Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a must-visit destination for travelers. The city center is vibrant in culture and activity. The cuisine is spectacular, and the mountain views are unparalleled. New Mexico offers an efficient transportation system for getting around Santa Fe and beyond. If you visit, there are lots to do and see outside the city. This post will interest hikers, campers, rock climbers, and horseback riders. Below are some suggestions for day trips from Santa Fe.
TRAVEL TIP: Going on a day adventure from Santa Fe but don’t want to haul all your stuff along? Thanks to mindmybag’s convenient, affordable, and safe luggage storage, you can leave your belongings in Santa Fe while you go sightseeing.
- Jemez Springs
- Turquoise Trail
- White Mesa
- White Sands National Monument
- Ojo Caliente
- Valles Caldera National Preserve
- Bandelier National Monument
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
- Sandia Peak Tramway
- Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
- El Santuario de Chimayo
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
- Abiquiu Ghost Ranch
- Whitewater Rafting in Santa Fe
The Jemez Springs area is a great destination for a day trip from Santa Fe. It is a small town in the Jemez Mountains, located about 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe. The town has around 500 people and is known for its hot springs flowing out of a cave in the mountains. The hot springs were discovered by Native Americans, who used them to heal their illnesses. Today, visitors can swim in the warm water and relax on the large rocks surrounding it.
The town offers many fun activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Some of the things you can do include:
- HIKING AND WALKING TRAILS ALONG THE RIO GRANDE: This is a great site to admire pueblo’s natural beauty.
- VIEWING ANCIENT PETROGLYPHS: Native Americans made these “painted stones” thousands of years ago.
- RIDING HORSEBACK THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL CANYONS: Consider riding with a guide through New Mexico’s gorgeous locations.
The main attraction at Jemez Springs is its hot springs. Visitors can swim in the water or hike up to see the cave itself. Several hiking trails lead up into the mountains and some of the lower valleys below. For those interested in seeing more than just natural beauty, many shops and restaurants in town have everything from art galleries to cafes offering espresso drinks or homemade tamales.
If you want to relax, spring or summer are wonderful times to visit Jemez Springs; if you want adventure, fall is preferable.
Yes, but the Jemez Springs water gushing down from above makes for a natural, never-ending swimming pool. Even the strongest swimmers will have a difficult time swimming upstream against the strong current of the Jemez River.
The Turquoise Trail is a trail that runs through the Rio Grande Valley. It has several spectacular sights, including the Elephant Butte Reservoir and the Chocolate Mountains.
It’s a great place to explore nature and enjoy the outdoors. The trail is also an excellent way to see some of New Mexico’s cultural attractions, like the Sandia Crest and El Morro National Monument.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy your time on the Turquoise Trail:
- Explore the trails in different sections of the area. Some sections have hiking trails, while others have biking paths or horseback riding trails.
- Take advantage of free guided tours offered by local tour guides at various points along the trail. They will show you how to navigate difficult terrain and offer insight into local history and culture.
- Visit museums along the route, such as Santa Fe National Historic Site, El Morro National Monument, or Jemez Pueblo Cultural Center & Museum. These museums offer interactive exhibits that make learning fun for kids of all ages!
- If you enjoy photography, consider visiting one of many galleries along this route that sell prints of their work.
Here are fun activities and things to do on Turquoise Trail:
- HIKING: Turquoise trail offers many hiking trails that lead to amazing destinations like Elephant Butte Reservoir (pictured above). Organ Rock State Park has a volcano crater and Elephant Butte Dam. Agua Fria Peak Trail offers a beautiful perspective of Albuquerque, while La Luz Trail leads to White Sands National Monument’s infinite dunes.
- BIRDWATCHING: Birdwatchers will love this trail because more than 300 species of birds live in New Mexico! These birds include roadrunners, hummingbirds, quails, hawks, eagles, and bluejays. If you’re looking for a challenge, try spotting all species before your trip ends!
- STARGAZING: The Turquoise Trail has spectacular night skies due to its remote location away from towns and light pollution. Santa Fe visitors may see constellations, planets, and more from their hotel or cabin.
