New Mexico Fall Colors
Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the glorious southern Rocky Mountains, offers plenty of places to view the fall leaves changing colors. To find out where the fall foliage colors are in New Mexico during the season, you can access the National Forest Service toll-free fall color hotline beginning in September at (800) 354-4595. Here are our top picks for places to see the gorgeous scenery of fall and vibrant fall colors in New Mexico, nearby Santa Fe.
Santa Fe – Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast is a great starting point for lots of beautiful drives- in particular a trip up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is spectacular. Spanning two hundred miles from their origin in southern Colorado, to their ending point in Santa Fe, New Mexico, these mountains offer high peaks, traditional pueblos, peaceful meadows, alpine lakes, aspen forests and more. Especially during the fall, the mountains blaze with fall colors. Leaves begin changing somewhere around the third or fourth week of September, especially in the upper elevations and high valleys. Ski Santa Fe, just a 16 mile drive north of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast Santa Fe offers chairlift rides up to the top of the ski basin for a scenic views and exceptional hiking on existing ski trails.
North of Santa Fe, leaving Inn at Pueblo Bonito- Santa Fe you will want to take Route 4 into the Jemez Mountains for magical color late in September. An area particularly beautiful during the fall when the intense golds and oranges of the changing leave complement the soaring red rock cliffs is definitely a must do! The nearby location of Bandelier National Monument, Painted Cave and Puye Cliff Dwelling can turn this daytrip drive into a full day or weekend adventure! Pair this short trip with wine tasting at nearby Estrella de Norte winery on the road to Chimayo or spirit tasting at Don Quixote distillery just down the mountain outside of Los Alamos and create your own memorable Santa Fe Fall Travel Experience!
South of Santa Fe, about 20 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b. Take I-25 to 285 south then head west toward the sleepy village of Galisteo NM. Surrounded in old oak and elm trees with aspens added into the mix you’ll find a glorious array of fall colors lining the meadow valley and rolling hills of this enchanting little village. Pair the fall glory of colors with the annual Galisteo Studio tour held this year (2015) on October 17 and 18 and you’re in for a real treat!
South of Santa Fe heading I-25 N then into the village of Pecos, NM via the Old Santa Fe Trail will bring you to another area of fall splendor and vibrant colors. This area is full of wildlife from fish in the Pecos river to Deer and Elk. The plentiful aspen and other leafy vegetation help keep the deer and elk populations alive through harsh winters in the Pecos mountains. Animals feed on leaves and new shoots from young aspens and the bark of taller trees but the glorious colors in the fall definitely are inviting to local New Mexico inhabitants as well. Autumn’s shorter days and cooler nights quickly create vibrant pigments of yellow, red, and blue – which one can see in the red and purple of maples or the bronze or brown of oak and beech in this dense vegetation of the Pecos wilderness.
Though color viewings can vary from year to year as seasons depend upon weather conditions….. I’ve heard it said that if New Mexico autumns are warm and rainy, leaves are less colorful- but to my knowledge that doesn’t exist this year! Views from Inn at Pueblo Bonito – Santa Fe show a full splendor of colors in the Sangre de Cristos! Our trip up to Ski Santa Fe and ride on the Big Chief chair lift to the top was spectacular; breathtaking; pictures on this blog simply do not pay God’s creation justice! Come join us and BOOK NOW to experience the full brilliance of New Mexico autumn enchantment!
Late Fall New Mexico Art Studio Tours are as follows:
Blog compliments of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast- Santa Fe– 1-800-461-4599
October 3,4, 2015 10 am- 5 pm
El Rito Studio Tour
Madrid & Cerrillos Studio Tour also Oct 10, 11, 2015
October 10,11, 2015
Abiquiu Studio Tour
October 17, 18, 205 10 am- 5 pm
Los Alamos Artist Studio Tour
Red Dot Art Weekend and Oct 10, 11, 12, 2015
Galisteo Studio Tour
October 23, 2015 3 pm – 7 pm; October 224, 2015 9 am – 5 pm
Eldorado Fall Artist Studio Show
November 7, 8 ,2015 9 am- 5 pm
Dixon Studio Tour
Late Fall artist’s studio tours are so much fun and visiting these special small villages and towns brings a whole new dimension and appreciation for local culture, art and cuisine! Let us make your October New Mexico Artist Studio Tour special with the following suggestions:
Abiquiu: Always a daytrip treat filled with breath taking scenery. Georgia O’Keeffe house tours could be possible and don’t forget Bode’s General Store– a great place to stop for homemade soup!
