(505) 988-1631
(888) 634-8782

Museums and Historical Sites

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As the nation’s second oldest city (after St. Augustine, FL), Santa Fe has a lot to offer when it comes to museums and historical sites. While its history is visible in its buildings, streets, festivals, cuisine and art, there’s no better place to explore the Native American, Spanish and Western heritage of the city that in its museums.

A good place to start is the historic Plaza, home to the Palace of the Governors and the New Mexico History museum. Here you will find modern exhibits covering the State’s history from the time of the Spanish explorers to today as well as the painted Segesser hides believed to originate in Santa Fe in the early 1700’s and are the first know depictions of Spanish colonial life in the United States.

If its art that you are interested in, the New Mexico Museum of Art next door to the history museum is where you should start. Among their 20,000-piece collection are works from the Taos and Santa Fe Art Communities, Gustave Baumann, Fremont Ellis, John Sloan, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams and the extensive New Deal Art Collection.

Just a bit to the west of the New Mexico Art Museum is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The museum opened in 1997 and has a collection of over 3,000 of her works, the single largest collection of her art. Visitors are treated to viewing a changing selection of her works along with special exhibits that frequently show her works next to those of her American modernist contemporaries or currently living artists of note.

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts rounds out the museums located in the historic Plaza area. This museum is the country’s only place for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native North American artists.

The Plaza area and surrounding streets are home to many significant historical landmarks including the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis de Assisi, the Loretto Chapel, the historic Fred Harvey La Fonda Hotel, San Miguel Mission Church, and the Santuario de Guadalupe. Directly south of the Plaza near each of our inns is the 1966 built New Mexico State Capital that houses a noteworthy art collection and the Governor’s Gallery, both available at no cost for viewing.

Four additional museums located a short distance from the Plaza on Museum Hill are described on our Four Kachinas web site. Furthermore, we detail additional historic sites near to Santa Fe.

Museum of International Folk Art

www.nternationalfolkart.org

505-476-1200 725

Camino Lejo

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

www.okeeffemuseum.org

505-946-1000 217

Johnson Street

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

www.miaclab.org

505-827-6463 725

Camino Lejo

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

www.iaia.edu/museum

505-983-8900 108

Cathedral Place

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

www.spanishcolonial.org

505-982-2226 725

Camino Lejo

New Mexico Museum of Art

www.nmartmuseum.org

505-476-5072 107

West Palace

SITE Santa Fe

www.sitesantafe.org

505-989-1199 1606

Paseo de Peralta

El Rancho De Las Golondrinas

www.golondrinas.org 505-471-2261 334

Los Pinos Road

New Mexico History Museum

www.nmhistorymuseum.org

505-476-5200 113

Lincoln Ave.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

www.wheelwright.org

505-982-4636 704

Camino Lejo

   

 

Bandelier National Monument

www.nps.gov/band/

505-672-0343

Pecos National Monument

www.nps.gov/peco/

505-757-6414 ext.1

Loretto Chapel

www.lorettochapel.com

505-982-0092 207

Old Santa Fe Trail

San Miguel Mission

505-983-3974 401

Old Santa Fe Trail

Palace of the Governors

www.palaceofthegovernors.org

505-476-5100

 

   


Shopping

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Shopping

Santa Fe is a mecca for shopping.  In addition to the hundreds of art galleries throughout the city, Santa Fe offers an abundant number shops and boutiques.  Whether you are looking for a snappy pair of boots, collector quality jewelry, designer home décor, fashionable additions to your wardrobe or just some kitschy souvenir, you’ll most likely find it in one of Santa Fe’s shopping areas.  These include the area surrounding the historic Plaza, the Guadalupe/Railyard district, Canyon Road, Cerillos Road and two shopping malls.  Visitors also enjoy two seasonal flea markets, several great consignment stores and a plethora of street vendors.  Often overlooked are the great values and quality Southwestern merchandise available at our museum gift shops.