- BIKING: Turquoise trail is a great place to bike because it’s mostly flat, and there are few cars on it. You can also rent bikes at most parks along the trail if you don’t have your own.
- HORSEBACK RIDING: Horseback riding is another popular activity along the Turquoise Trail. There are several stables along the route where you can go horseback riding or take lessons if needed.
White Mesa is a beautiful, high desert landscape with a stream and a small lake. The area is home to many Native American ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs. This area is great for families because there are no facilities or food services at the site.
White Mesa is located in the northwestern part of New Mexico on Highway 550 between Shiprock and Farmington. You can visit this area year-round, but spring and fall are ideal times to see the sites. Bring adequate drinking water, sunscreen, and insect repellent if you want to hike in White Mesa.
White Mesa has many unique features that make it an interesting place to visit. Many animals call this area home, including deer and elk. In addition to these animals, many types of birds can be seen while visiting White Mesa, including golden eagles and hawks.
The White Mesa area also has some interesting rock formations worth exploring. These include rock arches and balanced rocks. Large balanced rocks look to stand on their own yet have another rock or column underneath them.
Here are fun activities and things to do in White Mesa:
- HIKING: Hiking is one activity people love in White Mesa. The area has many hiking trails, including the Mesa Verde National Park Trail, which runs through the park and gives you breathtaking views of the mesa and surrounding areas. You can go hiking with your family, friends, or even yourself if you like solitude! Your trip will be more enjoyable if you bring some water, sunscreen, and bug repellant!
- ROCK CLIMBING: Rock climbing is another popular activity in White Mesa, especially for those who want to test their limits! The area has many challenging rock formations where climbers can test their skills as they climb them using only ropes and harnesses for safety purposes. Rock climbing requires strength and agility.
- HORSEBACK RIDING: If you have never ridden a horse before, this might be a good time to try it out! The White Mesa area has many beautiful trails for horseback riders who want to explore the countryside on horseback instead of by foot or car.
- BIKING: White Mesa is a great place for biking enthusiasts. There are many trails in the area, including single-track and easy-to-moderate-level trails. You can choose various riding options depending on your skill level and preferences. If you’re looking for a less strenuous ride, consider taking the trail from Sandia Crest down to Tijeras Canyon Road for about 15 miles round trip. This trail offers beautiful views of the Sandia Mountains, and there are no steep inclines or sharp turns, so it’s perfect for beginners!
- BIRD WATCHING/WILDLIFE SPOTTING: Bird-watching is another popular activity at White Mesa as many species of birds live here year-round and migrate here during certain seasons (peepers). The best time to see birds at White Mesa is early morning.
- STARGAZING: If you’re lucky enough to visit during a clear night, you can enjoy stargazing at White Mesa! This activity is best done with someone else so they can point out constellations, planets, etc., while you look through the telescope together!
White Sands National Monument
The White Sands National Monument is a national park located in the southern part of New Mexico, United States. It is famous for its vast expanse of white gypsum dunes, which are the largest in the world. It is one of the most popular national parks in New Mexico, with about half a million visitors every year.
The park was established in 1934 to protect this unique and fragile resource and to preserve its scientific importance. The name “White Sands” is derived from the white gypsum sand that covers 145,762 acres of the desert floor.
The white gypsum dunes cover an area larger than any other national park in America. They also contain beautiful landscapes like mountains and canyons, which attract many hikers worldwide each year.
Here are fun activities and things to do at White Sands National Monument:
- VISITING THE DUNES: The first thing you must do after entering this park is visit the dunes. This is the best way to see how big these dunes are. The wind blows across these dunes constantly, and they keep moving forward at an average rate of 1 inch per year! You can get up close and personal with them by hiking or sandboarding! This can be quite dangerous, so please be careful when doing so. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, several companies offer guided tours via their website or contact center.
- SANDBOARDING: Sandboarding is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or fitness level. It involves sliding down the dunes on a board made of foam or plastic, making it easier to ride down the steep slopes without having to walk back up them when done!
- ATV TOURS: If you like ATVs, why not visit the dune field on one? Several tours take you to some of the world’s most beautiful spots and areas with birds and deer.
