Skip to main content

On the Trail of the Ancient Ones

Order My Santa Fe Travel Guide

 

November is a great time for a trek to Bandelier National Monument and its nearby Tsankawi ruins, where you’ll hike a trail blazed by Ancestral Puebloan people. It is also the perfect time to visit Pecos National Historical Park—the site of what was once the Southwest’s largest pueblo to explore and learn about the history of the Pecos Valley.

In the 1400’s these groups gathered into Pecos Pueblo, which became a regional power. (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

Tsankawi was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people in the 1400s.  In the Tewa language of its former residents, Tsankawi means “village between two canyons at the clump of sharp, round cacti.” Here, ancient Pueblo residents built a settlement atop a mesa and made their homes next to a cliff base, carving caves into soft tuff stone. The ancient ones used paths—now centuries old and worn deeply into the rock—to travel from the mesa top to the canyons below and also to nearby villages.

 

Hike ancient trails blazed by Ancestral Puebloan people. (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

As you walk in the footsteps of these Ancestral Pueblo people, you’ll travel a 1.5 mile loop trail with incredible views, climbing up and down ladders and visiting unexcavated ruins and cave rooms. Watch for a staggering array of pristine petroglyphs along the way.

To get to Tsankawi from Santa Fe, take Highway 84 North to State Highway 502 to State Highway 4 and drive a quarter mile to the turn-off for the site, located on the left side of Highway 4. Park in the large gravel area next to the highway. You can pick up a trail guide at the entrance for a detailed description of the site.

In November, weather at Tsankawi can be mild, offering ideal conditions for exploring the site. But in rain, cold and snowy weather, the trail can become slippery. Always check the forecast before you go.

Look for handcarved petroglyphs along the trail (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

At Pecos National Historical Park, visit the remnants of an Ancestral Pueblo more than a thousand years old.  This was once one of the largest pueblos in the realm. Nearby, the worn adobe walls of an 18th century Spanish mission church are all that remain of a powerful Spanish presence that reigned over the region for several centuries. A 1.25 mile trail leads you from the Visitor Center to the ruins of Pecos Pueblo and its mission church.

The Pecos people also possessed an elaborate religious life, evidenced by many ceremonial kivas. (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

If you time your visit right, you may take part in Las Posadas, a northern New Mexico holiday tradition, presented by St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos. Translated from Spanish, Las Posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and this event features the reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem in search of shelter.

Imagine 3,500 farolitos illuminating the path from the church to the Ruins Trail. (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

Hosted by Pecos National Historical Park and the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, Las Posadas takes place on Monday, December 18, 2017. The free event starts as early as 4:30 p.m.  To enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, be at the Headquarters Parking Lot by 6 p.m. for the traditional procession, which begins at the church and follows the Ruins Trail, illuminated by the soft glow of more than 3,500 farolitos beneath a cold winter sky. Farolitos are small paper lanterns with sand inside surrounding a lit candle. The farolitos are a significant part of the New Mexican Christmas Tradition, especially on Christmas Eve. You’ll sing hymns and holiday songs and enjoy hot cider and biscochitos and more. Be sure to dress warmly and bring a flashlight.

The Pecos National Historical Park also includes a 2.35 Glorieta Battlefield hiking trail. (Photo courtesy of Santa Fe County)

Pecos National Historical Park also includes the 2.35 mile Glorieta Battlefield hiking trail, where, in the spring of 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a deadly 3-day battle (known as the “Gettysburg of the West”) that resulted in New Mexico remaining under Union control during the American Civil War. If you’d like to explore the trail and learn more about the battle, stop at the Visitor Center for access and a map.

Pecos National Historical Park is located 25 miles southeast of Santa Fe. Take I-25 north to exit 299, and then drive six miles on NM State Road 50 to the Village of Pecos. Turn right and drive south for two miles on State Road 63, which takes you to the park entrance.

To learn more about Santa Fe County and the northern New Mexico region, take a guided tour with Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, which offers a wide variety of adventures to choose from for guests and non-guests alike, including Guided Cultural Tours such as the Ancient to Present Tour that leads you on a journey where you’ll learn about the uniqueness of Ancestral Pueblo Culture. These excursions reveal the unique culture and history of the Land of Enchantment. Other guided adventures include the exploration of hiking trails and their popular biking trails excursions that offer a variety of seasonal trail options.

 

Visiting ancient sites will allow you to take in some of the area’s most beautiful scenery and historical sites. Plan your Santa Fe getaway now by ordering the 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide. There are always deals and specials to use during your visit, so make sure to check these out.

This blog was written in partnership with TOURISM Santa Fe and Santa Fe County.

 

Read More

Meet the Artists of the New Santa Fe Artists in Residence Program

Order My Santa Fe Travel Guide

Hotel guests staying in Santa Fe this winter will experience the city’s renowned art scene right in their hotels. The inaugural season of the city-wide “Santa Fe Artists In Residence” program creates a new art experience connecting visitors with New Mexico artists at 16 participating properties. Santa Fe Artists In Residence will be offered November 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4-7 p.m.

Visitors to The City Different can easily meet, interact and observe the artists as they create masterpieces in a variety of mediums. From painting and sculpting to jewelry making and basket weaving these skilled artists are ready to share their craft and invite guests to delve into the creative process first hand. Participating locations include: Drury Plaza Hotel, Eldorado Hotel and Spa, Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, Hotel Santa Fe, Inn of the Governor’s, Inn on the Alameda, La Fonda on the Plaza, La Posada de Santa Fe, Sunrise Springs and more. (more…)

Read More

9 Santa Fe December Events To  Enjoy The Season

Order My Santa Fe Travel Guide

 

Do you want to experience December differently this year? Then plan a visit to The City Different. Santa Fe never looked prettier dressed in all her holiday color and lights! Add to that a town nestled in historic traditions, then throw in some snow, mix in a bit of annual celebration and voila!  You have the perfect Santa Fe winter holiday getaway! It’s our good fortune to have a myriad of festive events that spotlight a different kind holiday season. Bright blue skies with crisp frosty air and ski ready landscape? Got it. World renowned regional cuisine? Always. Holiday music and performing arts? Hello! We’ve got it all.

