Celebrate Spring in Santa Fe

When winter chills give way to friendlier weather, Springtime is a beautiful time to visit Santa Fe. From March through June, Santa Fe temperatures warm up from an average high of 41 degrees in March to highs in the 60s by May and into the 70s in June. You may want to pack a jacket for chilly mornings or cool nights, but with 325 sunny days a year, you’ll find that our mild spring weather makes it an excellent time to explore Santa Fe and its surroundings. Here is just a sampling of things you can do on your visit.

Take a stroll or go on a hike

One of the best ways to see Santa Fe is on foot, as you explore the streets and architecture of the city or head outside of town for more hiking adventures. Santa Fe has an extensive network of wilderness paths and paved urban trails to enjoy as you explore the city. For archaeology and nature buffs, Bandelier National Monument, located about a 50-minute drive from Santa Fe,  can’t be missed. Examine ancient petroglyphs and imagine life 11,000 years ago as you explore the well-preserved ruins and hike along the trails in the park.

Visit Santa Fe’s Extraordinary Museums

The City Different is known for its museums and galleries, featuring various artists and styles. There are so many different museums that you are sure to find one that meets your desires. But here are a few suggestions. Suppose you want to learn more about Native Southwest populations through storytelling, research, and stewardship. In that case, The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is the perfect place to begin your explorations of the culture, stories, and art of the people of the Southwest.

Looking for something more modern and interactive, look no further than Meow Wolf. The museum opened in 2008 and is known for its immersive experiences that invite visitors to explore and become part of the story and the environment.

Originally from Wisconsin, Georgia O’Keeffe first came to New Mexico in 1929 and fell in love with the high desert, where the landscape and the culture inspired her work. She spent at least part of every year here until she died in 1986. You can learn more about Georgia and follow her artistic arc from childhood to her later watercolor works and other special exhibits at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Enjoy the colorful cuisine

Every bite in Santa Fe’s cuisine packs a punch, from its complex and spicy dishes topped with red or green chile sauce (or the locals’ favorite, Christmas: a mix of both), to decadent hot chocolate, tasty margaritas, world-class fine dining, and green chile cheeseburgers. Santa Fe is the perfect place to sample all that Northern New Mexican cuisine has to offer. Whether you are looking for upscale dining or a quaint café or restaurant, Santa Fe has a variety of options to meet your needs.

The newest offering at Inn on the Alameda is Joe’s Tequila Bar. Relax in front of our fireplace or out under the stars on our patio as we serve up one of the best tequila menus in town, a full bar selection of wine, beer, and spirits, and dinner from 5-9 pm. Joe’s is also a part of the Santa Fe Margarita Trail, offering unique takes on the classic margarita. Spend part of your evening with us for a meal, a margarita, or one of our tequila flights.

Book your stay for spring

Celebrate Spring in Santa Fe with a stay at Inn on the Alameda. Staying at the Inn puts you two blocks away from The Santa Fe Plaza, the city’s shopping, dining, and cultural center, and just a few minutes’ walk from Canyon Road with its wide variety of galleries and shops. We offer a variety of rooms to meet your unique needs, including traditional and deluxe rooms and suites. Our pet-friendly rooms mean your favorite furry friend is welcome too. Book your stay now!

Ski Santa Fe…and Taos!

The snow has come to Santa Fe, and we are delighted!

Fresh Snow Beckons!

Ski Santa Fe opened on November 27th, a little later than the hoped-for, but with real snow, no one is complaining. As of today, 30% of the ski area is open, with a 20″ base, and driving conditions up to the ski area are fine.  Currently, the price of lift tickets has been lowered, but of course, that can and probably will change, as more terrain is available to ski.

Adult All Day: $95 and Adult All Day w/Peak Plus Card: $30

Teen All Day: $75 and Teen All Day w/Peak Plus Card: $25

Child All Day: $65 and Child All Day w/Peak Plus Card: $20

Senior All Day: $75 and Senior All Day w/Peak Plus Card: $20

Active Duty Military All Day: $78

Half-Day: $75              Beginner Lift Only: $42

And there’s a webcam too, if you want to see the mountain first!