- SEE WILDLIFE AT ITS FINEST: Desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and coyotes live at White Sands National Monument. You’ll be able to picture these animals in their natural habitat. You can take a guided tour with a park ranger or volunteer to learn about the creatures and their habitats.
- TAKE A HIKE: The best way to explore the White Sands National Monument is by hiking along the trails. The shortest trail is 1 mile long and takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of this park. Longer trails also take you further into the park and allow you more time to admire its stunning beauty. Bring water, food, and sunscreen if you’re hiking late at night or early in the morning when there’s little shade.
If you want to get the most out of White Sands National Park, you should spend at least a full day there. To avoid the heat and crowds, hike the Alkali Flat Trail first thing in the morning. Go sledding on the dunes at lunchtime and then have a picnic in the park. One of the shorter trails is also an option.
Ojo Caliente is a great place to visit if you spend some time in the area. It has a lot of history, culture, and fun activities. You can stay at the resort or get a day pass to enjoy their pools and hot springs.
Ojo Caliente Springs is located in the Jemez Mountains on the northern edge of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The resort offers several types of pools and hot springs that range from 98 degrees F to 114 degrees F. They also offer massages and other services for an additional fee.
Fun activities include:
- HOT SPRINGS: There are several pools at Ojo Caliente Springs. Each pool is named after a different aspect of nature: geyser, cactus, rainforest, and more. Each pool also has its unique temperature, from 98 degrees F to 114 degrees F, so you can find one that fits your needs! If you’re looking for a place for couples or solo travelers, this is it! You can even bring your dog along (for a small fee).
- MASSAGE: Massages are available at Ojo Caliente Springs. There are several options depending on what kind of massage you want: Swedish massage, hot stone massage, or deep tissue massage (among others). This may be perfect for you if you want to relax after busy days exploring Santa Fe!
- HORSEBACK RIDING: Horseback riding is available at the resort for an extra fee. If you don’t want to ride your horse, several horses are available for rent at the stables next to the resort. You can even ride through the beautiful pine forests surrounding the resort!
- PLAY GOLF AT JEMEZ SPRINGS GOLF COURSE: Just down the road from Ojo Caliente Springs is Jemez Springs Golf Course, which offers 18 holes of championship golfing on two different courses: El Encanto and El Bosque. Both courses offer stunning views of the Jemez Mountains, water hazards, and challenging greens to test your game. El Bosque features narrow fairways with strategic bunkers guarding each green, while El Encanto features wide fairways with fewer bunkers but larger greens than its counterpart course.
Ojo Caliente Springs Resort & Spa is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there isn’t a bad time to visit! However, try going during off-peak times like weekdays or early morning or late evening hours to avoid crowds.
There are no minimum age requirements for guests in Ojo Caliente. But minors need to be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over at all times on the premises. Teens (13-17) need an adult (18+) present during soaking.
Valles Caldera National Preserve
Valles Caldera National Preserve is 25 miles west of Los Alamos and 15 miles east of Santa Fe. It is a National Preserve that covers over 89,766 acres of land. Congress created Valles Caldera National Preserve in December 2000, one of the newest units of the National Park Service.
The caldera is located within the Jemez Mountains, which are part of the Rocky Mountains. The Jemez Mountains extend from central New Mexico to southern Colorado and are home to many plants and animals, including elk, deer, bears, mountain lions, and bobcats.
Valles Caldera National Preserve has two main features: a volcanic caldera called “The Crater” and the Valles Caldera Wilderness Area. The Crater is located at the top of a mountain called El Cielo (which means “sky”). This 8-mile-wide volcano has been reduced into an oval-shaped crater with high walls reaching approximately 2,000 feet above its surroundings.
There are many fun activities to do here, including:
- CAMPING: Valles Caldera National Preserve is home to many campgrounds, including sites with full hook-ups, tent camping, and even yurts! If you are looking for something more remote, backcountry campsites are available in the wilderness area. However, if you prefer not to camp on your own, several public cabins are also available for rent via recreation.
