to determine the different pace ranges. You can find more info about Atalaya at the Santa Fe official travel site or the Santa Fe National Forest website.

Your hike should begin from the upper parking lot (by Wilderness Gate – not the parking lot at St. John’s college) and go to the top of Atalaya. (Not to the saddle – to the very top). Track your time to and from your car.

Take note of your time going to the top and your time coming back down. Find your times in the chart below. If you fall into one category going up, and other category coming down, use the lower category to determine your pace level. Use this rating when signing up for hikes and to determine which hikes will be within your hiking pace range.

• Rests at the top are EXCLUDED in your time (it is a nice view after all).
• Rests along the way up and down are INCLUDED in your time.
• If you can't make it up and down Atalaya, then you are in the mellow range.

Pace RatingxxxxxixxxTime up AtalayaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxTime down Atalaya
Strenuous PlusxxxixxxLess than 50xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxLess than 50
StrenuousxxxxxxixxxxBetween 50 & 1 hour 5xxxxxxxxxxxBetween 50 & 1 hour
ModeratexxxxxxxxxxxBetween 1 hour 5 & 1 hour 25xxxxxBetween 1 hour & 1 hour 15
MellowxxxxxxxxxixxxxMore than 1 hour 25xxxxxxxxxxxxxxMore than 1 hour 15

Your time up Atalaya is 1 hour 10 minutes – falling in the Moderate range.
Your time down Atalaya is 55 minutes – falling in the Strenuous range.
Your hiking rating will be Moderate.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Donations November 1, 2013 1:28 PM Dave G.
2-11-2013 Letter to Members February 12, 2013 6:20 AM Dave G.
What hiking gear do I need? May 14, 2012 12:24 PM Kathleen B.
No Show Policy March 20, 2012 6:17 PM Kathleen B.
Fire and Satellite Information June 25, 2013 6:00 AM Dave G.
How to download a photo September 20, 2010 12:42 PM Kathleen B.
Hike Effort and Pace Description July 5, 2012 8:46 PM Santa Fe Hiking A.
Michael Gallagher Photography June 14, 2012 5:24 PM Michael
Member Businesses December 30, 2011 1:08 PM Kathleen B.
General Information May 14, 2012 11:10 AM Kathleen B.
Night Hike Poem @Santa Fe Literary Review Reading May 25, 2010 3:56 PM Sean K.
Get the best from your poems! April 8, 2009 6:37 PM Jill B.

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