 

Clothing

Purple Sage
866-865-1234
110 Don Gaspar
Overland Sheepskin Co.
www.overlandcoats.com
888-683-7526
74 East San Francisco
Simply Santa Fe
888-798-3100
72 East San Francisco
Laura Sheppherd Salon de Couture
505-986-1444
65 West Marcy
Bohdi Bazaar
505-982-3880
500 Montezuma
Nathalie
www.nathaliesantafe.com
800-296-6093
503 Canyon Road
Uli’s
(505) 986-0577
208 West San Francisco
   

Jewelry

Patina Gallery
877-877-0827
131 West Palace
Packards on the Plaza
www.packards-santafe.com
800-648-7358
61 Old Santa Fe Trail
Romancing the Stone
505-988-4477
133 West San Francisco
Santa Fe Goldworks
www.santafegoldworks.com
505-983-4562
66 East San Francisco
Mati
www.kabana.net
505-989-4651
130 Lincoln
 

Furniture/Home Décor

La Mesa
www.lamesaofsantafe.com
505-984-1688
225 Canyon Road
Blaire Carnahan Gallery
www.carnahanfineart.com
505-955-9901
225 Canyon Road
Jackalope
www.jackalope.com
505-471-8539
2820 Cerrillos Road
Simply Santa Fe
www.simplysantafe.com
505-988-3100
72 E San Francisco St
Southwest Spanish Craftsmen
southwestspanishcraftsmen.com
505-982-1767
314 South Guadalupe
 Foreign Traders Incorporated
  www.foreigntraders.com
505-983-6441
202 Galisteo
Cielo
www.cielohome.com
505-992-1960
316 South Guadalupe
American Country Collection
www.accsantafe.com
505-984-0955
620 Cerrillos Road
Galisteo Home Furnishings
galisteohomefurnishings.com
505-992-3300
132 East Marcy
Onorato
www.onoratosantafe.com
505-984-2008
109 East Palace
Nambe
www.nambe.com
505-988-5528
104 West San Francisco
 

Specialty

Lucchese (boots)
www.lucchese.com
505-984-1688
225 Canyon Road
James Reid, Ltd. (belts & buckles)
www.jrltd.com
505-988-1147
114 East Palace
Spanish Table (gourmet food)
www.spanishtable.com
505 986-0243
109 North Guadalupe
Back at the Ranch (boots)
backattheranch.com
888-962-6687
209 East Marcy
Goler (shoes)
www.golershoes.com
505-982-2016
125 East Palace
Montecristi Custom Hatworks (hats)
www.montecristihats.com
505-983-9598
322 McKenzie

Books

Collected Works
collectedworksbookstore.com
505-988-4226
208 West San Francisco
Garcia Street Books
garciastreetbooks.com
505-986-0151
376 Garcia
Nicholas Potter – (rare books)
505-983-5434
211 East Palace
Ark Books
www.arkbooks.com
505-988-3709
133 Romero
   

Hiking

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Spring, summer, fall and even winter provides perfect days to hike the outdoors in Santa Fe.  The weather is usually comfortably warm during the day and cools down
nicely in the evenings.  The dramatic colors of the vegetation and rocks add to the magic of hiking.

We can help you select a suitable hike based on your time availability, difficulty desired, time of year and weather.  Some of our most popular hikes and walks include: the Santa Fe Riverside Park, the Randall Davey Audubon Center, trails off of Hyde Park Road (described below), Tent Rocks, Atalaya ridge, Diablo Canyon, and Bandelier.

 

Here’s an example of some hiking opportunities along Hyde Park road close to Santa Fe:

Beginning at Artist Road / Hyde Park Road, one has many options to hike and explore the outdoors. Just 2.7 miles up Hyde Park Road you will come to the Sierra del Norte portion of the Dale Ball Trail System.  This elaborate network of trails contains over 22 miles of hiking and mountain biking routes.  Because there are so many interconnected paths of various difficulty levels, the Dale Ball Trails are accommodating to everyone.

As you continue your way up Hyde Park Road, you’ll next come to the Chamisa Trail.   This fairly easy trail is 5 miles round-trip and winds through evergreen forest, ending at a grassy meadow beside Tesuque Creek.  September is particularly a perfect time to view the mass expanses of wildflowers in the area.  Several birds, including hawks, ravens, and hummingbirds are also commonly seen along this trail.

After the Chamisa Trail, you’ll enter the Santa Fe National Forest and Hyde Memorial State Park.  The hikes included in this area are the Hyde Park Circle, Borrego, and Bear Wallow trails.  These routes are mostly forested with fir, aspens, and ponderosa pines.  In addition to hiking, Hyde Park also has several places for picnics.