- HIKING: The Crater Rim Trail is a 4-mile roundtrip hike that climbs up to the rim of The Crater. This trail can be accessed from the Visitor Center or El Cielo Campground. There are a few steep sections along this trail, but it is otherwise fairly easy. The trail ends at an overlook that overlooks the caldera below. You can also see a small waterfall here after a rainstorm (the waterfall flows down from El Cielo Lake). The Burro Spring Loop Trail starts at El Cielo Campground and heads to Burro Spring (about 1 mile each way). The track is easy to follow because it’s mostly an old road (although there are some steep sections along the way). Burros used to drink at Burro Spring’s little spring of water surrounded by rocks and trees.
- HOT SPRINGS: Valles Caldera National Preserve is home to several hot springs where visitors can soak in warm water while surrounded by beautiful scenery. The largest hot spring is Blue Lake Hot Springs, located near the park’s entrance on Highway 434. It’s open year-round and has several pools ranging in temperature from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F) to 110 degrees.
- BIRDWATCHING: If you’re into birdwatching, you’ll love Valles Caldera National Preserve! There are over 400 different species of birds that live here year-round or migrate through different seasons. Most birds are active and feed their young in the early morning and late afternoon. Turkey, white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope are common (the fastest land mammal in North America). You can get more information about the birds in this national park from this website.
The nearly 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve is in north-central New Mexico. It is inside a volcano’s caldera. The main entrance to the park is on NM-4, which is about halfway between the towns of Jemez Springs and Los Alamos.
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is a great place to visit if you want to get away from the crowds and see beautiful scenery. There are plenty of trails and archaeological sites to explore, as well as hot springs that are perfect for relaxing after a long day.
Bandelier National Monument is located in Los Alamos County, New Mexico. It’s a great place to visit if you want to get away from the crowds and see beautiful scenery. There are plenty of trails and archaeological sites to explore, as well as hot springs that are perfect for relaxing after a long day.
The best way to experience Bandelier is on foot. There are trails throughout the park, but some are more challenging than others. The main trail leads through a series of ancient villages built into high cliffs; this was once home to the Salinas people, who lived there between 1150 and 1300 A.D. The most impressive village is Pueblo Bonito, which once housed hundreds of people and included more than 150 rooms. Archaeologists believe it was abandoned during a drought when villagers moved away from their homes to live with other tribes further south.
Some fun activities to do include the following:
- HIKING: Are you interested in hiking? If so, Bandelier National Monument has many hiking trails to explore! You can take a short walk or hike all day long if you like! The park also has miles of scenic drives that showcase some of the most beautiful spots in New Mexico.
- BIKING: If you want to get out on two wheels and ride down an old road at your own pace, then Bandelier National Monument is great for biking! Many trails throughout the park are open to cyclists, ranging from easy rides through forests to difficult rides down steep slopes with narrow turns.
- STARGAZING: Do you love looking at the stars? Then come here in June or July when you can watch firefly season unfold before your eyes—and listen to music played by local musicians while they’re doing their own thing! It makes for an excellent evening spent under the stars at Bandelier National Monument!
- CAMPING: Are you looking for an adventure? The park offers backcountry camping at the Faraway Ranch area, along the Rio Grande near Lake Nacimiento Road. If you want to camp there, ensure you’re prepared with everything from food to water purification equipment since there aren’t any stores or restaurants nearby!
The best time to visit Bandelier National Monument is during the spring or fall months when temperatures are milder, and there’s less chance of rain or snowfall. It gets very cold during the winter (around 20 degrees Fahrenheit during January), so go before it gets too cold!
You’ll want to bring some warm clothing with you on your trip because it can get really cold here in the winter months! Pack layers so you can add or remove them, depending on how cold it gets outside.
Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico is where most people spend about three hours when they go there. In that amount of time, you can see the main sites, like the Main Loop Trail and the Alcove House. But if you want to see more interesting old sites and hike other trails, give yourself at least half a day.
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the perfect day trip if you’re looking to get away from it all and experience a different side of New Mexico. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the state and a great place to take in some of the natural beauty of New Mexico.
The bridge spans the Rio Grande Gorge, the deepest canyon in North America. The Rio Grande River formed the gorge along with millions of years of erosion from wind and water. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is located near Taos, New Mexico, and spans the Rio Grande Gorge. The bridge is 2,182 feet long and was built in 1963. It’s one of only two bridges that cross over this stretch of river (the other is the Taos Junction Bridge). The view here is spectacular; you’ll see mountains, rock formations, and even wildlife like eagles and bighorn sheep roaming about their natural habitat.