In terms of rental equipment, you can stop on Hyde Park Road on the way to the ski basin and check out Cottam’s. In town, Alpine Sports is conveniently located at 541 Cordova Road. And Ski Tech Santa Fe is an easy in and out on St. Francis Drive, just north of Cerrillos Road.

Snow Makes a Sunset Dramatic!

Skiers with a yen for more dramatic conditions can head to Taos Ski Valley, about 2 hours north of Santa Fe, and rentals are available right there. Taos is open to the top of the mountain, with a base of 18″. And if your ski vacation is planned for after the new year, think about timing your visit so that you can enjoy the Taos Winter Wine Festival!

Cuddle Up by a Kiva Fireplace

 

Soaring on Raven’s Ridge

A Gray Jay enjoying the view from Raven’s Ridge

The other weekend, I just had to get out for some exercise. Since my thoughts lately have been occupied planning some hikes up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado next summer, I decided to head up to Ski Santa Fe and get a good workout on Raven’s Ridge. Raven’s Ridge is the spur of the Santa Fe Range that divides the Tesuque watershed from the headwaters of Nambe Creek. It is the northern boundary of the Aspen Basin, which we enjoy seeing from Santa Fe nearly every day.

I put on my layers, made a thermos of my favorite tea – Formosa Oolong No. 8 from Adagio Teas, grabbed a breakfast burrito from La Montanita Co-op, and headed up the mountain.

On a clear and sunny day, the ordinarily somber spruce forests above 10,000 feet in elevation glow with an inner light. Fragrant and refreshing, they always remind me of Christmas and the holidays.

Looking up into towering Englemann Spruce on the Winsor Trail

There simply isn’t anything nicer than walking through these snow forests on a calm and sunny late morning, taking in the pure air and radiant light.

Packed snow on the Winsor Trail above Ski Santa Fe

The section of the Winsor Trail from the parking area of Ski Santa Fe up to the saddle on Raven’s Ridge is always a bit of a test – sort of the dues you have to pay to gain entrance to the Nambe Creek watershed and the peaks beyond. You gain over 800 feet in less than a mile, and since the trailhead is already at 10,200 feet elevation, you generally have to make some stops to catch your breath. I was huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Soon enough, the trail levels out, and you reach the saddle on the flank of Aspen Peak, which marks the boundary of the vast and beautiful Pecos Wilderness.

The sign at the entrance to the Pecos Wilderness along the Winsor Trail

It’s at this gateway that you leave the Winsor Trail and turn right to follow the fence line along an informal trail that follows Raven’s Ridge through the trees. The climb is a little gentler than the switchbacks of the Winsor Trail, but there are a few more places where you’ll have to pause for breath. And there are no views to speak of – until you reach 11,200 feet and the tie-off point of the fence.

The headwaters of Nambe Creek from Raven’s Ridge

Perched on ancient gneiss above the glacial canyon that holds Nambe Lake, you’ll feel like you’re soaring in a glorious Rocky Mountain High. To your right is Lake Peak, a mountain horn that carries Ski Santa Fe on its west flank and the headwaters of the Santa Fe River on its south.

Lake Peak

By the way, if you are in the mood for some real adventure, my friend Mar’ Himmerich of Celestial Guides (celestialguides@yahoo.com) will be happy to take you skiing up there.

To your left is the bold massif of Santa Fe Baldy, the highest peak near Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Baldy 12,622 feet high

Below you is a vertigo-inducing drop with more diagonals and verticals than a vintage Italian travel poster.

Winter light

It’s a perfect place to stop for a well-deserved break. And as often happens up here in the alpine realm, with a soft fluttering, a flash of grey, and maybe a gentle whistle, you might have guests for tea.

Care to share that Clif Bar with me?

This is the Grey Jay, or Whiskey-Jack, the notorious camp robber who will eat out of your hand (or snatch food from it while you’re not looking). A pair of these birds kept an eye on me the entire time I ate my snack.