Once you drive out of Hyde Park, you’ll come to the most popular trails, especially in the autumn, the Aspen Vista.  Here is where you’ll truly be engulfed in the beauty of the aspen trees that turn bright golden in late September and early October.  As you continue you’re drive towards the ski basin there are some incredible overlooks.  These scenic spots are great photo opportunities.

Hyde Park Road ends at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  By now you have climbed nearly 5,000 feet in elevation!  There are several more hikes that branch out from here.  Many of these trails are for either a full day trip or are of a higher level of difficulty.  Because of the high altitude, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.  As you begin your descent down the mountains and into town, be sure to enjoy the new views of Santa Fe!


Wine

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New Mexico has a small but thriving wine producing industry. Following New Mexico’s wine trails is a good way to explore the various regional attractions of the state while also taking the opportunity to visit the area’s wineries along the way.

Interestingly enough, New Mexico is the country’s oldest wine growing region. Wine production started in 1633 in central New Mexico along the Rio Grande where a variety of grapes originally from Spain were grown to produce sacramental wine. At one point in the long history of New Mexico wines, the state was the fifth largest producer in the nation at almost a million gallons per year. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, droughts, floods and Prohibition worked to diminish the vineyard areas such that the industry almost disappeared. The industry started its rebirth in the late 1970’s with a few amateur operations. Since then, both commercial and amateur operations have grown and many producers have achieved national as well as international recognition for their quality wines. As of 2011, New Mexico has over 40 wineries and tasting rooms producing almost 700,000 gallons of wine per year.

Visitors to the Santa Fe can experience the northern wine trail that leads from Santa Fe through Espanola and Velarde north through Dixon and Taos. Some of our favorite wineries in this region are Vivac and La Chiripada in Dixon. Vivac is focused on complex reds aged in French oak and has a tasting room/gallery that is open seven days a week. La Chiripada offers wines ranging in style from dry barrel-fermented whites to fruity picnic wines and cellar-quality reds.

Black Mesa in beautiful Velarde produces a variety of selections including a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Riesling and Chardonnay. Estrella Del Norte Vineyard located in the scenic Pojoaque Valley, a 25 minutes north of Santa Fe on the High Road to Taos, has a tasting room featuring their offerings as well as award winning wines from other Northern New Mexico wineries. Santa Fe also has a wine tasting room within walking distance of both of our inns, Vino del Corazon at 235 Don Gaspar. Their most popular wines are Santa Fe Siesta, a spicy sangria style red, reserve Merlot and reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Santa Fe also hosts several wine and food events of note. On the Fourth of July weekend at the 200-acre Spanish colonial living history museum, Los Golondrinas, over a dozen local New Mexico wineries are present for tastings and direct sales. Later in the year in September, the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta is held. This is the state’s largest and premier wine and food event. This weeklong event features wine maker dinners, a wine auction, seminars, and cooking demonstrations with nationally prominent chefs. The event culminates with the “big event” where over 100 wineries from around the globe and numerous local restaurants serve their signature offerings in the spectacular setting of the Santa Fe Opera.

So, on your travels to Santa Fe and through out Northern New Mexico, be sure to allow time to sample the bounty of New Mexico’s family owned wineries. Not only do they offer a great variety of local wines, many of their vineyards and tasting rooms are located in stunning scenic settings near other significant attractions of interest to visitors.


Golf

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When you tee off at one of New Mexico’s diverse golf courses, you’ll have the feeling that you’ve stumbled onto a great well-kept secret. This unique variety of courses, set in New Mexico’s spectacular high desert scenery combined with favorable weather conditions, allow you to play under turquoise skies and sunny days year-round. Surrounding Santa Fe, there are a number of outstanding courses that are scenically beautiful and surprisingly convenient to reach. Many of these courses are top-rated, but with greens fees significantly below more publicized destinations, they are also an incredible value. Just a short drive from the inn are courses that will appeal to the occasional golfer as well as the accomplished player wanting a more challenging top-rated course such as Black Mesa Golf Club. Listed below are courses that can be found within a short drive of Santa Fe.

 

Black Mesa Golf Club

Black Mesa is a links course located in the spectacular high-desert landscape just a thirty minute drive north of Santa Fe. Black Mesa has held a spot in “Golf” magazine’s ‘Top 100 You Can Play’ since opening in 2003, and ranks as No. 4 in “Links” magazine’s ‘Most Spectacular in the World’ list.

