Outdoor Guide to Santa Fe
Santa Fe is going to surprise you right off the bat. You probably didn’t know that Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States at 7,199 feet. If you happened to think it would be Denver, that’s 5,280 feet. Pretty impressive, but not quite Santa Fe.
This high elevation has also led to Santa Fe offering some of the purest air in the entire world. The city being surrounded by 1.5 million acres of national forest also helps in this regard. Now let’s take a look at some things to do in Santa Fe.
Experiences For All
Santa Fe has a big creative arts scene, which has big Native, Spanish, and Anglo influence. What makes Santa Fe unique compared to most other art-rich cities is that you can find a lot of this art outside for free.
All you have to do is navigate the crooked streets and you will find new and interesting art installations. The best spot for this is Canyon Road. It’s recommended that you walk opposed to driving.
When you walk, you capture more detail and appreciate the art more. You will also find many shops on Canyon Road. Some of the prices are high here, which is different from the rest of the city. Just keep that in mind.
If you’re standing in the center of the city and look to the East, you will see the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This is where you will find hiking trails, alpine lakes, peaks, and a ski resort. If you look to the south or west, you will find desert. Unlike most deserts, you can find spas here.
In essence, whether you’re in the city or in the surrounding area, you’re going to find something to do. Some people want to go hiking in Santa Fe. Others want to visit for the art or architecture. Then there are those who want to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skiing, or golfing.
As you might have already realized, Santa Fe is one of the best kept secrets in the world, not just the United States. Now let’s get a little more specific on popular activities in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Balloon Company
The Santa Fe Balloon Company is mighty impressive with its overwhelming positive response from visitors. A lot of this has to do with the guides, who are friendly, professional, and highly knowledgeable.
When you take a ride here, you will be flying low over vegetation and cliffs, which is breathtaking. If you go early, you can enjoy a champagne and breakfast toast after your balloon ride.
Vision Quest Western Horseback
If you want to go for a horseback ride, or if you want to take lessons, this should be your first choice. While Joaquin is highly informative and entertaining, that’s not what stands out the most with this experience.
What stands out most is the love his horses have for him. They nudge him for affection during a break. And he loves them the same. It’s quite a site, as is the area you will be traveling. One thing is for sure, whether it’s the scenery or having witnessed a true horse whisperer, it’s going to be memorable.
Bandelier National Monument
It’s $25 to enter the park, and that’s a worthwhile investment. Even if you just do the 1-mile loop trail, you’re going to enjoy it. You’re going to see caves, ceremonial pits, an alcove house, and more.
Kokopelli Rafting Adventures
This will be your best option for whitewater rafting in the area simply because the guides know the lay of the land so well. They will tell you stories along the way and keep you safe. The rock formations you see while rafting will add to the experience.
Santa Fe Mountain Adventures
Whether you want to go mountain biking or on a Diablo Canyon Jeep Tour, this is the spot. For mountain biking, the Rail Trail is ideal for beginners because it’s wide and easy. This allows you to get exercise without danger while also enjoying the great outdoors.
The Diablo Canyon Jeep Tour is highly recommended because you might see wild mustangs. Not many people get to see wild mustangs. The guides here also know their geology, science, and history.
Santa Fe Accommodations
You can find everything from desert spa resorts to hotels to a bed and breakfast. That said, if you’re going to travel to Santa Fe, it would be a waste to stay in a traditional hotel. A desert spa will obviously be expensive.
If you can afford it, consider it. If you have a budget, then go with a B&B. If you choose a B&B, just like the rest of Santa Fe, you will likely find it to be unique and rewarding.