Ignite Your Competitive Spirit with Santa Fe’s Gorgeous Sport Adventures

Editor’s note: As much as she would like to fancy herself the outdoorsy sporty type, our writer’s legendary inappropriate footwear gives her away. This week, she turns over the blog to one of her more sports-minded friends who understands flip-flops are not always the best shoe choice for Santa Fe.

It doesn’t take much effort to turn Santa Fe into an outdoor sports playground. With its extremely refreshing weather and gorgeous surroundings, people just can’t help but want to go out and get moving. Biking, running, golf, baseball — from the serene to the extreme — Santa Fe is a natural sports paradise. That’s a good thing, because with so much delectable food in Santa Fe, you’ll be looking for a thrilling way to burn a few calories.

I know you are excited, but let’s go over some basic tips for getting active in Santa Fe. The City Different is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet. So while the air might be the cleanest in the country, it’s probably a little thinner than what you’re used to. Allow yourself a day to get acclimated before embarking on that epic hike or trail run. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive intake of alcohol; save the silver coin margaritas for the post-ride victory celebration. Thinner air also means you’re going to want lots of sunscreen. And, of course, dress in layers for cool mornings and warm afternoons.

The view from Atalaya Mountain (Source: im me, flickr.com)

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Santa Fe is truly world class, offering everything from beginner trails to expert terrain. The prestige of Santa Fe’s trails lead the International Mountain Bike Association to hold their world summit here. Choose a slow-paced scenic route, a challenging brutal trek, or a fast-paced downhill run like the Windsor Trail.

Just minutes north of downtown, the Dale Ball South trail network is an easy-to-access, immaculate 22-mile trail system offering single-track loops for all levels of riders. You don’t need expensive gear or a closet full of race jerseys to enjoy an invigorating ride overlooking the city. Just hop on, pedal, and enjoy. Experienced riders looking for a challenge can take on the Atalaya trail leading to the top of Atalaya Mountain. Ride on weekdays to avoid crowds. Check out the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society for the inside scoop on the best trails and group rides.

For those with an inclination for organized events, make plans for Santa Fe’s 28th Annual Century Ride, rich in both pedal power and tradition. 100 miles of history pass under your wheels as you ride the ancient Turquoise Trail across the Ortiz and San Pedro Mountains, the Estancia Valley, on to the historic village of Galisteo, and back to Santa Fe. Six food stops along the way provide riders with hydration, snacks, fresh fruit, and more. There are 25- and 50-mile “out & back” routes for riders not yet ready to knock out the full century. The Century Ride gets rolling May 19. Don’t miss your chance to ride this historic trail.

Running: The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder  Half Marathon + Gladiator Dash

Prefer to tackle Santa Fe on foot? Explore one of the many running trails in and around the city and its glorious natural surroundings. If you’re looking for more motivation, try the Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, one of Santa Fe’s many destination races. The primarily downhill run takes you from the heart of historic Santa Fe to the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Casino.

The USATF-certified course has spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains and takes runners into the colorful Rio Grande Valley. The starting pistol fires Sunday, September 15th. The run benefits Global Running Culture, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting youth fitness.

Good but not-so-clean fun at the Gladiator Dash Credit: ultimategladiatordash.com

Runners looking for something a bit more “extreme” should get down and dirty with the Gladiator Dash. The Dash is a 5K “Ultra Extreme Mud Obstacle Challenge” that commands you to climb, jump, crawl, and conquer. This race will definitely leave your body covered (and I mean covered) in mud. It’s an absolute mess and an insane amount of fun. The Gladiator Dash wreaks havoc on September 7th. Sign up with a friend or race as a team.


Sports in Santa Fe aren’t all about testing your limits; they can also test your patience. Experience the glory and heartache at one of Santa Fe’s exceptional golf courses. Schedule a tee time at the Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe, named after the late Santa Fe legend. This municipal course is an attractive value, with lush, challenging greens, magnificent views, and a friendly staff. If the weekly tournaments don’t keep you coming back, the expansive pro shop and delicious grill just might. Like Marty Sanchez himself, this course is a gift to the city. Walk-ups are welcome.