 

Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe

This municipal course, with it’s splendid vistas of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountain ranges, is a short 20 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe. No 18 is considered by golfers to be one of the state’s great finishing holes.

 

Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club

This breathtaking upscale course on the east side of the Sandia Mountains is one of the most challenging and award-winning public courses in the United States. Paa-Ko Ridge is one of only 26 courses in the nation give a five-star rating by “Golf Digest” “Zagat” survey calls this course “extraordinary”. To reach Paa-Ko Ridge from Santa Fe, it’s about a 45 minute drive through scenic high desert landscape.

 

Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course

Situated in the foothills of the Jemez Mountains, Cochiti is only a 30 minute drive from Santa Fe, With its undeveloped location, spectacular vistas and close proximity to Santa Fe, Cochiti is a favorite of the year-round golfer. Locals have dubbed Cochiti “Heaven with a zip code”. “Golf Digest” named Cochiti one of ‘America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses’.

 

Quail Run and Las Campanas

These two private courses on the outskirts of Santa Fe have reciprocity with other private clubs. So if you belong to a club that does, you may want to take advantage of these nearby, lesser-played courses. Quail Run is a 9 hole PGA rated course a ten minute drive to the east and Las Campanas features two championship Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses just a 20 minute drive west of Santa Fe.

 

Golf Itineraries

To help you plan your golf vacation, we have put together a few itineraries that will allow time for golf as well as time for experiencing the museums, art galleries, shopping, cultural events, food and wine for which Santa Fe is known.

 

One day – Black Mesa Golf Club

Two day – Black Mesa Golf Club, Pueblo de Cochiti

Three day – Black Mesa Golf Club, Pueblo de Cochiti, Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe

Four days or more – Black Mesa Golf Club, Pueblo de Cochiti, Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe, plus one or more of the following; Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club, Pendaries Golf Course, Santa Fe Country Club, Los Alamos Golf Course


Tours

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There’s such a wealth of things to do and see in Santa Fe, a thriving tour business has been created. These tours can range from a short walk through the historic center of Santa Fe led by a knowledgeable historian to full day scenic air tours exploring the remote corners of New Mexico and the surrounding states. Some of the more popular excursions include tours of artists studios, wineries and breweries, galleries, restaurants and the Farmer’s Market, photography locations and of course, outdoor adventure destinations and natural wonders of the Southwest.

In addition to numerous walking tours of the historic downtown, there are several operators who offer regularly scheduled tours of the areas adjoining the Plaza in open-air vehicles. If you are interested in an excursion to more outlying areas such as Bandelier National Monument, the nearby pueblos and other unique destinations, there are purveyors that can assist you with such a tour. You can customize your tour and the operator will provide you with a fun, friendly and knowledgeable guide that will surely enhance your New Mexico experience.

We have provided a list of some of the many tour operators and identified their area of specialty. We have also provided descriptions of five self-guided day trips branching out from Santa Fe to the northwest, northeast, east, south and west.

Cultural Treasures

www.santafeculturaltreasurers.com

505 231-0855

Historic Walks of Santa Fe

www.historicwalksofsantafe.com

505 986-8388

Loretto Line Tour Company

www.toursofsantafe.com

505 983-3701

Odyssey Trails

www.odysseytrails.com

855 297-5673

Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing

www.outspire.com

505 660-0394

Patricia Leigh Photography

www.patricialeigh.smugmug.com

505 310-1555

Santa Fe Studio Tour

www.santafestudiotour.com

505 466-4877

Santa Fe Walkabouts

www.santafewalkabouts.com

505 216-9161

Wild Vistas Adventures, LLC

www.wildvistasadventures.com

505 474-3452

Santa Fe Hiking Guide, LLC

www.santafehikingguide.com

505 917-6280

Santa Fe Tour Guides, LLC

www.santafeguides.org

505 466-4877

Santa Fe Traveler

www.thesantafetraveler.com

505 474-4155

Native Destinations

www.nativedestinations.com

505 570-0538

Great Southwest Adventures, Inc.

www.swadventures.com

505 455-2700

Santa Fe School of Cooking

www.santafeschoolofcooking.com

505 983-4511

Custom Tours by Clarice, Inc.

www.santafecustomtours.com

505 438-7116

   

Outdoor Sports and Activities

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If you are looking for outdoor adventure, Santa Fe is a great destination from which to experience the outdoors.  We have covered hiking and golfing in other sections of Experience Santa Fe but there are a myriad of other fresh-air sports and activities to get the adrenaline flowing.