There are plenty of things to do here besides just taking pictures or admiring nature’s beauty. You can hike or bike along one of the many trails within the park or simply enjoy a picnic lunch while relaxing on one of the many benches scattered throughout the area. Fun activities include:
- VIEWS FROM THE TOP: Take a hike up to the top of the gorge — it’s not too difficult as long as you’re in good shape! You can park at either end of the bridge (parking lots on both sides) and walk across it to find stairs leading up to the top. Several other trails lead off into different parts of this amazing area so that you can explore more than just one viewpoint.
- BIKING: The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a popular biking spot. The view here is spectacular; you’ll see mountains, rock formations, and even wildlife like eagles and bighorn sheep roaming about their natural habitat. There are no bike rentals at the bridge, so you’ll have to bring your bike. If you don’t have one, there are plenty of places in Santa Fe where you can rent one for an hour or a day at an affordable price.
- HIKING: If you want to hike in the gorge, several trails lead down into it from both sides of the bridge. There’s also a trail that takes hikers up onto the mesa above the bridge called North Mesa Trailhead Trailhead. This trail is not easy; it’s steep and rocky with switchbacks all along its path up onto North Mesa (about 1 mile). Once you get up there, however, it’s worth it because you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of both sides of the gorge and Taos Ski Valley off in the distance (which has world-class skiing).
- BIRDWATCHING: The Rio Grande Valley is home to more than 400 species of birds, including several types of hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons. You’ll see them flying overhead as you drive through this scenic area on Highway 64 or head toward Taos Ski Valley. If you want to get up close to these magnificent animals, head to the nearby Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where you can join an expert guide birdwatching tour or just hike along miles of trails while looking out for some rare species.
You can still drive or walk across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to see a view that will stay with you forever. About 11 miles west of Taos on U.S. 64 is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
Sandia Peak Tramway
Don’t let the drive up to Sandia Peak Tramway scare you away from enjoying this attraction. This is one of the most popular attractions in New Mexico and for a good reason. It’s also a favorite among tourists and locals alike!
The Sandia Peak Tramway is a fun way to enjoy the views from one of the highest points in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The tramway has been operating since 1966, making it one of the longest-running tramways in North America. If you’re not interested in hiking, this is a great alternative for those looking for a quick trip outside of Santa Fe without going too far.
It’s also possible to ride up and down on the same day if enough people are riding with you, so don’t worry about having to make two trips back down again after riding up! Here are fun activities to try:
- WINTER SKIING: The Sandia Peak Ski Area boasts over 200 acres of terrain with groomed runs and glades for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The ski area has a vertical drop of 1700 feet, making it one of the steepest runs around! They even have night skiing on select nights during peak season, where you can enjoy views of the city lights below while taking in some fresh powder on the slopes at night.
- CHAIRLIFT: Are you looking for an easy way to get up to the top of Sandia Peak? If so, then you might want to try out their chairlift! It takes less than 30 minutes between when it leaves the bottom station and arrives at the top station at 10,378 feet above sea level! The chairlift is open year-round (weather permitting), but rides can be closed during inclement weather. Check out their website to find out if the chairlift will be operating today or on any upcoming days.
- HIKING TRAILS: The trail system at Sandia Peak is extensive! Depending on your skill level, you can choose from over 20 different trails ranging from easy hikes to more challenging hikes. The trails include options like Sandia Crest, which is an 8-mile round trip hike with views at every turn; Bear Canyon Trail, which leads you through a forested area with waterfalls and cliffs along the way; or Skyline Trail, which takes you along the ridge line with panoramic views of Albuquerque below.
- PICNIC AREAS: If you’re looking for an easy activity, then why not have a picnic at one of the many picnic areas located throughout the park? Plenty of tables are available for people who just want to relax and enjoy their meals before heading back down again. You can bring your food or drinks with you on this hike as long as they fit into a clear bag or container that’s no larger than 16″ x 16″ x 8″. No glass containers allowed!