The Fuego

Pitcher Rod Tafoya brings the heat for the Santa Fe Fuego (Credit: Scott Sacker,

Last year, professional baseball arrived in Santa Fe with the Fuego. Pecos League commissioner and Santa Fe owner Andrew Dunn called the Fuego’s first season at Fort Marcy Park, “quite possibly the best year of any expansion team I’ve ever had.” The brand new team led the independent league in attendance. How’s that for hometown spirit! “The community understands the commitment of the players and appreciates the players and fully supports the team,” said Dunn. The Fuego’s first home game is against the Taos Blizzard May 16th at Fort Marcy Park. Take a nine-inning break and root, root, root for the home team.

Whether planning a trail run or lining up a birdie, there’s so much to experience and explore in Santa Fe. If you really want to get away from it all, nothing helps melt stress like exercise. Remember, after a workout, be sure to properly recover and refuel. As for me, I’ll either be on my bike, debating what club to use at Marty Sanchez, or at Fort Marcy Park wearing a Fuego cap and sipping on a Happy Camper IPA.

Plan Three Days of Fun (and Some Sun) in Santa Fe

At last, a glorious three-day weekend in Santa Fe the City Different. If you’re like me, you’ll want to pack in as much of as you can into these precious moments. So get ready, because I have some suggestions to help you to capture the true essence of what Santa Fe has to offer over just three days. From delicious meals and world-class spas, to museums, shopping, and hiking, here are favorite picks to help you have a trip to remember back at your desk.

Day 1: Eat Breakfast, Ride the Tram, Indulge in Chocolate

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest you start your first morning off with a bang. Cafe Pasqual’s is quintessential Santa Fe, with bright colored tiles and a festive atmosphere. Locals and tourists alike flock to this legendary joint. Order the huevos rancheros (try both red and green chile) or the papas fritas (scrumptious home fries in chile, cheese, and sour cream). Then, revel in your wise decision, whichever dish you choose.

With your belly full, a great way to explore downtown while digesting is to take a 90 minute Custom Tour by Clarice. These open-air tram rides leave from the Plaza several times a day and are an ideal way to see the sights and hear some history. The tram also picks up passengers at many hotels. The knowledgeable and humorous guides will point out must-see shopping destinations, restaurants, and galleries.

Plan to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to get a look at the exquisite work of New Mexico’s most beloved artist. You can choose a self guided audio tour or a free docent-led tour. There, you will be privy to a new exhibit which opens May 17: “Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land.” In addition to the exhibit, the museum maintains a comprehensive permanent collection, as well as a fantastic gift shop and bookstore.

Another schedule to keep an eye on is the Santa Fe Culinary Academy. This renowned culinary school offers diverse one day cooking classes on topics such as gluten-free spring dinners, Thai curries, and puff pastries that are open to the community. Indulge your taste buds while picking up some mouthwatering and innovative recipes from Santa Fe’s top chefs.

After all of this touring around, you will probably be ready or a treat. Why not hit the chocolate trail this afternoon? Santa Fe is home to some innovative chocolatiers. Check out my previous blog with tips on how to get your chocolate fix around the city.

Santa Fe Culinary Academy – Chef Rocky Durham demonstrating how to hone a knife’s edge on the unglazed edge of a plate

Day 2: Stroll, Spree, Listen and Relax

Start your Saturday off by strolling the Santa Fe Farmers Market, one of the country’s premiere farmers markets. Centrally located in the Railyard district, this market is a delight for the senses. Local farmers, bakers, gardeners, and herbalists convene to create a lively, bustling market. Grab a breakfast burrito and an organic coffee, and peruse the bountiful selections. The people watching is great, and be sure to catch one of the ongoing cooking demonstrations utilizing local ingredients. I guarantee you won’t leave empty handed. And while you’re at the Railyard, check out the groundbreaking contemporary art at SITE Santa Fe, which is free on Saturdays.

