“#1 Cleanest Air in the U.S.” – American Lung Association 2012
Santa Fe sits 7,000 feet up in the southernmost Rocky Mountains making it the highest capital city in the U.S. Tucked into a valley of the Rio Grande, it’s surrounded by 1.5 million acres of unspoiled national forest filled with juniper, pine and aspen. The high altitude helps define the weather in all its glorious four seasons with brilliant blue skies and some of the purest air in the world.
Santa Fe has always been known as a “high desert” destination, but in the winter, we like to let our “mountain town” show a bit. Santa Fe sits at 7,000 feet elevation in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains which, paired with our blue bird skies, makes The City Different a must-visit winter destination!
Here are a few of the under the radar outdoor adventures that you have to experience while visiting Santa Fe.
Spring is here, a perfect time of year to get outdoors and enjoy an unparalleled adventure in Santa Fe County. With endless turquoise skies and stunning scenery that unfolds for miles, this high mountain country will reward you with lasting memories of your visit. Whether you’re seeking to experience the inspiring beauty of majestic mountains and pristine wilderness or a stirring journey into the region’s ancient Pueblo past, your spring getaway in Santa Fe County will take your breath away.
Hikers and skiers have long known the joys of exploring the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Santa Fe’s other scenic surroundings. But in recent years, Santa Fe County’s reputation as a mecca for mountain bikers has taken off. The area now draws cyclists from around the country in search of thrilling high mountain trails and breath-taking views. Road cyclists also roll in from near and far. They tour our scenic byways and take in an annual century ride. Biking is big in Santa Fe County. So big that USA Today ranked the area as one of America’s Top Mountain Bike Towns.
Are you a serious biker out to conquer a mountain? Are you searching for family fun riding the trails together? If so, you’ll find a range of terrain for every level. If you can’t bring your own wheels, plenty of bike shops rent mountain and road bikes for all ages and sizes.
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.
The Santa Fe National Forest is home to some of the most picturesque alpine scenery in the Southwest. Serious hikers know that the forest is home to some of the finest trails around for miles. The headwaters of the Pecos, Jemez and Gallinas Rivers can all be found here along with an abundance of trickling mountain streams. Within the borders of the forest resides a dormant volcano with a 15-mile wide crater, which has fostered abundant plant and animal life.
Gorgeous peaks tower over Santa Fe and in the winter, they’re coated in snow. Powder seekers need look no further than Ski Santa Fe, whose high altitude and abundance of sunshine promises ample gorgeous days on the mountain. Snow activities in the area far surpass those on skis or snowboard. If you’re looking for something a bit more slow-paced and scenic, the abundance of well-groomed trails throughout the County welcome snowshoeing, cross country skiing and sledding in the winter months. There’s no shortness of reasons to get outdoors during the winter.
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.
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.
An Insider’s Guide to Walking Ancient Paths and Rock Art
Just beyond the edge of Santa Fe and a short hike through the deep silence of the terrain lies a rocky ledge that seems to whisper to passersby, the dark stone speaking a cryptic language.
Carved into the boulders of the ledge at the La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site and throughout the Southwest are thousands of petroglyphs thought to originate from the pre-contact time of the Spanish colonial era. Despite a great deal of scholarly study throughout modern history, no one can say for certain what these depictions meant to the people who created them. Not only does their meaning remain shrouded in mystery, but many of the etchings’ depictions are indecipherable, leaving curious visitors to speculate.
October always brings an opportunity to take a deep breath and appreciate the wonders of the fall season. Here in Santa Fe, we are grateful for the beauty of the mountains and the many diverse cultural and outdoor experiences that are available. So join me in discovering a few of Santa Fe’s best October events.