The best time to visit depends on what you want to do when you’re there. Generally, it’s better to go during the week rather than on weekends because all the attractions will be quieter and easier to navigate. It also helps if you stay until sunset because this will give you plenty of time to see all the different parts of the city before heading home for dinner.
Sandia Peak Tram has two Tram cars and they run every 15 to 30 minutes. There is no set schedule for when they run. Once you get on, it takes 15 minutes to get to the peak (upper terminal), where you can enjoy the views, go hiking, check out the TEN 3 restaurant, see the visitor’s center, and ski in the winter.
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is also known as the Great Salinas. It is an archeological site that is located in New Mexico. The monument was created to protect the ruins of several ancient pueblo villages. The area was first discovered in 1680 by Spanish explorers, and then it was named after the nearby Salinas River.
The monument is situated on a high desert plain with the amazing landscape of a mountain range and a river valley. This place has many amazing things, such as archaeological sites, wildlife, and plants. There are also rock art panels that depict different animals and people that lived there centuries ago. If you want to see these things in real life, then make sure to visit this place.
There are several fun activities that you can do when visiting Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and more! You can also go bird watching because several species of birds live here, such as hawks, owls, and eagles! It is also possible for you to go rock climbing on some rocks if you want a challenge!
The monument includes four sites:
- SALINAS RUINS: This is the only site that can be visited, but it’s worth it. The ruins are easy to find and explore on your own, but you can also take a guided tour if you want more background information about what you’re seeing.
- JEMEZ SPRINGS PUEBLO: This site is closed to visitors due to safety concerns related to its age and location on private land.
- JEMEZ PUEBLO: This site is also closed due to safety concerns related to its age and location on private land.
- SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA MISSION CHURCH: This church was built in 1629 by Franciscan priests attempting to convert local Native Americans through peaceful means rather than force. It’s still standing today and serves as a museum showcasing items from both the Spanish conquest and Native American culture before.
El Santuario de Chimayo
El Santuario do Chimayo is a sacred shrine located in Chimayo, New Mexico. It is a pilgrimage site for many Catholics and other religious people who come to pray and take the Santuario’s dirt, which they believe has healing properties.
The Santuario do Chimayo was built in 1813 by Bernardo Abeyta on top of an ancient Native American ceremonial site. It is a pilgrimage site for many Catholics and others who come to pray and take the dirt of the Santuario, which they believe has healing properties.
The area around El Santuario de Chimayo is quite beautiful with its rock formations, trees, and plants. Many great hiking trails run along the Rio Grande River for those who want to get away from it all for a while.
It is best to visit El Santuario do Chimayo during spring or fall when it is not too hot or cold outside to enjoy all this wonderful place has to offer.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a 5,402 acre (21.86 km2) national monument in western New Mexico, located about 45 miles (72 km) from Santa Fe and Taos. The national monument is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The park is named for the tent rocks and hoodoos resembling tents. The park also contains numerous hiking trails, rock climbing routes, and picnic areas.
The monument was established by an executive proclamation in January 2001. It marks the first time a national monument has been created on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management rather than the National Park Service or Forest Service land.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is one of those parks. Located in New Mexico, it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a unique natural experience.
The park is part of the much bigger Valles Caldera National Preserve. It’s home to hundreds of naturally occurring rock formations — many of them are spires that stand tall over the surrounding landscape. It’s also a haven for wildlife, including mule deer and elk.
The name Kasha-Katuwe means “standing up rocks” in the Tiwa language spoken by Native Americans in the area before European colonization began in North America. Here are fun activities and what to do at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument:
- HIKING: If you’re looking for a great place to hike, look no further than Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails available at this park, so there’s something for everyone! If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the 7-mile-long loop trail, which will take you through some beautiful scenery along the way. The trail involves some steep hills and rocky terrain, but the views are worth it! You’ll also see plenty of rock formations along this trail that resemble tents (hence its name).
- ROCK CLIMBING: If hiking isn’t your thing, but you still want to get up close with these strange rock formations, then rock climbing is another option at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. There are several established routes here and many areas where you can put up your route as long as it doesn’t damage any plants or trees on site (and it’s free).