Shopping for produce at the Santa Fe Farmers Market

Of course, after the market, it’s time for some retail therapy. While in the Railyard, head over to Chapare for the finest in South American imports including textiles, jewelry, and an impressive selection of woven and embroidered scarves and shawls. Also in the area, stop by the über trendy Daniella Clothing for a wardrobe boost unlike any you are likely to find in the rest of the city.

For the man in your life, make an appointment to see the fine artistry of Randall D. Moore. His collection of silver and gold belt buckles, cuff links, and bolo ties are museum quality with a hint of a contemporary Western flair. For handmade jewelry, be sure to hit the Plaza and walk the length of The Palace of the Governors. There, you will find a vast selection of Native American handiwork such as silver, turquoise, beading, and leather, sold by the artists themselves. It’s a Santa Fe tradition.

Retail shopping in Santa Fe

End your day enveloped in luxury. Treat yourself to a facial or blissful massage at Nidah at the Eldorado Hotel. This deluxe spa incorporates local ingredients like sage and lavender, chocolate, and even gemstones into their treatments. You deserve it.

If you have plans for a three-day trip later in the summer, don’t forget to check out the Santa Fe Opera schedule; the season begins June 28. Whether you’re an opera aficionado or a complete novice, the world-class performances are not to be missed.

Day 3: Coffee-Fueled Hiking Followed by Rejuvenation and Dinner

Grab some caffeine for your big day ahead at Ohori’s Coffee, a local favorite for espresso, coffees, and treats. This should give you fuel to make the short 45-minute drive out to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument for a hike that is sure to be a highlight of your travels. These dazzling rock formations, located within the Pueblo de Cochiti, are a stunning visual and a fascinating study in ecology and history.

There are two trails available. The Cave Loop Trail, rated as easy, is 1.2 miles long. The more challenging route, The Canyon Trail, is a one way, 1.5 mile trek through narrow canyons, eventually winding up to a mesa, with awe inspiring views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Be sure to have appropriate footwear, water, and sunscreen for this fantastic excursion. A must see!

Glorious summit at Tent Rocks National Monument

Once back in town, there is no better way to revive your tired muscles than to take a dip in warm water. Ten Thousand Waves is Santa Fe’s world-renowned Japanese style resort. A soak in one of their outdoor hot tubs will relax and rejuvenate your body and soul. A state of nirvana is guaranteed here. See my Healing Waters blog for other spa and local springs you can visit to reward yourself after a day of exercise.

To conclude this lovely day, dine at Luminaria, located inside the Inn and Spa at Lorretto. Whether you choose the three-course happy hour prix fixe menu, available 5-6:30 pm, or one of their signature dishes from the regular dinner menu, dining at Luminaria is an affair to remember. Only top quality meats, seafood, and vegetables are used here to create simple, refined meals that are sure to please your palette. The warm and inviting atmosphere will leave you in no rush to leave, and your day will end with a sense of satisfaction and well-being.

Dining at Luminaria

If you want to end your day (or start your night) with drinks or dinner outdoors, you should know some of our city’s most beloved restaurants dish out their best treats on patios, rooftop decks, and secret gardens. High on my al fresco list is Restaurant Martín because I’m partial to umbrellas. That, and duck confit quesadillas, and crab cakes with sweet corn purée and roasted pasilla peppers. I’m also a big fan of the lively scene and Southwest creations on the Rooftop Cantina at Coyote Café. I recommend you start with the Persephone (a pomegranate martini with a touch of cinnamon), followed by Navajo tacos filled with pulled pork, roasted chicken, and ground buffalo. Keep your sunglasses on so no one can see you cry with happiness.

You Can’t See All of Santa Fe in Three Days — But You Can See a Lot

A getaway to Santa Fe is guaranteed to rejuvenate and inspire you. Plan your time to take in the natural beauty, cuisine, art, and culture that make our corner of the world so special. Once you get home, you can start planning your next Santa Fe adventure. Enjoy!