(more…)

Read More

Explore the Cultural Legacy of Chimayó

Order My 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide

The allure of a spiritual journey brings the quiet streets of El Potrero to life each Holy Week. Centuries of tradition guide the footsteps and nurture the spirit of pilgrims who trek to the Santuario de Chimayó every year. The sacred journey has a way of tuning you in to the most important things in life.

The streets of the community of El Potrero, located near Chimayó, fill every Holy Week with the footsteps of the faithful making their journey to the Santuario de Chimayó.  Drawing as many as 40,000 pilgrims every year, the journey to the Santuario is one of the most important pilgrimages in the world. The Santuario itself is modest yet elegant, as are the people who have made their spiritual journey to it for centuries. The little church is famed around the world for the healing power of the dirt found beneath the chapel.

(more…)

Read More

How to Get Around in The City Different

Order My 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide

 

Did you know that traveling to and around Santa Fe is easier than ever? As of late, a new direct flight from Phoenix to the Santa Fe Regional Airport has been added much to the glee of the traveling visitor! Here’s a smorgasbord of travel transportation ideas to help you make your trip to The City Different a fun and memorable one.

(more…)

Read More

Santa Fe Spring Break: Kids Play Free!

Order My 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide

Can you believe it? It’s already time to start thinking about your family’s spring break getaway. Are you tired of crowded and expensive amusement parks and beaches? This year, how about something different? Santa Fe is making it easy, affordable, and fun for you and your family to plan that unique spring break vacation. Beginning in March through mid-April, families have a chance to take advantage of deals and specials in Santa Fe and here’s the great part–– KIDS ARE FREE! From outdoor activities, arts, culture, lodging and accommodations, wellness, restaurants, and other kid-friendly attractions we have your family covered to maximize your budget and spring break fun. Here are some workshops, attractions and tours to keep your family busy and entertained this Kids Freefest Spring Break 2017.

(more…)

Read More

Explore All The Ways Kids Stay and Play Free in Santa Fe This Spring Break

Order my new 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide

 

It’s never too early to start thinking about your family’s 2017 Spring Break getaway, especially with all the free things Santa Fe has to offer kids!  Santa Fe businesses have joined forces again for Kids FreeFest Spring Break 2017 , the 2nd Annual city-wide initiative that welcomes families throughout March and the middle of April by providing kids 12 and under with complimentary lodging, meals, spa and culturally immersive activities in The City Different. Experience a different kind of Spring Break this year in one of the world’s most award-winning destinations for families seeking adventure, relaxation, and genuine culture and experiences.

Santa Fe’s Kids FreeFestSpring Break 2017 includes a variety of lodging offers, treasure hunts, spa treatments, and sport and outdoor adventure. There’s also free art classes, museum exhibits, Flamenco classes, an Easter egg hunt—and of course some very delicious meals and including our famous Northern New Mexico cuisine. Here are few Kids FreeFest Spring Break 2017 suggestions for your family to consider.

(more…)

Read More

Top 10 Santa Fe Instagram Photos of 2016

Order my new 2017 Santa Fe Travel Guide

 

2016 was another beautiful photographic year in Santa Fe and we thank everyone who visited us and shared their photo memories  of Santa Fe!

For decades, photographers have known on how special the “light” is in Santa Fe. Being home to our historic adobe architecture, clear azure skies, and magnificent vistas makes Santa Fe a photographer’s dream. It’s no surprise that Popular Photography named Santa Fe one of the World's Best Places to Photograph.

To celebrate all the extraordinary memories and images from the past year, we’ve selected the top ten Instagram photos from @cityofsantafe. Photos were selected by the number of likes each photo received…people’s favorites.

We hope you will enjoy these images that reflect how visitors see The City Different. We hope to see you (and your mobile phone cameras) in 2017. Oh, and don’t forget to enter our #MySantaFeHoliday Instagram contest. There’s still time to submit your photos for a chance to win a Santa Fe Getaway! The contest ends on January 6, 2017 so post your photos today.

(more…)

Read More

Five Things To Do During Your Santa Fe Thanksgiving Weekend

Order My 2016 Santa Fe Travel Guide

Five Things To Do During Your Santa Fe Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving always brings an opportunity to take a deep breath and be thankful for the wonders of the year. Here in Santa Fe, we are grateful for the scenic beauty of our mountains and the many unique experiences that are available for you.. From dining in our world class restaurants to the festivities on the Plaza to kick off of the holiday season, Santa Fe is filled with fun. Discover what you can do during the Thanksgiving weekend in the City Different. You’ll be thankful you did.

(more…)

Read More

Fall Destination: Tesuque

Order My 2016 Santa Fe Travel Guide

Saying goodbye to summer is hard, but there’s no better place to take in a deep breath of the crisp fall breeze than the quaint village of Tesuque. Enveloped in towering cottonwood trees that roll out a carpet of blazing orange, red and yellow foliage, the village has a sense of tranquility, making it an idyllic fall getaway. Located just a quick 15 minutes north of the plaza, the village is named after the Tesuque Pueblo it lies adjacent to. Tesuque has been attracting visitors with it’s old-world charm and unparalleled scenery for centuries.

(more…)

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest