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snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

Putney, Vermont
Level Contributor
8 posts
3 reviews
snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

My daughter and I are visiting Santa Fe for 3 nights after Christmas. We're used to snowshoeing but at lower elevations; I'm from Vermont. I'm looking for suggestions for places to snowshoe (or hike if there is no snow). We'll have a rented car but will need to rent snowshoes.Thanks, Pat

4 replies to this topic
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
8,454 posts
86 reviews
1. Re: snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

Most here would hope, to have snow cover in town over Christmas ... However this being a El Ninia (dry warmer) Year ... The hiking trails accessed from town might, be usable without "rental equipment". Check the Northern New Mexico forecast five days out Then, make a "plan" Happy trails ... carracar

Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
Level Contributor
11,035 posts
773 reviews
2. Re: snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

You will be hiking/snow shoeing at higher elevations anywhere you go in or near Santa Fe which lies at 7,000’.

Valles Caldera up beyond Los Alamos is great for cross country or snow shoeing. Use their website to e-mail or call to find out about snow conditions once you are here. https://www.nps.gov/vall/index.htm

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Otherwise you can hike at Bandelier National Monument to see cliff dwellings along the way. https://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

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Out at Tent Rocks for great unusual geologic formations and a small slot canyon. https://www.blm.gov/visit/kktr

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In town you can utilize the Dale Ball Trail system. https://www.sfct.org/trails/dale-ball-trails

We actually consider all the walking we do in and around the Plaza/Museum Hill etc to be equivalent of a good hike. **3 days is not long enough to become fully acclimated to the elevation, so expect to still feel short of breath from time to time... and do carry and sip electrolyte added water to keep hydrated...even in Winter. Dehydration can make you really sick and it comes on quickly.

rentittoday.com/sporting-equipment-rental/Sa…

Edited: 13 November 2017, 18:32
Los Alamos, New...
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Los Alamos
Level Contributor
967 posts
216 reviews
3. Re: snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

Some good recommendations there, and given that this is forecast to be a La Niña (correct gender and spelling there, CC) winter, the odds are quite strong that you'll have to go high to find snow in the first part of the winter, if you can find it at all. Bandelier is a great plan B, and as a bonus, there's good Nordic skiing and snowshoeing there -- weather permitting. Continue up into the mountains past the main site until you reach the parking lot for the Cerro Grande hiking trail. On the opposite side of the highway are two well maintained (but not groomed) ski/snowshoe loops that take you to 'wow"-level viewpoints above Frijoles Canyon. Trips from 1 to 8 miles are feasible on these trails, with a good map at the trailhead to help you choose.

One thing about altitude. Just because you're acclimatized to Santa Fe doesn't mean you'll be acclimatized to the higher stuff in the mountaiins. Listen carefully to what your body is telling you and err on the side of caution; the 2-mile loop at the Bandelier trails is highly satisfying from a scenic perspective, without being too committal.

Good luck, and bring us some snow!

Putney, Vermont
Level Contributor
8 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: snowshoeing or hiking in Santa Fe in late December

Thanks, Everyone! Great advice that we will follow for sure. I love (and trust) hearing from the folks who really know and it's good to have a plan A and B. I'm very excited to be coming to NM, if only for a taste. Not sure how come it's taken me so long - into my 70s now. Might have to add a return trip in warmer weather to my bucket list.

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