Visiting Santa Fe for Memorial Day Weekend?

Don’t miss these events!


Event: Native Treasures Indian Art Festival

When: May 25-26

Where: Santa Fe Convention Center


Event: Northern New Mexico Fine Arts & Crafts Guild

When: May 25-27

Where: Cathedral Park


Event: Aspen Ballet and Folklórico Annual Spring Recital

When: May 26

Where: Lensic Performing Arts Center

Santa Fe – Spring Must Do’s

Make the Most of Your Post–Hibernation this Spring in Santa Fe








Abandon your cozy seat by the fire and finish up your gourmet hot chocolate, because spring has arrived in the City Different! It’s time to go out, get active, and explore more of what makes Santa Fe so magical. Let the city’s creative spirit awaken yours from hibernation and explore the rich traditions of Santa Fe’s many cultures. Here are some ways to make the most out of a springtime trip to this wondrous and surprising city.

DIY Month

At a modest size of 37.4 square miles, and internationally recognized as a premier art market, Santa Fe packs in more creativity per square foot than anywhere else in the country. Get inspired by more than 250 art galleries, museums, and centers, and five art schools.

You’ll need those creative juices flowing as Santa Fe celebrates DIY Month in March, a creative tourism journey that gives you the chance to spend all or part of a trip taking workshops from experienced artists and artisans. It’s okay if you’re not an O’Keeffe. Classes cater to all artistic explorers, from beginners to aficionados. Fulfill a dream, refine a skill, or fall into something completely different. Want to tap into your inner artist? Take an expressive painting workshop with artist Cathy Carey. In this five-day class, limited to a small enrollment, you’ll learn techniques to loosen up your drawing and painting, capturing the feeling and fluid movement of Matisse and Van Gogh, and build a new connection to your work.

The Land and Light photography workshop teaches you the skills you’ll need to capture the majesty of Santa Fe with a lens. Walk this enchanted land with photographer Craig Varjabedian, photographing unique environments in an atmosphere of adventure and discovery. It’s a great way to explore the diverse culture, architecture, and landscape of northern New Mexico while upping your shutterbug game.

Personally, I can’t wait for the Glass Ristra workshop, a luxurious creative workshop brought to you by Bridges to Santa Fe. Held in a gorgeous home gallery, you assemble your own red, green, or Christmas glass ristra, while dining on red and green chile appetizers served on artisan-rendered glass platters.

That’s just a small sampling of the exciting do-it-yourself offerings. Transforming photographs with beeswax, traditional tinwork, Japanese papermaking, spinning wool, and many more possibilities await.

Bead Fest Santa Fe

Align the do-it-yourself spirit with do-it-for-yourself results at Bead Fest Santa Fe. Perfectly suited for both jewelry making novices and experts, Bead Fest is four days of discovering the latest techniques, tools, and tips. Take one of the 95 different workshops offered by jewelry artists from around the country, or shop at more than 150 booths and tables with everything you need to craft your own amazing creations. I’ll be going to behold the beautiful work on display, and, just maybe, end up with an amazing piece of my own design.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Photo: Rosalie O’Connor









After all that making and creating, make sure you’re getting a balanced cultural intake. Along with the visual arts, Santa Fe is also a vibrant city of the performing arts. At the end of March, you can catch the dual-city Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as they return home for a program featuring Jiri Kylián’s poignant Return to a Strange Land, Alejandro Cerrudo’s striking new ballet Last, and Trey McIntyre’s seductive Like a Samba. Not sure if ballet is for you? Give this group a chance. Just don’t be surprised if you spend the entire performance at the edge of your seat. I asked ASFB’s director of marketing Jennica Lundin about the upcoming shows. “It’s not traditional ballet but way more contemporary,” said Jessica. She also told me that two of the three pieces would be performed on pointe, where the dancers perform entirely on their tiptoes. “Performing on pointe shows that our dancers’ technique is rooted in classical style.”

