Santa Fe recommendations

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benmangelsdorf
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Santa Fe recommendations

Post by benmangelsdorf »

Hello one and all, I and a few friends are going to go down to the Santa Fe area this weekend. We are thinking of hanging around Bandelier, but I was curious if you guys had any recommendations for cool hikes in the area or just general cool stuff. I've never been to NM. :shock: Let me know! Hopefully this is the right place to post this.
seano
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by seano »

If you want "cool," Bandelier probably isn't the place: it's not very high, and a lot of it has burned over the past 20 years. I'd head the other direction and do some peaks in the southern Sangres, which are a bit higher and shadier. Most are just walk-ups, but there are a few scrambles, like Lake Peak and the Truchas Peaks.
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desertdog
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by desertdog »

Hi

I live in Santa Fe. I would not give up on Bandelier. Look at hiking Painted Cave and or Stone Lions. Both a full days. It’s desert so bring lots of water. You can get info for these on line. Also check out the ruins in the main park. Check out the Valles Caldera which is right down the road from Bandelier.

Mountain hikes close to town would be Lake Peak (half Day) and Santa Fe Baldy (full day). Wheeler Peak, NMs high point, is two hours away in Taos. The Truchas mentioned would be a little difficult to access as a day hike right now because of snow.

In town I would walk down Canyon Road for art galleries. Also some good galleries off the main square. Downtown is very walkable with art galleries and restaurants.

If you have specific questions feel free to reach out. Glad you are coming for a visit.
The summit is a source of power. The long view gives one knowledge and time to prepare. The summit, by virtue of the dizzying exposure, leaves one vulnerable. A bit of confidence and a dash of humility is all we get for our work. Yet to share these moments with friends is to be human. C. Anker
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by peter303 »

Bandelier has some interesting pueblo Indian ruins which you can crawl through. Its just outside Los Alamos where they built the first atomic bomb and still has a major US energy lab. There is an indoor and outdoor bomb museum there.

As for topographic hiking, you may do better when passing through Taos, north of Santa Fe. You pull off the fast, but boring I-75 not to far south of the border. The Taos hills may still have snow. But perhaps not because they are in extreme drought this season. Also topographically interesting is the Rio Grande canyon along the way from Taos to Santa Fe. You can view it from bridges on top. And there are pull off to swim in the river on hot days.
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Scott P
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by Scott P »

desertdog wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 6:58 amI live in Santa Fe. I would not give up on Bandelier.
I second this. It is really awesome and there are many long day or multi day hikes. Because of its elevation, temperatures should be ideal.
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jrs1965
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by jrs1965 »

Down the road a bit, but I love going one-way up La Luz and then taking the cable car down. Plus, lot of good food in the "Q."
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NM_Hiker
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by NM_Hiker »

Near Santa Fe:
a. Chamisa Trail for a short out and back that takes you to a small creek.

b. Aspen Vista Trail to the ski hill or all the way to Lake Peak. Might be muddy though.

c. Santa Fe town trails

Near Los Alamos:
a. Valle Trail to Pajarito Mountain

b. Nordic Ski Trail near Pajarito Mountain to Quemazon trailhead. This will great if you have two cars available.

c. Cerro Grande Trail. Great view of Valles Caldera and Sandia mountain. It's been a bit hazy lately though.
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madbuck
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by madbuck »

desertdog has good advice (obviously living there): there's a lot to Santa Fe that isn't just mountains, and it sounds like you're going with friends/mixed company.
And it's your first time to New Mexico -- SF and NM in general is a pretty unique place.
We were just there as a family a couple weeks ago, and usually try to get there or Taos a few times per year.

So take some time, smell the pinon, soak up the vibe.
Eat plenty in different places downtown, and/or get NM food to-go. Wander in the Cathedral and see it lit up night.
If you're in-town, go for a walk or run early in the morning, when traffic is light and the air smells great.
Santa Fe brewing has a new-ish Beer Hall outside of town...I don't think popularity has caught up with it as it opened late last year, but it's a very cool indoor and outdoor space worth visiting.

Bandelier is pretty special with the accessible ruins, and the canyon itself is pretty -- I'd hike further (e.g., there's a waterfall) but we've always done the short loop hike with kids. Even the loop, back on the other side through the forest (going CCW) has some impressively large trees, and we found some blue crystals in the river.
Los Alamos has many trails right near town...there's a trail race this time of year -- in fact, it is going on this Saturday so plan accordingly. From previous years, this means some nice wildflowers are starting to pop up, especially in higher areas. So the Valles Caldera area in general is a pretty area but be mindful of increased traffic in some areas. (The trails are still open to all, and the race map gives a good idea of some pretty trails in general).
EDIT: Great suggestions from NM Hiker

There are some hot springs in the area as well -- not sure on current condition or popularity, but we liked Spence (maybe a decade ago).


Anyway, assuming you're coming from CO and targeting Bandelier, you'll have plenty to do in SF and Los Alamos.
With almost no extra driving, you can and should go through Taos as well.
Have fun!
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benmangelsdorf
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by benmangelsdorf »

Thanks for all the recs so far guys! And yeah, I'd definitely prefer to hit a peak or two myself but they still seem a bit snowy at the moment and the pals I'm with aren't nearly as psyched on trudging through snow as I am, lol. You know how it goes with non-masochists.... Sounds like Bandelier will be a nice destination for a day and Taos is worth a stop.
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Scott P
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by Scott P »

benmangelsdorf wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 11:00 am And yeah, I'd definitely prefer to hit a peak or two myself but they still seem a bit snowy at the moment
Mt Taylor would probably be reasonable, but it's 150 miles away. It's an 11er, but it doesn't get that much snow in most years so there might not be that much.
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nyker
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by nyker »

Sandia Peak, a little ways south of Santa Fe is nice. Wheeler Peak is also a good hike.
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Re: Santa Fe recommendations

Post by huffy13 »

Sandia Crest via the La Paz Trail, on the east side of Albuquerque, is a really fun hike. Take plenty of fluids though as there isn't really a good water source until you get to the summit visitor center. If you don't feel like descending after making the summit, there is a great trail to the tram that has some more great views and you can purchase a one way ticket back down and either hike the 2-2 1/2 miles back to the La Paz trailhead or, do what my brother-in-law and I did.....get an Uber back for a few bucks. I have posted a trip report for it here on the site.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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