Santa Fe: Exploring the great outdoors

Balance Santa Fe's culinary and arts scene with some time in the surrounding New Mexico desert. Photo: Jill K. Robinson

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., June 21, 2013 — Santa Fe satisfies all senses with its Southwestern art scene, mouthwatering New Mexican cuisine, or historic Native American and Latino culture. But why skip out on the wide-open spaces surrounding the city on your vacation? A well-rounded Santa Fe visit includes a little outdoor adventure as well.

Whether you prefer desert experiences on the light side or more active, local outfitters make it easy to fit in a variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Take a look at some of your choices: 

Outfitter at Your Hotel

Guests at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe can join hotel staff for a morning hike (Fridays through Sundays) on trails that wind through the Sangre de Cristo foothills. The resort has views of the peaks of the Jemez Mountains and the wilds of New Mexico in all directions. There’s also a dedicated on-site adventure center for activities beyond the immediate property. Activities include everything from mountain biking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains adjacent to the property and hiking in famed Georgia O’Keeffe country to fly fishing, snow shoeing, and day trips to Taos and beyond.

Hiking around Ghost Ranch. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)

Hiking around Ghost Ranch. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)

Rock Climbing Outing

Get closer to the awe-inspiring rocky landscape with a rock-climbing outing. There are plenty of places to climb in northern New Mexico between Santa Fe and Taos to suit a variety of skill levels. The Santa Fe Climbing Center not only has an excellent indoor climbing facility but also leads a number of different guided trips.

Cycling the Desert Country

If your own two feet aren’t fast enough, switch to two wheels with a bike adventure. Mellow Velo has a rental fleet of high-end mountain bikes, road bikes, multi-use mountain bikes, and city cruisers. Their excellent collection of maps is a great help for visitors looking for that ideal vacation mountain or road ride.

Whitewater Rafting

If you’re yearning for some water in the desert, try a whitewater rafting trip on the nearby Rio Grande and Chama rivers with Santa Fe Rafting, Kokopelli Rafting Adventures or New Wave Rafting. The season tends to run from April through September, with the wild/mild index leaning towards bigger rapids earlier in the season, due to snowmelt.

Guided Fly Fishing

Try your hand at fly fishing with guide services offered by High Desert Angler or The Reel Life. Both offer guide services for fly fishing the rivers and lakes of Northern New Mexico on both public and private waters.

No matter what you choose, you can always wind up your adventure day with a little gallery or museum time and a quality Santa Fe meal.

Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Sportfolio
blog comments powered by Disqus
Jill K. Robinson

An award-winning journalist and adventure seeker, Jill K. Robinson has been a columnist with The Washington Times, Communities section since 2011.

Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, American Way, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Robb Report, Westways, Journey, Let's Go with Ryanair, World Hum, Gadling, Lonely Planet and more. She lives in a small California beach town near the big wave surf spot, Mavericks, and divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day.

Always eager to take a leap into the unknown and experience new things, Jill shares adventure sport and travel highlights—even when the adventure isn’t adrenaline pumping or bone crushing. Adventure is sometimes only a state of mind.

Find Jill on and Twitter @dangerjr 

Contact Jill K. Robinson


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus