#2 in Series of Top Recommended Santa Fe Day Trips – See part one here: http://pueblobonito.wpengine.com/top-recommended-santa-fe-day-trips.html
Providing Santa Fe Travelers with Memorable Experiences for 30+ years!
Santa Fe Tourist Attractions To See During Your Day Trip
In north-central New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, lies a unique and breathtaking scenic geological area known as Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks. The location makes for a perfect destination for a Top Santa Fe day trip! Whether driving from Albuquerque Sunport to get to Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast in downtown Santa Fe or departing Santa Fe to return to Albuquerque, we highly recommend this Top Santa Fe Day trip to make your visit memorable! NOTE: Approximate drive time is 40 minutes.
Kasha-Katuwe or” white cliffs” as known in Keresan (the traditional language of the Cochiti Pueblo people) is now a US National Park that features large, tent-shaped rocks that hug steep cliffs of the Peralta Canyon. It is stated that these rocks were created from powerful forces of vulcanism and erosion, having been built up and then torn down to create a one-of-a- kind landscape. Theory states that during the last million years, a tremendous volcanic explosion northwest of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks spewed rock and ash for hundreds of square miles, leaving volcanic debris up to 400 feet thick. Over time, water has cut into these deposits, creating canyons, arroyos and other area features. Cone-shaped rock formations where wind- and water-eroded pumice and tuff deposits make for spectacular viewing. Formation tops feature hard, erosion-resistant caprocks which have protected the softer “tents” below over time. While uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet- something Santa Fe visitors will enjoy photographing and hiking in this slot canyon.
To create a TOP Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks day trip we recommend the following: Make a full day trip by leaving Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast in downtown Santa Fe after a hearty breakfast to include red chile pork tamales, then out of town South to I-25S (Albuquerque). Access to the park is via Cochiti pueblo. (Direction are below). Hiking and exploring this slot canyon can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours- the farther you hike into the formations the more amazing the tents! When finished in the park, back track through Cochiti Pueblo, but this time head toward the Santo Domingo Pueblo! An actively inhabited Northern New Mexico pueblo that will add to your Top Santa Fe Day trip adventure. Continue to head toward I-25 and take N toward Santa Fe or S to Albuquerque. If returning to Santa Fe consider this side trip! Take highway 14 (Turquoise Trail)- officially a scenic byway, Highway 14 will take you past Cerrillos NM an enchanting old coal mining town and into Madrid, NM. This once popular and economically hopping town was originally founded to fund the energy war efforts. Coal mining companies came in which allowed settlers to stake claims and live in this small, but influential town years ago. After the war, the coal mines withdrew leaving the town virtually abandoned. Around the 1980’s this area became rediscovered by east coasts artists who have today made this sleepy little village a fun and funky visitors stop on the Turquoise Trail! We suggest planning lunch or happy hour at the Mine Shaft Tavern as they are known for their Madchile cheese burger (winner of Santa Fe Smackdow) and Madchile margarita!
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe and 50 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the most direct access from Interstate 25. Take the Cochiti Reservoir exit from I-25 to NM Route 22 and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo. Turn right at the pueblo water tower (painted like a drum) onto Tribal Route 92 (connects to Forest Service Road 266). Travel 5 miles on a dirt road to the Tent Rocks parking area, which is marked with a sign. This is the only parking area for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks.
Looking for New Mexico lodging in Santa Fe that creates a one-of-a-kind travel experience? Look no farther- Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn provides historic adobe downtown lodging that no other can replicate! Check out our history here: Availability here: Special Travel Deals Here!
#1 in Series of Top Recommended Santa Fe Day Trips – part 2 here: http://www.pueblobonitoinn.com/top-recommended-santa-fe-day-trips-2-in-series.html
Providing Santa Fe Travelers with Memorable Experiences for 30+ years!
