It’s no accident Outside magazine has its offices here. On weekends, Santa Feans leave the town to the tourists and scatter into the surrounding mountains on foot or bike. You’ll find something to do all four seasons, though high-altitude hikes shouldn’t be attempted till mid-May at least. If you’re in town in the fall, don’t miss the leaves turning on the aspens, usually in mid-October (for a great view, ride the lift at the ski basin if you’re not up for anything more strenuous).
The Public Lands Information Center (1474 Rodeo Rd., 505/438-7840, www.publiclands.org, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) is the best starting point for any outdoor activity. It’s closed on Sundays, though, and on Saturdays in the winter.
If you’d like to head out with a guide and perhaps a larger group, contact Outspire! (505/660-0394, www.outspire.com), which organizes full- and half-day outings—hiking in summer, snowshoeing in winter.
And if you need gear, look no farther than local favorite Santa Fe Mountain Sports (607 Cerrillos Rd., 505/988-3337, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.), which stocks all the accoutrements for summer and winter activities.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition