As hostels go, Santa Fe International Hostel (1412 Cerrillos Rd., 505/988-1153, santafe hostel [at] comcast [dot] net) is not the worst, but neither is it one of the more inspiring. Occupying two meandering old motel courts, it has plenty of room, including somewhat dim dorms ($15 pp), private rooms with shared ($25 s) or private bath ($35 s), and a gigantic kitchen (stocked with pantry staples for guests’ use). Note that old-school hostel policy still reigns here: Daily chores are required of guests.
If you’re camping, the closest tent sites to the center are at Hyde Memorial State Park (Hwy. 475, 505/983-7175), about seven miles northwest of the city up the road to the ski area, with both primitive ($8) and developed sites with electricity ($14).
Or head to the commercial Rancheros deSanta Fe (736 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 505/466-3482, www.rancheros.com , mid-Mar.–Nov.), east of town about seven miles (a 20-minute drive from the plaza) and pleasantly rural. Tent sites ($20) are private and shady and well away from the RVs, and there’s a pool to swim in. Be sure to make reservations in the summertime.