Santa Fe Tourist Attractions To See During Your Day Trip
A wonderful scenic 40 minutes drive from historic downtown Santa Fe and Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast! Great for half day or full day trip up into the Jemez mountains in Northern New Mexico. Once in the park, guests walk through ancient Indian Ruins, view Native American petroglyphs and explore historic cliff dwellings and climbs on handcrafted kiva ladders. Ancient ruins date back to 1250 AD! A novice skill level, one mile-long hike weaves Santa Fe day trippers past petroglyphs, masonry walls built into a cliff face to the pinnacle “long house”. Ancestral Pueblo people left Frijoles Canyon sometime after 1250, for reasons unknown. Bandelier is our 2016 #1 Top Santa Fe Day Trip for visitors – you will very much enjoy this special New Mexico highlight. Pueblo people thrived in this area near Los Alamos in what is now Bandelier National Monument- 10,000 years ago. The Bandelier National Park covers 33,677 acres within Frijoles Canyon and is filled with lush pine forests, wildlife and clear blue skies. An easy, enjoyable and certain to please Santa Fe day trip put first on our list of BEST Santa Fe Day Trips and Travel Suggestions!
“Add On” Options for Santa Fe Day Tripping:
- San Ildefonso Pueblo– We highly suggest pairing a Day Trip to Bandelier with a quick visit to San Ildefonso Pueblo. After exploring history, why not contrast an active living Native American Pueblo? Known for black on black method of pottery design made famous by Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso pueblo people are mutli-talented, kind hearted and welcoming. Be prepared to enjoy some beautiful handcrafts!
- Santa Clara Pueblo– personal guided tours of the Santa Clara Puye Cliff Dwellings (similar to Bandelier). An option to consider – especially for returning Santa Fe visitors. Having a one-on-one interaction with a native Santa Claran guide can only prove to enhance any Day Trip experience of Northern New Mexico! Fee charged per person.
- Santa Fe Golf at Towa Golf Course: off 285 in Tesuque, NM. 18 hole Arnold Palmer golf course with rolling hill fairways with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Santa Fe County! We don’t suggest making this your “destination”, but adding a half day of golf when in Santa Fe could be a lot of fun!
- Bradbury Museum: in Los Alamos, NM. Extremely interesting, informative National History Museum documenting the Manhattan Project. Real film footage of the US President and historic news broadcasts of the atomic bomb project. Exhibits highlighting benefits of our National Defense funding also presented.
Restaurants/ Wineries/ Distilleries (AKA: The Foodie Side of Santa Fe Day Tripping):
- Gabrielle Restaurant: 285 in Tesuque, NM (10 min from our historic adobe Santa Fe Inn). Our favorite menu items: House margarita; Guacamole and chips; Chicken Chimi.
- Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant- Highway 501 in Chimayo, NM. Our Favorite menu items: House margarita; Green Chile Chicken Enchilada with Sour Cream; Sopapillas
- Estrella del Norte: Award winning Winery. Excellent side trip toward Chimayo, NM for an afternoon wine tasting! Lovely back patio/grounds and fun gift shop!
- Don Quixote Distillery: 285 in Espanola, NM. Famous for NM Blue Corn Vodka or Bourbon! Great experience in spirit tastings. Blue Corn spirits make great gifts for folks left behind!
- Blue Heron: Located on the plaza in Espanola, NM. Tasting house is features local home brews made fresh daily.
Pueblo Bonito bed breakfast inn: Located in Santa Fe at 138 W Manhattan Ave. Uniquely, enchanting. Adobe pueblo-style bed and breakfast. TOP for two reasons:
- 1. Most authentically preserved historic downtown Santa Fe lodging. A must do for enhancing a Native American Historic Santa Fe Experience! Traditional, authentic New Mexico adobe architecture- one of a kind! 154 yrs of southwest US history exudes from this privately owned estate turned bed and breakfast in 1986. True Santa Fe accomodations to transform a stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico into a cultural, historic lodging experience! THE Best way to compliment a day trip to Bandelier National Monument!
- 2. People! Innkeepers- Amy & Herb Behm have 30+ consecutive years at Pueblo Bonito and 55+ living in New Mexico living! We serve guests need: help plan, recommend, provide welcoming hospitality and everything that goes along with great Santa Fe Vacation Travel experiences! Guests know what to expect – the REAL thing! Real history. Real Adobe. Real wood burning kivas. Real people! Nothing phony or make believe here! Voted “Guest Favorite” over 8,200 properties in US and Canada (2011; 12; 13! Rated “Excellent” TripAdvisor 2010, 11 ,12, 13, 14, 15!).