El Rito: What an amazing find this little Northern New Mexico village! Must see: historic El Rito church and sanctuary. Must Eat: El Farolito- best green chile in the state of NM! We recommend green chile chicken enchiladas with sour cream- mucho bueno. Bring cash- credit cards don’t go far in this remote little Northern New Mexico
village! After El Rito Studio tour, head toward Abiquiu via County Rd 155W and off to the north side you can see hints of eerie pastel white/grey limestone rock formations similiar to those known as the Plaza Blanca or “White Place”. See our blog on Plaza Blanca for more information!
Los Alamos: Visit the Bradbury Science Museum which documents the development of the atom bomb- very, very interesting. Bandelier National Monument (Must See)- ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and Indian ruins.
October is a gorgeous time of year to visit New Mexico! Aspens on the Sangre de Cristos are only 16 mile drive from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast door step! Fall colors, hiking, art tours as well as Balloon Fiesta are all things to do in Santa Fe in 2015 October Santa Fe visits! Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast offers outstanding October lodging specials too! All 19 room feature in-room kiva wood burning fireplaces to create a truly memorable Santa Fe visit experience. Call us and let us help you find the best availablity and rates:
One of Santa Fe, NM’s best kept travel secrets is visiting in September, October and November. Fall and Pre-winter travel dates provide cooler temperatures (70s, 60s and even 50s by Thanksgiving) and lessened crowds (a selection of more popular Santa Fe restaurants will not require an hour wait!). One can reasonably argue, springtime to be equally preferred boasting similar climate temps and discounted room rates, however fall festivals and breathtaking foliage create a special travel season for Santa Fe , New Mexico.
Where to stay – another coveted travel secret- is the “2013 Guest Favorite Inn” awarded to Pueblo Bonito b&b in downtown. Nestled quietly next to the NM State capitol, this 150 yr old adobe pueblo-style compound creates a perfect travel package for history buff seeking to experience authentic Old Santa Fe accommodations. Mid-October thru Mid-May really highlight the glories of Pueblo Bonito Inn as each of it’s 18 enchanting guest rooms boast a working corner kiva fireplace! No need to imagine here. Slumber off to the real sound of crackling wood with a soft scent of pine providing a therapeutic ambiance of relaxation and enjoyment. Last, but not least the third best kept Santa Fe Travel secret is what to do… so many choices on any day of the week during the September, October and November months. We offer just a few:
SEPTEMBER SANTA FE TRAVEL EVENTS:
Aug 31-Sept 2: Labor Day Weekend: Fiesta Fine Arts & Crafts on the Plaza!
Sept 5, 7, 8: FIESTA de SANTA FE:*Burning of Zozobra- Thursday night celebration of burning of Old Man Gloom; Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas– Friday Fiesta Royalty reenactment; Food Booths; Band Stand on the Plaza; Parades- Friday, Saturday and Sunday day & night provide local culture through music, food, dance, arts and craft; Pet Parade: Saturday morning around the plaza locals share proudly their favorite pets in theme.
Sept 7: GREEN CHILI HARVEST FESTIVAL at SF FARMERS MARKET located at Santa Fe Railyard. Celebrate Northern New Mexico’s unique culture and history in chili. Produce, baked goods, jams, and other locally grown foods, and crafts. Every Tues & Saturday through November!
Sept 14, 15: PILAR ART STUDIO TOUR: In Pilar, NM.
FALL GOLD SALE at SKI SANTA FE in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains!: Enjoy mountain air, gold foliage and a trip aboard Ski Santa Fe’s Super Chief Quad Chairlift. Food by La Casa Café & Beer Garden by Santa Fe Brewing on the deck with live music. Great savings at Ski Santa Fe Sports Shop Pre Season Blowout Sale. Season Pass Sale.
Sept 21, 22:
*SANTA FE TRIATHALON: Sat 21st: 7:30 am Geneoveva Chavez Community Center: 5k run; 12 mile bike; 400 m swim.