Santa Fe Japanese Cultural Festival

Go from nimble dancers to nimble swordsmen at the sixth Santa Fe Japanese Cultural Festival. Nothing feeds creativity like knowledge and experience, and I can’t think of a more exciting mental meal than a large serving of Samurai culture. Witness master swordsmen demonstrating their skills, Taiko drumming from Grammy winner Koji Nakamura, and a Grand Samurai Performance from Japan’s Nobuyuki Sato. You can also feast on Japanese food (yum), enjoy workshops (this city is workshop crazy), a silent auction, and – you guessed it – arts and crafts. It wouldn’t be a Santa Fe event if it didn’t involve creating something.








Santa Fe in Bloom

All of this culture can wear a person out. Make sure you leave yourself some time to enjoy and relax in Santa Fe’s natural beauty. Spring is a time when the outdoor world of Santa Fe turns into a collage of blooming plants. Why not try out some of those newly acquired photography skills on the blooming Aspens, tulips, poppies, and more. If you want a peek at some gorgeous gardens, the Santa Fe Garden Club is offering Pequeno Tours, private tours of some of Santa Fe’s finest homes and gardens. The Pequeno Tours start in mid-April and with spring temperatures in the 50s and 60s and plenty of sunshine, being outside in the fresh air of Santa Fe — named cleanest in the country by the American Lung Association — just feels great.

Start your Creative Season

Spring in Santa Fe is truly an inspiring time. Whether you want to jumpstart your own artistic renaissance or just recharge, there’s more than enough to wake your sense of adventure from its winter slumber. With all the opportunities to create and explore, there’s no time like spring to experience all the creative energy, diverse culture, and natural beauty that Santa Fe has to offer.

Romantic Guide to Santa Fe

Couple exploring Downtown Santa Fe

Santa Fe has been arousing spirits and stirring passions for over 400 years. Maybe it’s the city’s dramatic sunsets and picturesque mountain vistas. Or maybe it’s the charming adobe buildings, cozy kiva fireplaces, and tantalizing cuisine. Whatever it is, Santa Fe, like a Pablo Neruda poem, embodies true love, making it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway. Did you know that “Santa Fe” is the universal word for “love”? Ok, not really. However, The City Different does have the ability to inspire the heart, rekindle an old flame, or spark a new one. Don’t take my word for it. U.S. News Travel recognized Santa Fe as a top destination for romantic retreats and Livability dubbed it one of the Top 10 Romantic Cities in America. Below is my insider’s guide to a romantic stay in Santa Fe.


Chocolate elixir from Kakawa Chocolate House
Photo courtesy of Food Network TV

What better way to re-ignite a romance or proclaim your love than by spending a day indulging in fine art, breath-taking skies and mountains, and delectable cuisine? Start with a couple’s massage and a soak in one of Santa Fe’s calming spas. Then, make your way to Kakawa Chocolate House for some midday sweetness. Your senses will be invigorated after sharing a few cups of Kakawa’s “Tonantzin” chocolate elixir, an herbal aphrodisiac said to flame the passions within. While you’re there, purchase a box of Aphrodite Truffles, which were inspired by the Love Goddess herself.

Estrella del Norte Vineyard

Nothing is more sensual than a spicy encounter in the kitchen. Spend the day mastering  the flavors of the real Southwest with a cooking class taught by highly acclaimed local chefs. Try the “Green Chile Workshop” at Santa Fe School of Cooking, or the “Exploring España” class at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy to really heat things up. For you wine lovers, sample award-winning vino varietals with an intimate tour at Estrella Del Norte Vineyard, which offers a “Cupid’s Arrow Wine Lover’s Special” for the month of February.

If museums and world-class art stimulate your desires, head to Museum Hill to explore exhibits like “New World Cuisine, the Histories of Chocolate Mate y Mas” at the Museum of International Folk Art. Then make your way to the legendary Canyon Road where you’ll discover vibrant international art galleries. Stroll the intimate adobe walled streets as you treasure hunt for the perfect piece of original artwork to fall in love with.