Our knowledge and insight into the region, culture, cuisine and travel in New Mexico is priceless. We make Santa Fe come to life! Give us a call 1-800-461-4599- You’ll be glad you did.
Halloween in Santa Fe
- The Museum of Art – the Fall of Modernism with Halloween Modernist-style.
- Music of Big Swing Theory at St. Francis Auditorium. People dressed as dead artists and legends of New Mexico will make appearances. Kids can enjoy treasure hunts or participate in Katie May Be Morbid Card-Making.
- New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors -the Telling New Mexico. Discover people dressed as historical figures who offer clues to family-friendly puzzles. Halloween masks of historical New Mexico characters. Noted author and folklorist Nasario García will tell traditional tales of ghosts, witches and boogeymen in the Palace of the Governors at 6 pm.
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:
New Mexico Landscape – Plaza Blanca
Like many Northern New Mexico landscapes, Plaza Blanca is simply amazingly breathtaking! Sorry folks if more of a description is needed, but honestly it’s hard to describe. It’s unique. It’s surreal. It’s amazing and pictures just don’t do it justice. Pastel white/grey sandstone formations, offset with crystal cobalt blue New Mexico skies are extra special. Something seasoned Santa Fe visitors don‘t want to miss on their New Mexico vacation.
Experts on New Mexico Attractions
As Innkeeper of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe for over 31+ years, a native New Mexico born/ bred resident and Santa Fean for over 54 consecutive years, I am referred to as an expert in Northern New Mexico visitor travel recommendations. A title given to me by our guests! Guests returned year after year to Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn for our unique Santa Fe accommodations and numerous other reasons. One of which is: our extensive and professional knowledge of the area. Rather than spending time acclimating to the area, then upon leaving realize all the things they didn’t get to do, our guests appreciate wise suggestions, tips, and New Mexico tourism recommendations. Helping guests skillfully create distinctively unique daily travel plans to experience today the things they will remember and cherish forever is gratifying! We serve thousands of return guests which can be a challenge, especially those returning multiple times each year! However, we try to rise to their challenge and provide unique local insights for new things to do, see and explore. Another top reason our guests return is their feeling of being “at home”- one of the very best compliment we could ever receive!
That being said, we have a great recommendation for the seasoned Santa Fe visitor:
Located in the Rio Chama River Valley of the Carson National Forest, north of Santa Fe on your way to Abiquiu, is an eerie pastel whitish/grey limestone rock formation known as the Plaza Blanca – or the “White Place.” Its 60-foot-high obelisks and out of this world spires have been the subject of many photographs and works of art over the years, including Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1940 painting entitled “The White Place.”
The Plaza Blanca’s unusual landscape invites contemplation. Many visitors have stated that the white stone towering pillars and gnome-like hoodoos feel almost spiritual in nature. Getting to the surrealistic cliffs and columns of Plaza Blanca requires good hiking shoes. There is a three or four mile trail leading to it through New Mexico badlands, up steep washes and over mesa tops. The terrain which is best described as desolate, is marked only by an occasional Cholla cactus and Tamarisk plant. We suggest plenty of sunscreen, water and batteries for your digital camera! Location of Plaza Blanca is approximately 18 miles south of Ghost Ranch, within hiking distance of Dar al Islam. It is also near the Plaza Blanco Ranch at 41174 Fictitious Street, Abiquiu, New Mexico 87510. Plaza Blanca can be seen from U.S. Highway 84 to the north when approaching Abiquiu from the east. The trailhead begins at the end of the El Rito Road turnoff.Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast is Santa Fe, New Mexico’s premier historic, adobe, pueblo-style downtown Santa Fe bed and breakfast. Innkeepers- Amy & Herb Behm and staff have over 100+ years of New Mexico residential experience and are professionals in providing warm, inviting, Northern New Mexico hospitality. Let them help you create a memorable historic Santa Fe experience! 1-800-461-4599 or www.pueblobonitoinn.com
New Mexico is rich in history, thankfully, there are numerous museums in Santa Fe that allow you to explore that history through art and culture. Check out our list below!