As we are near the Rio Grande, whitewater river rafting is popular in the spring and summer.   Nearby rivers such as the Pecos and Chama provide great opportunities for fly fishing.  There are several outfitters in town that can handle all of the arrangements from lessons and gear to travel.   If you are more comfortable on land, horse back riding in the Cerillos hills and mountain biking on the Dale Ball trails are available.   Llama trekking in New Mexico’s wilderness and day hikes can also be arranged.

In the winter, snow skiing and snowboarding at Ski Santa Fe is just a 30-minute drive away.  Here, you will find a good mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs suitable for all ages and skill levels.  A little farther away are several additional ski areas including Pajarito Mountain (1 hour drive), Sipapu Ski Resort (90 minutes drive) and the famous Taos Ski Valley (two hours drive).    Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing can be enjoyed at Valles Grande (1 hour) and the Enchanted Forest Cross Country and Snowshoe Area (2 ½ hours).  Sleigh rides in the Valles Grande are also a very popular experience that you’ll long remember.

For those who want the thrill of flying, you can take a hot air balloon ride and experience the expansive views of Las Barrancas (the ravines) and the beautiful surrounding virgin land slightly north of Santa Fe.  Soaring and glider rides through our incredible clear skies are also available for the aviation minded adventurers.


Rodeo de Santa Fe

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A snapshot of the Wild Wild West gallops into town on June 20th – 23rd with the 63rd annual Rodeo de Santa Fe!  This exciting event continues to be one of the top professional rodeos in the country.  With a variety of events spanning three days, there is certainly something for everyone.

To kick-off the events, the Rodeo de Santa Fe Parade will make it’s way through downtown on Saturday, June 16th.  The parade’s elaborate floats and family-friendly presentation is just the beginning.  The first rodeo will begin on Wednesday evening.

You may be wondering what exactly you will see at the Rodeo.

Each evening will begin with the children’s Mutton Bustin’.  In this event, children are placed upon the top of a sheep, much like a bull rider.  The sheep runs to try to remove the child.  Ribbons are given to the child who manages to ride the sheep the longest.

Following are the various competitive adult rodeo events.  These performances include roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle and bareback bronco riding and bull riding.

Last year there were over 540 contestants, including several world champion cowboys.  There will also be some light-hearted entertainment by way of rodeo clowns and a scheduled rodeo Village People.  These comedic bits are interspersed between the competitive events and provide a hilarious, family-fun environment.

On the fourth and final day of the rodeo, there is the crowning of the Rodeo Queen.  The candidates are between the age of 18 and 25, and must demonstrate knowledge of the Rodeo, horsemanship, animal welfare, and be apt at public speaking.  The Rodeo Queen receives a $1,000 scholarship and a custom-made saddle, crown, and buckle.  This is followed by the final competitive events and an evening of music, dancing, and entertainment.

Visit rodeodesantafe.org to purchase tickets and for more information.


Rodeo de Santa Fe

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A snapshot of the Wild Wild West gallops into town on June 20th – 23rd with the 63rd annual Rodeo de Santa Fe!  This exciting event continues to be one of the top professional rodeos in the country.  With a variety of events spanning three days, there is certainly something for everyone.

To kick-off the events, the Rodeo de Santa Fe Parade will make it’s way through downtown on Saturday, June 16th.  The parade’s elaborate floats and family-friendly presentation is just the beginning.  The first rodeo will begin on Wednesday evening.

You may be wondering what exactly you will see at the Rodeo.

Each evening will begin with the children’s Mutton Bustin’.  In this event, children are placed upon the top of a sheep, much like a bull rider.  The sheep runs to try to remove the child.  Ribbons are given to the child who manages to ride the sheep the longest.

Following are the various competitive adult rodeo events.  These performances include roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle and bareback bronco riding and bull riding.

Last year there were over 540 contestants, including several world champion cowboys.  There will also be some light-hearted entertainment by way of rodeo clowns and a scheduled rodeo Village People.  These comedic bits are interspersed between the competitive events and provide a hilarious, family-fun environment.