Enjoying the serenity of the Santa Fe wilderness
Photo Courtesy of Homes.com

In the midst of all the affection, take some time to appreciate the scenery with the person you love. Just the two of you…explore Santa Fe’s crisp, pure mountain air and whispering pine forests with a hike or horseback ride through the peaceful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Stop by the Santa Fe Farmers Market before you head up and grab a few ingredients like local red chile raspberry jam and artisan cheese, the perfect compliment for your romantic adventure. Having Santa Fe’s pristine wilderness to yourselves will reinforce your appreciation for nature, as well as each other.

Spectacular sunset from La Fonda Bell Tower

As daylight turns to dusk, Santa Fe’s evening skies create a symphony of colors, transforming from turquoise blue to deep orange and red. Marvel at the sunset and enjoy a specialty silver coin margarita from La Fonda’s fifth-floor Bell Tower, the highest terrace in Santa Fe (open weather permitting). Or hop on the Pinzgauer Tour offered by Santa Fe Walkabouts for a ride up to Baldy Peak, offering a 12,000-foot panoramic sunset view.

Indulging in a romantic dinner

The City Different is home to an unrivaled collection of James Beard recognized culinary gourmands and local farm-to-table food artisans. Whether you’re looking for elegant sophistication or something a little more quaint, Santa Fe is teeming with romantic restaurant options. After a day of passion, have an intimate dinner next to a crackling piñon fire at Rio Chama Steakhouse. And at the end of the night, enjoy a night cap with your amor at Secreto Bar, located inside the sublime St. Francis Hotel. Here you’ll discover ancient wine-making traditions introduced by Santa Fe’s Franciscan monks, as well as a wide array of award-winning, hand-crafted cocktails.

Romance is found everywhere in Santa Fe. Wherever you go, you’ll be smitten by the city’s charm, sophistication, and ever-present beauty. And as your love for Santa Fe grows, so will your love for one another.


Valentine’s Day & Annual Romantic Events

At the Artist Table

WHEN: February 14, 2013 from 6 – 9 pm

Looking for a truly memorable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? “At the Artist Table” presents an intimate evening of fine art and cuisine.

Moonstruck at the Lensic Performing Arts Center

WHEN: February 14, 2013 at 7 pm

Join us for a Valentine’s Day screening of this romantic comedy, released in 1987 starring Cher and Nicholas Cage.


WHEN: February 22-24, 2013

Fine art meets fine dining in this one of a kind event. There are fashion shows, an auction, home tours, and the Edible Art Tour–an evening of gallery hopping with art-inspired nibbles prepared by the area’s finest chefs.

Santa Fe Restaurant Week

WHEN: February 24–March 3, 2013

Feast on delicious, three-course meals at a fraction of the cost. Dinners will be priced at $25 for two for casual-dining restaurants, or $20, $30 or $40 per person, depending on the restaurant.

 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

WHEN: March 29-30, 2013

This innovative dance company returns home this March with a program featuring Kylián’s poignant Return to a Strange Land, Alejandro Cerrudo’s striking new ballet Last, and Trey McIntyre’s seductive Like a Samba.

First Friday Art Walks

WHEN: First Friday of the Month

Join the West Palace Arts District Galleries every month on the First Friday for a variety of openings and exhibitions. Hours for events are usually from 5 to 7:30 pm.

Last Friday Art Walk at the Railyard Galleries

WHEN: Last Friday of the Month

Held the last Friday of every month, this exciting world-class contemporary art experience opens up the hip Railyard Arts District at night. RAD (The Railyard Art District), a cooperative of 10 Railyard art galleries hosts its “Last Friday Art Walk” throughout the Railyard.