After a blissful time taking in the view and enjoying the sun on my face, I grabbed my daypack and headed back down the trail.

Ski Santa Fe, seen through spruce and aspen along the Winsor Trail

Soon enough, I was back in my car and cruising down NM 475 back to Santa Fe for a rendezvous with Starbucks. It was a Good Day. Come out and see us this winter, and have a good day of your own!

Somebody loves you in Santa Fe!

JOE’S BLOG: THE COLORS OF FALL IN NORTHERN NEW MEXICO

JOE’S BLOG: THE COLORS OF FALL IN NORTHERN NEW MEXICO

JOE’S BLOG: THE COLORS OF FALL IN NORTHERN NEW MEXICO

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Naturally, when most people think of fall colors, they think of the east coast. From the Appalachian, through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, through New England, and up to Maine, everywhere fall foliage is bursting into color. Reds, yellows, and oranges are a glorious sign of the impending arrival of winter and warmly welcome the flocks of tourists heading north and east, as numerous as birds migrating south.
Northern New Mexico is always a place to experience colors in the Fall; a burning-red chili ristra alone is worth the trip. These appear all over New Mexico about this time of year when the famous Hatch, NM green chili harvest occurs. We may not have as many pumpkins as a New England town square, but our native squashes turn just as beautiful.
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Upon the arrival of cooler days and longer nights, the trees slow and then cease the photosynthesis process, trapping sugars in the leaves – a timeless process, which results in the robust reds. As the green chlorophyll dies, the trees’ leaves begin to try and salvage other nutrients and the carotenoids, masked by the green chlorophyll during the summer, and create the glory of autumnal hues.
Each October and early November, there is almost always plenty of time to see these fabulous fall colors in and around Santa Fe. Valley cottonwoods turn golden and orange, aspens turn yellow, the Chinese Pistache becomes a ravaging deep red, and Gamble Oaks are cloaked in a soft blend of warm, burnt color.
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Purple Mountain Ash, ornamental crab apples, and fruit trees join the chorus, while vista-wide Chamisa sprout plumes of blossoms whose bright golden yellow is unrivaled even by the mighty maples, hickories, oaks, and beeches of the East Coast.
One of the most amazing sights is seeing the quaking aspens that cover the entire Sangre de Cristo mountain range just above town turn into a rippling carpet of shimmering yellows, highlighted by green pines and firs bursting above the sea of aspen gold. Hiking or mountain biking at this time of year on the many gentle – or if you prefer arduous – trails in the glorious Sangre de Cristos is just unbelievable.
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An autumn stay at the Inn on the Alameda provides the opportunity to revel in our artistic landscaping. You have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of fall foliage concentrated on our beautiful two acres that are perfectly situated along the cottonwood-lined Santa Fe River. With November just around the corner, meet at the Agoyo Lounge for dinner in front of the glowing fireplace and savor one of our specialty cocktails – maybe a hot-toddy on the patio or a warm apple cider. Whatever your taste, the Inn on the Alameda will always accommodate your desires in a unique setting.
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Naturally, when most people think of fall colors, they think of the east coast. Coming up from the Appalachian, through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, through New England and up to the State of Maine, everywhere fall foliage is bursting into color. Reds, yellows, and oranges are a glorious sign of the impending arrival of winter, and warmly welcome the flocks of tourists heading north and east, as numerous as birds migrating south.

 

awning

 

Northern New Mexico is always a place to experience colors in the Fall; a burning-red chili ristra alone is worth the trip. These appear all over New Mexico about this time of year when the famous Hatch, NM green chili harvest occurs. We may not have as many pumpkins as a New England town square, but our native squashes turn just as beautiful. Like the chilis and pumpkins changing their summer clothes, in the case of trees and their leaves, it is the arrival of cooler days and longer nights, which slow and then cease the photosynthesis process, trapping sugars in the leaves – a timeless process, which results in the robust reds. As the green chlorophyll dies, the trees’ leaves begin to try and salvage other nutrients and the carotenoids, masked by the green chlorophyll during the summer, and create the glory of autumnal hues.