Santa Fe Museums
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – 217 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 505-946-1000
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts – 108 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, NM 505-983-1777
New Mexico History Museum – 113 Lincoln Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico 505-476-5200
New Mexico Museum of Art – 107 W Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 505-476-5072
Palace of the Governors – 113 Lincoln Ave, Santa Fe, NM 505-476-5200
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture – Museum Hill 710 Camino Lejo @ Museum Hill Santa Fe New Mexico 505-476-1250
Museum of International Folk Art – 706 Camino Lejo @ Museum Hill Santa FE NM 505-476-1200
Museum of Spanish Colonial Art – 750 Camino Lejo @ Museum Hill Santa FE NM 505-982-2226
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian – 704 Camino Lejo @ Museum Hill Santa FE NM 505-982-4636
Santa Fe Botanical Garden 715 Camino Lejo @ Museum Hill 505-471-9103
Center for Contemporary Arts 1050 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe NM 505-982-1338
Never a dull moment for Santa Fe Travelers! Inn at Pueblo Bonito- Santa Fe prides itself in providing historic Santa Fe accommodations, warm hospitality and valuable assistance in designing your Santa Fe New Mexico tour explorations (free of charge with stay!). Details make the difference between a nice vacation get a way and a memorable experience to last a life time! Call us today at: 1-800-461-4599
Compliments of Inn at Pueblo Bonito- Santa Fe, NM
“Guests Most Favorite Santa Fe bed breakfast”- 2011, 2012, 2013
Planning a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico? Details can make the difference between an excellent Santa Fe travel experience and just an enjoyable one! Pueblo Bonito bed breakfast Santa Fe serves thousands of New Mexico travelers year round and we are committed to providing guests with knowledgeable and accurate “details” of the Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico area to maximize our guests vacation travel experience! Our valuable services are not easily replicated as Pueblo Bonito’s innkeepers have 80+ consecutive years of Santa Fe wisdom and tips to share. Our friendly and personable staff also bring 50+ combined years of local Northern New Mexico living experiences to assist guests in planning daily activities- like wine tasting! So in this spirit we offer fun, easy and unique day trip ideas you can add to your travel itinerary through Northern New Mexico. We will focus on Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe wineries:
New Mexico Wineries
Northern New Mexico has many award winning and fun wineries all within a short drive from Inn at Pueblo Bonito – Santa Fe, NM! No matter the preference of wine styles one may prefer, they offer a large variety. From bold, hearty reds to delightfully sweet dessert specialities, one is certain to fine the perfect wine to enjoy. While most grape production is located in southern New Mexico, the micro-vineyards of Northern New Mexico luxuriate in the intense efforts given to their cultivation, creating the rarest and most unique wines of the state. From Abiquiu to Dixon to Pojoaque and Nambe some of the most interesting wines can be found minutes from Santa Fe’s most popular bed and breakfast inn- Pueblo Bonito!
Black Mesa has 2 locations! Velarde and Taos.
This winery and and tasting room are located just 45 minutes north of Santa Fe in the village of Velarde. This tasting room features nice grassy areas for picnics and views of the Rio Grande as well as resident cats! They are known for their award winning wine “Black Beauty” for which is one of my personal favorites! Their Taos location across from the Harwood Museum is also just down the street from RC Gorman Art Gallery (a well known New Mexico artist). Relax on the pet-friendly patio or enjoy live music by local musicians on Friday and Saturday nights.
Blue Heron Brewing in Rinconada, NM
A funky, fun Northern New Mexico experience! This is Herb’s favorite. Offering fine brews, flights, wines and cheese! Enjoy a pint at the pub or fill a growler to take home. An excellent stop on your way home from a Taos day trip following the Rio Grande. Also an excellent stop after an exhilarating white water rafting excursion with Kokopelli Rafting tours!
Don Quixote in Santa Fe county, but located in Pojoaque, NM.
Wine and Spirit tasting and sales along with gourmet chocolates! Famous for their Blue Corn Vodka and Blue Corn Gin. A short drive north from Pueblo Bonito bed breakfast- Santa Fe- but worth the trip. The scenic drive is lovely and you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine in the courtyard or in the large territorial style show room.