Santa Fe Opera Festival Season

WHEN: June 28 – August 24, 2013

The repertory includes a world premiere, the first Santa Fe performances of another brilliant opera by Rossini, the return of a comic opera by Jacques Offenbach, and two popular revivals.

By Gabe Trujillo 2/14/13

Can’t-Miss Santa Fe Winter Experiences

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”  – John Steinbeck

While many towns lull into hibernation during the winter months, Santa Fe vibrates with life. Picturesque snowdrifts blanket adobe walls. Laughter and conversation surround crackling kiva fireplaces. The spicy aromas of piñon and cedar permeate the air. Deep relaxing pueblo drumming echoes northern New Mexico. And flavorful pots of posole and green chile stew transport you back to grandma’s cozy kitchen. Food & Wine proclaims, “Winter is the perfect time to explore Santa Fe and discover all of its wondrous offerings.” We locals couldn’t agree more!

Winter in The City Different is, well, different. In a city blessed with a gorgeous array of winter scenery, you’ll often find lunchtime temperatures 30 degrees warmer than our crisp mornings, and sunshine during a snowfall is not uncommon. Few things match the sublime sight of light rays dancing between giant snowflakes.

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Mountain Splendor, Thrilling Adventures and Tantalizing Cuisine.

If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, then Santa Fe needs to be at the top of your must-explore list. Its gorgeous landscape is home to miles of trails, perfect for hikers and bikers of all experience levels. And whether journeying on foot or on wheels, you’ll be breathing the cleanest air in the country, just ask the American Lung Association. You don’t have to go far to enjoy this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise – the wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains begins just minutes from downtown Santa Fe. It’s time to hit the trails!

Photo courtesy of Southwest Mountain Adventures – Santa Fe, NM

The Aspen Vista Trail is the most popular in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its gradual uphill climb is ideal for hikers of all abilities and ages. And, when the snow starts falling the trail makes for the perfect cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a steeper ascent, head to the top of the Atalaya Mountain Trail. You can catch your breath as you admire majestic views of the Rio Grande valley and Santa Fe below.

View from Aspen Vista Trail – Santa Fe, NM

There are many other trails that provide scenic trips through some of the most magnificent scenery in the southwest. Awe at the large stands of evergreens, piñon and juniper forests, cottonwood and willow trees, lush aspen-fir forests, vibrant fields of wildflowers, and stunning monarch butterflies. You can easily a find great place to picnic, camp, bird watch, and more. Before you head out, don’t forget to prepare for high elevation adventure. Fuel up with a traditional New Mexican breakfast, Café Pasqual’s and the Plaza Café both dish up tasty huevos rancheros.

For those who prefer their fresh-aired splendor a bit bumpier, Santa Fe provides some of the best mountain biking in the southwest. Trails range from slow-paced scenic routes to challenging brutal treks. The Dale Ball Trails is an easy-to-access, immaculate 22-mile trail system just minutes from the plaza. Ranging from St. John’s College to the Sierra Del Norte trailhead just north of downtown, the trail network offers single-track loops for all levels of riders. You don’t need a custom helmet and endorsement deal to enjoy an invigorating ride overlooking the city. Just hop on, pedal, and enjoy.The newly renovated La Tierra trail network of service roads, double track and single-track runs, takes riders through a classic New Mexico piñon forest and expansive open spaces.  This trail system is suited for novice riders, but do expect to see experienced cyclists blur past.

And just in case any doubt remained about Santa Fe’s bike cred, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose the City Different as the destination for thier 2012 World Summit (October 10th to the 13th). The conference will discuss and explore all things mountain bike. Attendees can expect a week of professional development, rejuvenation, networking, and of course, unparalleled riding.

International Mountain Bicycling Association 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2013.

Looking for something a little more low-key? The annual Santa Fe Gourmet Classic held every fall, offers riders of all levels the opportunity to cycle for their supper. This 65-mile gastronomical cruise features rest stops serving up scrumptious snacks and gourment southwest cuisine. The non-competitive ride offers beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountains.