On the fourth and final day of the rodeo, there is the crowning of the Rodeo Queen.  The candidates are between the age of 18 and 25, and must demonstrate knowledge of the Rodeo, horsemanship, animal welfare, and be apt at public speaking.  The Rodeo Queen receives a $1,000 scholarship and a custom-made saddle, crown, and buckle.  This is followed by the final competitive events and an evening of music, dancing, and entertainment.

Visit rodeodesantafe.org to purchase tickets and for more information.


Hiking in the Santa Fe area

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Surrounding Santa Fe is a diversity of hikes unequaled by any other area of the state.  Access to the 12,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the canyons and caldera of the Jemez Mountains, and the more-arid high altitude desert landscapes south of the city is all within an hour drive of Santa Fe.  Nationally designated wilderness areas, including the Santa Fe National Forest with over a million and a half acres of land, ring the city.  Five of the seven life zones can also be found within an hour of Santa Fe, providing for an abundant diversity in plant and animal species.  Spectacular geological variation adds to the allure of open space, turquoise skies, and over 300 days of sunshine.  Year- round hiking is possible because of  quick altitude changes resulting in mild microclimates.

One of my favorite hikes is the canyon trail at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. There’s a fascinating slot canyon that opens into spectacular tuff pinnacles whose shape resemble tents.  Becoming a series of switchbacks, the trail climbs to the ridge where 365 degree views await.  This year-round destination is just 45 minutes driving south of Santa Fe.  Hiking time is approximately 2 hours and is rated “easy” by The Sierra Club.  I like to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowd and the heat of summer.

Trailheads for the Dale Ball and Dorothy Stuart Trail Systems are barely 5 minutes driving from downtown.  These extensive urban trails through the Santa Fe foothills, are perfect for when I need a quick, easy hike, especially around sunset. With beautiful city and mountain views at an elevation of 7000 to 7500 feet, I can enjoy these trails for biking as well as hiking.

One of the most exceptional autumn hikes in the Santa Fe area is Aspen Vista Trail at 10,000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, about 20 minutes driving from downtown.  This hike ranges from easy to strenuous, taking the trail through a huge aspen forest, spectacular in fall, but beautiful anytime of year.  It is possible to take the entire trail, crossing canyon creeks cutting through towering fir and spruce forest, to Tesuque Peak, elevation 12,040 feet.

Atalaya Mountain Trail is one of the closest trails in town, about 5 minutes driving.  It’s popular for it’s proximity, easy to moderate hiking, and spectacular city and valley views.  This year-round trail is best hiked during the weekend and early in the day during summer, though much of the trail it shaded, it still gets hot.

For a true alpine experience, with open meadows filled with wildflowers, meandering mountain brooks, conifer forest, and basalt pinnacles, my favorite trail is the East Fork Trail  in the Jemez Mountains.  Frequently, rock climbers are practicing their skills climbing the basalt pinnacles at the beginning of the hike.  I like this trail for its breathtaking beauty, sound of water, and minor elevation change.  An hour driving time from Santa Fe that takes you through the spectacular Valle Grande National Preserve is all it takes to reach this exceptional experience.Cave Creek Trail, near the town of Pecos, about 45 minutes driving from Santa Fe, is a fascinating lesser-known hike in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  The trail runs along Panchuela Creek, water running into cracks in the limestone creating interesting caves to explore.  This is an easy hike, but the trail meets up with more strenuous hiking trails to Horsethief Meadow and Lake Johnson.

For a great strenuous hike during summer months, Lake Katherine Trail is well worth the effort.  Within 30 minutes driving,  the trail climbs through forests of spruce, fir, and aspen into The Peco Wilderness, where dramatic views and vast vistas seem to be around every corner.  Lake Katherine sits at 11,742 feet, in a high altitude bowl with Santa Fe Baldy right behind.  Caution should be taken in summer during times of thunderstorms to avoid frequent lightning strikes.

This is only the surface of the tremendous hiking opportunities around Santa Fe.  When out enjoying our sunny days and turquoise skies, it’s important to carry plenty of water, a fire source, and a cell phone.  Also be cautious of wild animals such as bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes.  Respect them and leave them undisturbed as you enjoy all the wondrous terrain Santa Fe has to offer.