Outdoor Adventures: Escape on the Trails
Santa Fe enjoys 325 days of sunshine a year, crystal clean air, stunning mountain, forest and high desert landscapes, and vistas that call people back time and again. So why not get outdoors and explore the Land of Enchantment, whether you hike, bike, or saddle up your pony? A picnic is never far away...
Leave your worries behind and stroll the sweet and easy Little Tesuque trail. The 2-mile round trip hike leads you through cool and shaded woods beside a creek. It's perfect on a hot summer day – listen for song birds too! From here, you can link to Santa Fe National Forest trails and the large network of Dale Ball Trails.
Or refresh your spirits on the easy-to-moderate Arroyo Hondo 3-mile loop hike on 87 acres of open space. The views are wonderful – look out for the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo site and the historic dam.
When you hike or ride the 5 miles of trails in Cerrillos Hills State Park, you get a sightseeing bonus alongside expansive views of the Galisteo Basin. The park is studded with old turquoise mine shafts, signed with details of their history.
Prefer freewheeling? Rent a bike and pedal the 25 miles of La Tierra trails for easy to moderate level mountain biking on single track with excellent views. You can also try your skills in the designated technical parks for BMX and mountain bikes.
The Dale Ball Trail network system is popular with bikers and hikers looking for a quick way to get out into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. More than 30 miles of trails in the system all start less than 2 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza. Bikers find all levels of mountain biking on single track on the interconnecting trails twisting through pine and juniper trees.
When you ride in the pristine Galisteo Preserve landscape, you might feel like the only person in the world. Just you, rolling hills, views that stretch forever, and that huge blue sky. In fact, you're a mere 15 miles south of Santa Fe.
Two wheelers might check out the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society – members lead regular group rides on the best trails around Santa Fe County. As they say, "Any friend of mountain biking is a friend of ours."
Find superb high altitude running trails on the Dale Ball trail network – the views and variety of loops will keep any runner on their toes. The 3-mile loop at Arroyo Hondo is also an excellent running choice with the kind of vistas you only find in Santa Fe.
The scent of piñon and sage and the dramatic skies of the wide, wide west… you'll feel like you've rambled into an old Western movie! Saddle up at the Bishop's Lodge Stables – the property was once the retreat of Archbishop Lamy – where the peaceful Tesuque Valley trails make it hard to believe that you're just 5 miles from the Plaza. Two stables on the Turquoise Trail (NM Road 14) offer day and sunset rides. Broken Saddle Riding Company explores the hills around Cerrillos while the guides at Santa Fe Western Adventures at Lone Butte might look familiar from movies and TV series such as Longmire.
Hyde Memorial State Park offers different levels of trails through pines and by wooded streams in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Take a picnic to enjoy the views and wildflowers and maybe spot a deer. Come here for fall foliage when the aspen turn the hillsides golden.
At Nambé Falls Recreation Area, you can soak up the sight of the scenic lake and waterfalls while munching lunch. Work off your picnic by hiking quarter mile trails above the falls, or by the riverside below for a cooling spritz!
Cerrillos Hills State Park: 1220 South St. Francis Drive, Co Rd 59, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Broken Saddle Riding Company: 26 Vicksville Rd, Los Cerrillos, NM 87010
Santa Fe Western Adventures: 68 Bonanza Creek Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Explore Day Trips:
The Miracle of Chimayo: Tastes and Traditions - Whether you want to feed your body, your soul or your apetite for history, charming Chimayo, 28 miles north of Santa Fe, offers the kind of nourishment you won't find anywhere else!
Native American Culture: Walking Ancient Paths - Step into the sacred legacy of ancestral Pueblo people by exploring the earliest cliff dewllings and ceremonial sites in Santa Fe County.
Turquoise Trail: Legends and Landscapes - A drive along the Turquoise Trail isn't just a gorgeous day out, it's a journey back in time through the colorful histories of old Wild West mining towns.