Flat tire? Forgot your padded shorts? If you need a quick repair or to restock some gear, stop by Rob & Charlie’s for Santa Fe’s best selection of bikes and parts. If the only part you’re missing is the bike itself, Mellow Velo can hook you up with a rental. Whatever you do, just make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. You don’t want anything to get in the way of post-journey victory enchiladas.

Challenging rides, gorgeous hikes, and spectacular views, make Santa Fe the perfect destination for anyone who loves a vacation that roams.  So tie up those laces and get ready to see Santa Fe in its natural and rugged beauty. Happy trails!

Upcoming Events:

The IMBA 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2012

Miles of Trails

Aspen Vista Trail

Dale Ball Trail System

La Tierra Trail

Chamisa Trail

Borrego – Bear Wallow – Winsor Loop

Resources and Guides:

FREE Santa Fe Visitors Guide 

Steals and Deals 


Trail Alliance of Santa Fe

Santa Fe Fat Tire Society

A Bike Friendly Community

Need A Change Of Altitude?

Travelers at the summit of Atalaya Trail

Whether you’re looking for an athletic challenge to get your adrenaline flowing, or you’re planning your vacation around cooler temperatures and a landscape beautiful enough to lose yourself in, chances are you’ll find something to love about autumn in Santa Fe. Nestled in the southern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe is the perfect place to find leisurely walks, and hiking trails, as well as more active events like the annual Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon and the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit. Athletes have always loved the challenge offered by trails like the 22.2 mile Dale Ball system, and the expansive La Tierra system. And, at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level even power shopping on the Plaza can qualify as a sport.


A customized excursion with Santa Fe Walkabouts

No matter how you decide to spend your time in Santa Fe, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most vibrant fall colors in the southwest thanks to the pristine 1.6 million acre Santa Fe National Forest.  We always get a kick out of sharing our mountain vistas, hiking trails, and scenic country roads with visitors. But, we want your first taste of the cleanest air in the country to be as refreshing as possible, so you can fall head-over-heels in love with Santa Fe the way visitors have for hundreds of years. So, here are a few useful  tips to get you prepared for your change of altitude.

Stay Hydrated

Lots of water seems to help with just about everything, and elevation is no exception.  So drink up. Sure, bathroom breaks might add a little time to your road trip, but you’ll be ready to hit the trail or hit the town as soon as your bags hit the hotel floor.  And trust us, you’ll want to experience as much as possible.

Eat Well

Sopapillas at Tia Sophia’s photo by Justin Delaney from www.goboogo.com

Break your diet and go for those carbohydrates (we recommend the locally loved sopapillas with honey). Seriously. Carbs give your body the immediate energy it needs to let you play hard hiking, biking, or checking out all of Santa Fe’s art markets.

We don’t want to brag, but Santa Fe was just nominated Best Food Town in America by USA Today and Rand Mcnally’s ‘Best of the Road.’ So come hungry. We also have a top ranked local farmer’s market which can provide a bounty of
fresh, seasonal gastronomic surprises. Remember, this is for your health.

Pace Yourself

Santa Fe Plaza during SWAIA Indian Market

Even if you don’t happen to be running in the Buffalo Thunder half marathon, this is still good advice. Don’t try to see and do everything Santa Fe offers that first night here.  Even locals can’t fit all Santa Fe’s great music, cuisine, shopping and hiking trails in one weekend. And we live here. Go ahead and take that extra day or two off work and give yourself the time to relax. And, don’t forget to include a few hours at one of our great spas in your schedule. Remember, vacations are supposed to be relaxing.

Want to know more about the great events going on during your visit, the best places to eat, or hotel specials?  Find it all on our homepage www.santafe.org.  See you soon!


Athletic events to get you going: 

Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon – September 16
Santa Fe Gourmet Classic Bicycle Ride – October 6
International Mountain Bicycling World Summit – October 10-13

Click here to explore the hiking & biking trails that Outside Magazine called one of the top five adventures in the Southwest!