Physical Distancing the Way Mother Nature Intended!
One of the best parts of living in Northern New Mexico is the proximity to so many beautiful, diverse places to get outside away from others! Hiking in an around Santa Fe offers many different types of experiences from alpine lakes or classic western movie set desert canyons to sandy arroyos filled with Pinon & Juniper or mountain ridges under Aspen and Ponderosa Pine. For visitors who want a break from the endless art, dining, cultural, and historical attractions in Santa Fe, a hike is a great way to experience the natural beauty of our region. Even if you only have a couple hours, there are a number of nearby, short hikes with incredible and varied scenery that make for a great excursion. Here are our favorite short hikes in Santa Fe!
One of Santa Fe’s most popular and well known out and back trails. It skirts an arroyo full of pinon and juniper before crossing it to climb into the ponderosa pines and onto the summit of Atalaya Mountain. The higher you go, the steeper it gets until you top out on a more level area which provides great views of Santa Fe and the Pecos Wilderness on the other side.
A very popular out and back trail in the Santa Fe foothills. Starts out rather flat adjacent to private homes. Near the top, you come upon a large, smooth rock crop that cascades down like a granite waterfall. Beautiful views of the Ortiz and Sandia Mountains to the south and southwest and Jemez Mountains to the West. Keep going up the fairly steep, rocky staircase and through a pink and white granite crux to the summit. Some road-side parking, but no dedicated parking area. Leashed dogs welcome.
Great views of mountains, animal life and wild flowers on this popular out and back trail. Three nice viewpoints along the trail offer views of the City Different. Most of the trail is shaded, but there are some exposed areas as you get near the top. Leashed dogs welcome.
SANTA FE CANYON PRESERVE
This loop trail at the top of Upper Canyon Road can feel like it’s hidden in plain sight. It’s just minutes from downtown but it feels a world apart, and even many locals don’t know about this short but spectacular trail – one of our favorite places for finding some solitude in the city. This conservatory is full of lush vegetation, cattail encircled beaver ponds (we’ve yet to spot the beavers), and plenty of shady spots under the trees to take in the sight of the water – a rarity in the high desert! Dogs not allowed.
SIERRA DE NORTE / DALE BALL NORTH
One of our favorite short hikes has something for everyone. Well-marked loop trail with options to customize duration, this pinon and juniper forest provides moderate shade on sunny days and is typical of Santa Fe. A treat for anyone who hasn’t experience pinon trees up close. Great Mountain views Northeast into the Sangre de Cristos, West into the Jemez, and South into the Sandias. Dan hikes this trail monthly. Leashed dogs welcome. Ample parking.
This is a popular, fun loop-trail. We suggest hiking clockwise (left trail up) as the steep rocky riverbed terrain is easier on the incline than on the decline. We love the variety of micro-climates you experience. You start in Ponderosa forest, traverse the Saddleback with some scrub oak, and then drop down through piñon and juniper. The creek offers rich, green, mossy sections with plenty of deciduous trees and the constant gurgle of running water. Leashed dogs welcome.
Nice out & back trail along a pretty creek. Can be rocky and narrow at points with lots of shade. Not well marked, but easy to follow. Borders private homes. Easy to make the hike as long or short as you wish. Dogs and horses use this trail. Very limited parking at trailhead. Combine with meal or beer at funky Tesuque Village Market.
HYDE PARK CIRCLE
At the start of this loop trail you gain almost 1,000 feet in elevation, but then you get to hike along the ridge line, so the pace slows down significantly. You can see the old Santa Fe Ski Basin. Some of the structures and tow ropes can still be seen across the canyon. At the summit, reap the fruits of your labor with views on both sides of the ridge. The view east looks up the canyon toward Ski Santa Fe, while the view west extends across the desert north of Santa Fe to the Jemez Mountains. Leashed dogs welcome.
RIO EN MEDIO FALLS
This out and back trail starts at the end of a narrow country road. It is steep and rocky in some spots and the stream crossings can be a challenge the higher you go if you are afraid to get your feet wet. They payoff is a small water slide/falls that is very refreshing on a hot Summer day. Dogs are welcome. Parking limited.
For the inside scoop on Santa Fe trails, request our exclusive hiking guides!
Book Your Getaway…
Book your stay at Inn of the Turquoise Bear for the ultimate hiking vacation in the Land of Enchantment. Enjoy luxurious amenities and fuel up before hitting the trails with our delicious multi-course breakfast, included with your stay! We offer an authentic Southwest experience at our famous inn set in an Iconic Santa Fe estate walking distance from downtown Santa Fe attractions and dining. Getting away from it all the way Mother Nature intended is a perfect way to spend the day while staying at our #1 rated Santa Fe bed and breakfast, Inn of the Turquoise Bear!