October 7, 2016

How to Prepare for the Best Day of Santa Fe Hiking

Santa Fe is a gold mine of natural beauty and exploration. With pristine wilderness, shaded forests, and vast meadows to find, it's no wonder Santa Fe is one of the best hiking regions in New Mexico. Spending a day on the trails is a great way to experience New Mexico and discover pure relaxation in nature. Of course, it is important to be prepared for your full day in the New Mexican wilderness if you want to get the most out of it. This guide will not only clue you in on some of the best Santa Fe hiking trails, but also provide tips on what to bring, wear, and expect during your adventure.

Best Trails for Santa Fe Hiking

There are many different kinds of trails for any experience level. Some even let you bring your furry friend along for the journey. Take your experience and stamina into consideration when choosing your trail to ensure you can complete the hike and enjoy it from beginning to end.

Atalaya Mountain Trail

Atalaya Mountain is a 6 mile out and back trail that leads you through the lovely aspen forests. The journey ends on a mountaintop with a stunning mountain view. It is considered an easy hike and exemplary for families on an afternoon excursion. Dogs are also welcome on the trail as long as they are kept on a leash.

Tent Rocks National Monument

This nationally recognized geological feature is perfect for a scenic hike. Tent Rocks National Monument Trail is only 3 miles out and back and winds through a picturesque canyon. There is a 750 ft. climb, but railroad ties are there to assist those who can't make it to the top alone. Staying on the trail is important, as this is a sacred site for the religious people of Cochiti Pueblo.

Dale Ball Trails

The Dale Ball Trails are the way to go if you want to spend most of the day exploring. Consisting of nearly 23 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, you'll embark on an unforgettable trek through some of Santa Fe's most striking regions. These trails are considered moderate and may not be the best choice for beginners. If you're up to the challenge, however, we believe this adventure is ideal for Santa Fe hiking.

What to Bring With You

Just as nature can be beautiful and inviting, it can also be unpredictable. When you're preparing for a trek into New Mexico's forests, having the right supplies will keep you comfortable during your hike and could save you from a potential disaster.

-Map in a protective case

-Protein-rich snacks.

-Energy beverages.

-Sturdy Rain Jacket (even if rain is not in the forecast).

-Water Bottles.

-Insect Repellent.


-Quick-dry Towel.

-Binoculars .

-Compass or GPS.


-Chap Stick.


-Insulation jackets (depending on the season).

-Headlamp or Flashlight.


-Knife or multi-tool.

For more hiking day essentials, check out the checklist by REI Co-Op.

What to Wear on Your Hiking Trip

This greatly depends on the time of year you are planning on visiting. In the summer, you'll want to dress accordingly for rising temperatures. In the colder months, you will want to wear durable and thick clothing. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it's also important to know what kind of clothing is going to keep you the most comfortable on your hiking trip.

In Warmer Months:

Quick Dry T-Shirts, Quick-Dry Shorts, Waterproof Hiking Boots, Sunglasses, Hat, Cotton Socks.

In Colder Months

Long Underwear, Hiking Pants, Waterproof Gloves, Waterproof Hiking Boots, Wool Base Layer Jackets, Weatherproof Winter Jacket.

*Never underdress during the winter months! If you start getting too warm during your winter hike, you can always remove layers.*

Return From Your Santa Fe Hiking Trip for a Relaxing Evening at Casa Escondida

Our bed and breakfast in Chimayo, NM is the perfect embodiment of traditional decor, beautiful scenery, and unforgettable service. The environmentally-friendly rooms will make you feel as if you have stepped into a Southwestern fairy tale and our delicious complimentary breakfast will have you scurrying out of bed for this customary feast. Check out our Free Vacation Guide for more information about us and all there is to experience during your New Mexico getaway.