- BIRDWATCHING: Kasha-Katuwe is home to over 300 species of birds. The park is also part of the Rio Grande/Greater Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem, and birds that live here are accustomed to harsh conditions. This makes it a great place for bird enthusiasts to see a wide variety of birds year-round. Bring binoculars and walk through the canyon or its trails to spot some feathered friends!
- PICNICKING: If you’re looking for a picnic spot, stop at one of two picnic areas along the Pecos River. There are tables available for use, and both have barbecue grills where visitors can cook their food if desired. If you’re looking for additional amenities like restrooms and water fountains, they’re located at the visitor center near the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument entrance.
- CAMPING: If you want to spend more time here, camping is another great option! You can rent a tent and spend quality time with your family, friends, or loved ones while enjoying nature at its best!
While generally round, the tent rock formations range in height from just a few feet to over 90 feet. Dogs are not permitted on Tent Rocks National Monument grounds.
Founded in the late 1700s, Taos is the beating heart of New Mexico’s Southwest, a location where you may escape the stresses of everyday life while taking in some of the state’s most stunning landscapes.
Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site where a Native American community still lives and where you may visit to experience a time warp and see adobe buildings from the 14th century. Each of the town’s 22 historic sites and landmarks can be explored on one of the many available guided excursions.
Similarly significant to the community and worthy of a visit is the San Francisco De Asis Church, the lone church of its kind in the city. Outdoor activities in Taos range from soothing to thrilling and include whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and biking.
The best places in Orlando to try authentic Southwestern food are the lively New Mexican Café and the historic Bent Street Cafe & Deli. Last-minute shopping on Bent Street, gallery hopping in the neighborhood, and a visit to the Taos Plaza farmer’s market are all great ways to round out a day in Taos.
Taos is a great place for tourists and vacationers to go in Mexico because it has so many things to do. It is in the Southwest and is a must-see for everyone, including people who like to hike, bike, and shop in art galleries.
Abiquiu Ghost Ranch
Visit the Abiquiu Ghost Ranch near the municipality of Abiquiu in Rio Arriba County to get some much-needed R&R in breathtaking natural surroundings. Day trips and tours will do wonders for your mood because of the expansive walls, vibrant colors, and clean air you’ll be exposed to. The area’s 21,000 acres of open space are ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits, from canoeing and kayaking to scuba diving and even camping.
Whitewater Rafting in Santa Fe
You can put your trust in your day on the river with Los Rios River Runners because they are the oldest, largest, and most experienced rafting company in all of New Mexico. Whitewater rafting is offered by this company in Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque; they’ve been in business for 40 years and are dedicated to increasing river rafting in northern New Mexico. Family and friends can get their daily dosage of adrenaline from expert guides while taking in the stunning scenery of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. You can pick from half-day and full-day excursions, as well as overnight cruises and float trips with the locals.
The Bureau of Land Management restricts rafting in some of those spectacular river canyons to safeguard the unspoiled nature, but Los Rios River Runners has greater access to those stretches of rivers than any other rafting business because of unique arrangements made with the BLM. The Taos Box is a great place for adrenaline junkies, but beginners should start at the Middle Box or Chama Canyon, which have class two and three rapids respectively.
You can spend a day at Chimayo once you’ve seen everything there is to see in Sante Fe. Chimayó, a quaint mountain town in the Sangre de Cristo Range, is just under 40 minutes away via the scenic High Road to Taos. The town of Chimayó is well known for El Santuario de Chimayó, a National Historic Landmark and active pilgrimage site.
To top it all off, it has emerged as the go-to spot for American Catholics on pilgrimage. The dirt floor of the side chapel “el pocito” (Holy Dirt) is supposed to have magical healing abilities, drawing 300,000 pilgrims annually to this “Lourdes of the Southwest.” Chimayo is well-known for the weaving businesses that sell the textiles manufactured by the Ortega and Trujillo families.
Santa Fe is an interesting place. It’s a small city that has a lot to offer, but this can sometimes make it hard to find places to go if you’re not sure what there is to do in Santa Fe. The worst feeling you can have as a traveler is ending up without knowing what you want to do or see, but with this guide on day trips from Santa Fe, you won’t have to.