Hiking Trails in Santa Fe (Aspen Vista, Chamis, Borrego, Atalaya)
Winter and indoor exercising can mean keeping company with a treadmill, and sometimes for longer than we would like! We can’t wait for warmer weather, and when the sunshine does come calling the opportunity for outdoor exercising seems like so much more than a breathe of fresh air, and as it turns out – it is. Even though many may choose outdoor activities as a preference when it comes to exercising, there also is research that suggests outdoor exercise might have even more health benefits than a trip to the gym.
The simple truth is mental health will improve and a positive outlook will ensue. Walking, running, biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities amid the green space of Mother Nature’s playground lowers stress and improves mood, and for that, another reason why we love Santa Fe. (Oh let me count the ways!)
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains has miles of hiking trails suitable for hikers of all skill levels and to say the least, the scenery is spectacular. Santa Fe is a real hiker’s paradise, and with our warm days showing up, it’s time to put on the sneakers and get outside. Our pleasant temperatures and beautiful surroundings not only motivate, but also help the entire experience be more enjoyable – and as the saying goes, if you love doing an activity, you’re more likely to keep doing it!
Hiking gives you the up-and-down movement, which means cardiovascular health benefits. Not only that, but hiking provides a relaxing atmosphere for a workout that doesn’t seem like a workout at all (well maybe for some). The aromatic delight of the forest to energize, the sound of the birds that may even entice you to whistle while you work(out), and the view to the horizon as far as the eye can see, definitely provides a break from daily stresses that can help anyone want to kiss the winter goodbye!
Here are a few of our best trails for day hiking:
- A trail guide is available from the City of Santa Fe’s website – santafenm.com
- Aspen Vista – the most popular trail in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
- Chamisa Trail – an easy hike and only six miles from the Plaza.
- Borrego Trail – a well defined trail that winds through lush pines with rolling elevation dropping down to Big Tesuque Creek and a lovely meadow perfect for a picnic.
- Atalaya Mountain Trail – accessible from the parking lot at St. Johns College and leads toward the summit of Atalaya Mountain (the peak is at 9,000 feet elevation).
- The Dale Ball Trails – a system of interconnecting trails for hiking and mountain biking that connects to the Nature Conservancy Trail, the Dorothy Steward Trail, and the Atalaya Trail.
- Tent Rocks Trail – this trail is about 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe in Tent Rocks National Park with very unusual formations as suggested by its name.
See you on the trails!