Outdoors in Santa Fe

The Outdoors

Things to Do in Santa Fe, NM

The best thing about Santa Fe has to be the diverse array of activities you can do outdoors. Event If this means walking and shopping or playing a few rounds of golf!


Cave Creek Trail

Wedged between two mountain ranges, Santa Fe offers the outdoor and adventure seeking easy access to the exploration of nature. From dusty desert trails, to mountain scrambles, and even spelunking, there are opportunities for every level of outdoor adventurist.


Nambe Lake Trail

Although this trail is only 3.5 miles to the lake, the 2,000 ft elevation gain makes it a difficult but worthwhile hike. Two miles in is a vast meadow, a perfect lunch break spot with outstanding views of Santa Fe Baldy. After traversing the boulders on the last mile, you’ll find yourself at a magnificent alpine lake with surrounding streams and giant pine trees. You can hop in the lake to cool off, and if you decide to camp here, you’ll find out of this world stargazing opportunities. This hike will make you question if you’re really in New Mexico, but rest assured, this is just the amazing variety of terrain Santa Fe has to offer.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Near Santa Fe

Contrary to popular belief, New Mexico offers phenomenal powder skiing that rivals that of Colorado and California. Santa Fe may be at the end of the Rockies, but the winters offer constant snow at high elevations. With eight ski resorts in northern New Mexico, there is always a new trail to carve.


Near Santa Fe

Santa Fe Country Club Golf Course

One of the best things about golfing in Santa Fe compared to many cities in the US - the views. Mountains, elevation change and breathtaking mesa views. Towa at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, Black Mesa, great places for high desert views with great grass. For those coming from a bigger city in Colorado to golf in New Mexico, one perk you will find is more available tee times. If your traveling to Santa Fe, NM, you can get a game scheduled much easier than the planning required, lets say, to get a tee-time in Denver, CO.

The price to play on a high quality course is extremely reasonable. While the course vary greatly from course to course, there are several high quality courses within 30 miles, and within 60 miles, several more in Albuquerque.

The more expensive courses, Paako Ridge, Twin Warriors and Sandia golf course are alway in good shape, however, if you want to stay close, The Santa Fe Country Club general is in the best shape and is within city limits. While a smaller course than a resort size course like Sandia, you will have no trouble with being rushed or traffic having a relaxing golf day near by visiting The Santa Fe Country Club. If you want a great day of golf and looking for a more resort feel with near by activities, check out Black Mesa or Sandia.

Pecos National Forest

This five-mile (easy-moderate) trail, located in Pecos National Forest, is the quintessential rocky mountain hike. Aspen groves line the length of the trail, giving beautiful vistas and shade. At about 2 miles in, you’ll find to the left side a break with a waterfall and a spot for a dip in the river. At the end of the hike in, at exactly 2.4 miles, are the caves for which Cave Creek gets its name. The caves are easy and awesome to explore but expect to get your boots wet. The air inside the caves gives you welcomed air-conditioning, and amazing photo opportunities. The hike back is all downhill and will leave you in awe of what you experienced.


Diablo Canyon

Diablo Canyon trail is an easy 4.3-mile hike near Las Campanas. Make sure you bring plenty of water and sun protection as it can get pretty hot during the daytime. This sandy trail will lead you through the red rock Diablo Canyon, and you can often find rock climbers attempting to scale the canyon. The trail will lead you to the Rio Grande, where you can dip your feet in, shake off the dust, and take in the great history surrounding the river and trail.

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Near Santa Fe

A short 40-minute drive from the Plaza, and you’ll find yourself at Ski Santa Fe. This medium sized mountain offers fun and easy groomers, and some serious vertical chutes. The close proximity to town makes it a great skiing experience for all levels and especially for families. From the top of the ski lifts, you can see four different states as you carve down the trail. Ski Santa Fe sees about 300 inches of snow a year, and the powder days are a serious reason to call out from work.

Taos Ski Valley

Ski Near Santa Fe

Two hours to the north of Santa Fe is Taos Ski Valley. This resort offers seriously steep and difficult runs down the highest mountain in New Mexico, while also having fun and long groomers. This mountain is more difficult than that of Ski Santa Fe, yet the challenging slopes offers a chance to master New Mexico’s snow. Taos is a well-established mountain town, but recently has been growing to become a full ski resort with amenities and activities for everyone.

From the beginner bunny slopes, to imposing double black diamonds, New Mexico offers skiing opportunities for everyone to have fun and challenge themselves.