Estrella del Norte in Nambe, NM
Lovely grounds featuring many special events, but always room to enjoy a top rate New Mexico wine in the courtyard! Gift shop and wine sales, just a short trip north from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast Santa Fe. Excellent stop on your way home from a visit to the famous Sanctuario de Chimayo!
La Chiripada in Dixon, NM
Producer of award-winning wines for 33 years. Tasting available 7 days per week. Art gallery. One block from the Dixon plaza! A fun native, cultural experience.
Vino del Corazon in Santa Fe (short walk from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn)
Locating in downtown Santa Fe surrounded by art galleries, shops and history! The wine tasting room is perfect to enjoy an excellent New Mexico wine and more! Open Tues – Sat 12:00- 5:30; Sun 12:00 -5:00.
Vivac in Dixon, NM
Located between Taos and Santa Fe, this tasting room offers a full list of options and an in-house chocolatier! Beautiful patio surrounded by vineyards to drink in the mountain views. Happy Hours 4-7 Spring/Summer/Fall.
“When assisting guests with their daily Santa Fe touring and day trip plans, I love to add in options for eating and wine tasting as these special stops can add so much flavor and enjoyment to great destinations like Chimayo, Taos, White Water Rafting, Bandelier National Monument or Los Alamos!” says Amy Behm innkeeper and owner of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe.
The Cross of the Martyrs is an easy, enjoyable, and often-overlooked historic monument site just northeast of downtown Santa Fe plaza. This iconic site is a great idea for guests of the Inn at Pueblo Bonito to enjoy during their Santa Fe vacation. The Cross of the Martyrs is excellent for an evening stroll, Sunday city view, or an anytime free history lesson of Old Santa Fe! The vantage point at the top offers dramatic views of The Plaza, the entire city and valley it’s located in, as well as a glorious sunset viewing! Among all of these views, the peek into the history of the oldest capital city in the United States is the best reason to make incorporate it into your Santa Fe to do list.
The walk or “hike” up to the top is not an arduous climb, but it does take moderate fitness. A consistent inclined brick walkway provides a series of switchbacks interspersed with steps that climb to the ridge above Paseo de Peralta in Hillside Park. The project was a gift to Santa Fe visitors made on it’s 375th anniversary (Santa Fe is currently over 400 years old as of 2015). Handrails and sure footing on the commemorative walkway are abundant with ample reasons to stop, read, and catch your breath; a series of display plaques offer interesting historical facts to provide momentary diversions from the climb. Remember that Santa Fe’s elevation is more than 7,000 feet above sea level.
The twenty chronologically ordered plaques give visitors a glimpse into the events shaping Santa Fe’s blending of primary cultures (Native American, Spanish and Anglo). The walk accurately paints a journey through history starting at 500 AD to our modern era. At the top of the walkway, a bricked plaza area reveals a steel cross – erected to honor the 21 Franciscan Friars killed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
The Pueblo revolt of 1680 was organized at the Taos Pueblo and led by Popé – a San Juan Pueblo medicine man- and was a mass insurrection by natives of the area pueblos against the Spanish interests. Popé became the ruler of all the pueblos of New Mexico for a dozen years as result of the successful revolt that killed 400 Spaniards and caused the survivors to flee to El Paso del Norte (El Paso, TX.) While the revolt did not remove the Spanish from the area permanently, it did cause changes in the way the Spanish dealt with the Pueblo Indians after 1692.
A cobblestone platform surrounds the cross. The site is a wonderful place for reflection, to take in the city views, or to take sunset photos of Santa Fe. Picnic tables are available nearby, offering the opportunity to take extra time to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the place and moment.
Getting to The Cross of the Martyrs from the Inn at Pueblo Bonito is simple: a guest would head to the Plaza, taking East Palace Avenue to Paseo de Peralta. From there, you would go left on Paseo de Peralta and follow it past Tommy Mascione park (to your right) and the Santa Fe Girls Club. Just past the entrance to the Girls Club is the entrance to the walkway on your right side. Legal parking places are at a premium but can be found on the street surrounding Tommy Mascione park.
On Fiesta weekend, a candlelit procession to The Cross of the Martyrs from Saint Francis Cathedral occurs after a special Mass. Fiesta weekend is celebrated the weekend after Labor Day in Santa Fe, NM.