New Mexico's Land of Enchantment
The landscape that inspired artist Georgia O'Keeffe is our territory for this walk in enchanting New Mexico in the deep Southwest of America.
The major art center of Santa Fe is our starting point for exploring a landscape of rock formations, mountain ranges, aspen and cottonwood forests under expansive skies.
At Bandelier National Monument we find ancient cliff dwellings, kivas and petroglyphs and walk a juniper and pinion pine route through Frijoles Canyon to the Rio Grande.
7 days, 6 nights
Walk Rating: Moderate. Mostly good, easy trails, sometimes rocky in places, with elevation gains of 300-500 ft. Altitude to 7000ft. 5-7 miles per day.
US$2995.00 per person double occupancy
US$2995.00 per person double occupancy
Walk begins in The Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe and ends in Taos, with departure from Taos.
We meet mid-afternoon to explore the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the heart of the historic city of Santa Fe before gathering for a wine tasting early evening. The Welcome Dinner is at La Casa Sena where the performance of light operatic hits compliment the scrumptious fare.
After a tasty breakfast at the Inn, we drive northwest across the Rio Grande valley to the Jemez Mountains, an unusual volcanic range that harbors the ruins of the Ancestral Puebloan Indians. Our walks will take place at Bandelier National Monument where we’ll explore 800 year-old cliff dwellings, kivas and petroglyphs. After a picnic lunch we walk a juniper and pinion pine route through Frijoles Canyon, where the energetic will reach a waterfall and views of the Rio Grande. Back to Santa Fe to relax and enjoy dinner at a local’s favorite that serves Spanish style tapas.
In the morning we hike in the Rocky Mountains, also called the Sangre de Cristo, just east of Santa Fe. Enjoy the fresh mountain air and learn a bit about the geology and flora and fauna of this region. We lunch at an outdoor café en route to Chimayo, where we stop at the famous Sanctuario de Chimayo, a major pilgrimage site, and then visit the Centinela weaving studio, which has been worked by the award-winning Trujillo family for 7 generations. We arrive in Abiquiu for a casual sunset stroll before dinner at the Inn.
We visit the Chama River overlook and then spend the day at nearby Ghost Ranch, immersed in the rich and colorful geology of an uplifted piece of the Colorado Plateau. We take our time to make the ascent to Chimney Rock, with unforgettable views of the colorful desert and Cerro Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain which featured prominently in O’Keeffe’s paintings. After a picnic lunch, either walk into Box Canyon or visit the museum, which chronicles the Late Triassic period 200 million years ago, including New Mexico’s state dinosaur, as well as more recent anthropologic finds from this region.
A morning walk and then we’ll drive further north on our journey. As we enter the town of Taos, we drive across the Rio Grande via the Gorge Suspension Bridge, an engineering feat spanning the Gorge. We might spot big horned sheep browsing near the bridge. We check into our B&B before heading out on the town for dinner in Taos.
We’ll visit Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited dwelling in the U.S. Here a native Pueblo Guide will give us a tour of this historic village, sharing a bit about the Pueblo customs that are still a big part of this living culture. An afternoon hike in the high mountains will leave us breathy and invigorated. We’ll hike among shimmering aspen forests and clear, cold streams.
A farewell breakfast at our lovely B&B and then travelers can opt to shuttle back to Santa Fe or Albuquerque, or to stay on to soak up the southwest for a little bit longer.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
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This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
Before & After Your Walk:
- Santa Fe and other parts of New Mexico that we visit are between 7,000 to 8,000 feet. Consider arriving a few days ahead of the walk to acclimatize to the higher elevation and enjoy the many other benefits that Santa Fe has to offer
- Arrive early to attend the Santa Fe Chili Festival
- Visit Albuquerque, with an elevation of 5,000 feet, to spend a very pleasant day in the Old Town as well as sampling the excellent choice of shopping, museums, art galleries and many fine restaurants
- Extend your stay in Taos, two to three hours north of Santa Fe, and visit the thousand year-old Taos Pueblo, art galleries and the town plaza
- Rental vehicles are available in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or Taos if you plan to extend your trip
New Mexico enjoys some of its best weather in September and October. It might be a little cool at the beginning of the day but temperatures will soon heat up to the mid-70º F with no humidity. Once the sun goes down the evenings will be cooler in the mid-50ºF so you will probably need a light jacket or sweater. Although rain is possible, it is unlikely.
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Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
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