By Outsider – Jimmy
Hiking, biking, rafting, skiing – getting outside is a year-round pleasure in the Santa Fe region! While Courtney enjoyed touring artsy Canyon Road in town, I struck out to explore nature’s beauty.
Bandelier National Monument, just west of Santa Fe, offers a variety of natural and human history wonders to enjoy. At Tsankawi, just down valley from Los Alamos laboratories, I enjoyed a hiking experience unlike any other in my life thanks to Outspire with local guide Scott Renbarger. He provided expert guidance to fully enjoy and appreciate this dramatic landscape and its ancient human history. Patiently he answered my endless questions about the indigenous cultures, local eco-system, and modern challenges to safeguard the past for the future. I’ll always cherish the memory of sitting along a ridge, listening to his storytelling, taking in the great sloping vistas under brilliant blue skies. This hike is not long, but is physically challenging and may not be accessible to those who are mobility impaired (climbing ladders, incredibly narrow trails that can be steep and slippery).
Native American culture is an integral part of this region’s mystique. The presence of ancient cultures permeates the city and surrounding landscapes; there are eight independent pueblos near Santa Fe that can be visited. Signs in native languages and Spanish words and place names reveal the complex intertwining of cultures that makes this the City Different.
Rafting Rio Grande: Here in the high and dry landscape of northern New Mexico, water is a rare and precious resource. Tumbling through a rugged canyon, rafting the Rio Grande river offers a cool adventure.
Hiking nearby mountains: North of Santa Fe are hiking trails through dense spruce and pine tree forests that offer a surprisingly alpine experience not far from the high and dry valleys below. In winter, hiking gives way to schussing and Ski Santa Fe’s mountain offers a low-key, easy-going winter destination.