*HIGH ROAD TO TAOS STUDIO TOUR: Scenic Byway is a lovely, winding road through Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos with magnificent vistas of snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and charming traditional Spanish and Pueblo villages
*POJOUQUE RIVER ART TOUR: A uniquely Northern New Mexico tri-cultural art experience, includes nineteen studios and thirty-seven artists and artisans.
*SANTA FE RENESSANCE FAIR: 10 am – 6 pm A community event with proceeds to support the homeless. Held at
El Rancho de las Golondrinas– a Spanish colonial outdoor living history museum. 200 acres of historical recreations, including working gristmills, blacksmith, wheelwright and many other outstanding attractions of history to discover!
Sept 25-29: SANTA FE WINE/CHILI FESTIVAL: Demos and Testing’s; Parings and an Auction; Golf Tournament; Grand Tasting at the Opera House; Seminars and Luncheons; And so, so much to experience and enjoy in diverse cultures, foods and drinks!
Sept 28-29: HIGH ROAD TO TAOS STUDIO TOUR (2nd Weekend); POJOUQUE RIVER ART TOUR:
OCTOBER SANTA FE TRAVEL EVENTS:
October 5,6: *Harvest Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas– Bringing the harvest in with villagers as they crush grapes for wine by foot, string chile ristras, make tortillas, bake fresh bread and much more! Sat/Sun 10-4.
October 5-13: INTERNATIONAL ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA: Always a breathtaking event with mass ascensions; evening glows; races; rides; special shapes; pin trading and so much more for every age to enjoy. Take the rail runner from Santa Fe depot in the morning to avoid the traffic/parking and return via rail runner to Pueblo Bonito b&b. This allows you to see the fiesta on the perfect weather day!
October 12-14: ABIQUIU STUDIO TOUR-Around beautiful Abiquiu, NM (just a 75 min drive from Pueblo Bonito Inn- Santa Fe). 10-5.
October 16-20: SANTA FE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL: Five days of fun! Independent film screenings, community events, educational workshops- located within a short walk from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn!
October 19,20: GALISTEO STUDIO TOUR– A sleepy little village about 20 minutes from Pueblo Bonito b&b surrounded by spectacular foliage. An annual event which is the only time of year the public is invited to tour private studios and meet artists that call Galisteo (a classic New Mexican Village) home. 10-5.
NOVEMBER SANTA FE TRAVEL EVENTS:
Nov 1-20: IT’S ABOUT TIME – 14,000 Years of History thru Art: New Mexico History Museum (short walk from Pueblo Bonito Inn- Santa Fe). Trace art in the American Southwest from the earliest Clovis culture to present day. Native American, Hispanic and European American art. Exhibit emphasizes the prime objects of artistic change as part of the centennial celebration of New Mexico statehood.
*Nov 2 & 24: SANTA FE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS: Professional full-sized orchestra with volunteer chorus. Performance include: Nov 2: Voyages of Discovery; Nov 24: Handel’s Messiah (a must do for Thanksgiving visitors!).
Nov 7,8,9: TONY HILLERMAN WRITERS CONFERENCE! An intimate writers conference open to writers of all genres.
Nov 8,9,10: Fuze SW 2013: Food and Folklore Festival- New Mexico Museum of Art. Folklore and customs that created a uniquely New Mexican culinary tradition in a series of keynotes, talks, panel discussions, breakout sessions, creative interludes, and—of course—food! –
Nov 15,16, 22, 23: Greer Garson Theatre :‘Our Lady of 121st Street’. Comedy created by co-artistic director of New York’s Labyrinth Theatre Company. A group of acquaintances attend wake of former teacher (a nun) whose body was stolen. As the search for her corpse continues, we meet a cast of characters both hilarious and tragic.
Nov 24- THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY in Santa Fe! You’ve never experiences Black Friday the Santa Fe way! Come host in the Holidays via New Mexico style. If it snows- the Ski Basin will open. If it doesn’t, the shops and cultural events will be in full force! No way you can loose by celebrating Thanksgiving in Santa Fe, NM. Great nightly and group rates always available at your favorite Santa Fe bed and breakfast inn- Pueblo Bonito 1-800-461-4599 www.pueblobonitoinn.com