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Each October and early November, there is almost always plenty of time to see these wonderful fall colors in and around Santa Fe. Valley cottonwoods turn golden and orange, aspens turn yellow, the Chinese Pistache becomes a ravaging deep red, and Gamble Oaks are cloaked in a soft blend of warm, burnt color. Purple Mountain Ash, ornamental crab apples and fruit trees join the chorus, while vista-wide Chamisa sprout plumes of blossoms whose bright golden yellow is unrivalled even by the mighty maples, hickories, oaks and beeches of the East Coast. One of he most amazing of all the sights is to see the quaking aspens covering the entire Sangre de Cristo mountain range just above town, while they are turning into a rippling carpet of shimmering yellows, highlighted by green pines and firs bursting above the sea of aspen gold. Hiking or mountain biking at this time of year on the many gentle – or if you prefer arduous – trails in the glorious Sangre de Cristos is just unbelievable.

 

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An autumn stay at the Inn on the Alameda allows one an opportunity to revel in our artistic landscaping planned to capture the beauty of fall foliage concentrated on our beautiful 2 acres perfectly situated along the cottonwood lined Santa Fe River. With November just around the corner, meet at the Agoyo Lounge for dinner in front of the glowing fireplace and savor one of our specialty cocktails – maybe a hot-toddie on the patio or a warm apple cider. Whatever your taste, the Inn on the Alameda will always accommodate and satisfy your desires in an inimitable setting.

Following the Light

Aspen and light

As the days shorten and the temperature drops here in the Southern Rockies, fall colors begin to move into the mid-elevation canyons below the crest of the mountains. They spill down like trickles of bright paint toward the old Spanish villages and Pueblos that dot the broad and luminous valley of the Rio Grande. The great burst of yellow among the high forests of aspen and spruce fades as quickly as it flared. But further below, colors seem to concentrate and richen in the smaller groves and stream-side meadows, set off by the deep greens, rich olives, and waxy blues of the mixed-conifer forest.

Ponderosa. “Of all western pines this one seems to the beholder most full of light”

The aspen will follow you halfway down the mountain, clinging to the cooler drainages and forming a golden canopy of light far over your head as it becomes their turn to shine.

Aspen high above the Bear Wallow Trail

But now, a new palette of color emerges. The scrubby Gambel Oak sheds its dour summer colors and dons the most surprising warm copper, persimmon, and deep red wardrobe.

A tangle of Gambel Oak

Wild currants throw off all restraint.

This dogwood relative goes deep into the red end of the spectrum,

While the Cliffbush simply can’t make up its mind.

Strawberries display a bipolar nature you would never suspect.

While their proud and thorny relative, the wild rose, takes on an elegant, conservative dress.

The lovely Rocky Mountain Maple glows in a pure chartreuse yellow.

Other shrubs experiment with warmer combinations of color, flaunting fashionable yellows.

These photographs were taken along the Bear Wallow Trail, about halfway up the road to Ski Santa Fe, just beyond Hyde Memorial State Park, 8 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza. The Borrego-Bear Wallow loop is a hike we frequently recommend to guests here at the Inn. While it is a beautiful walk any time of the year, it is simply exceptional right now.

Get outside and follow the light.

November Snow

November Snow

November Snow

The Forest Service sign at Aspen Vista, changed out for winter

Nearly ever year, sometime around the end of October, Santa Fe gets its first little snowfall to let us know that winter is on its way. This year the reminder came a little earlier, the week before Halloween, and the more turbulent conditions up in the mountains put a quick end to the colorful aspen leaves. We had wonderful autumn weather here in town, but this week a storm swept through, and as far as the highlands are concerned, winter is officially here.

Once the sun came back out I had a drive and a short walk along the Aspen Vista Trail, about a 25 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe. The county is good about keeping the road clear:

The road to Ski Santa Fe, at the Aspen Vista Trailhead

I had a short walk, in dazzling light, along with a few other fellow travelers:

This could be you!

The vivid blue of the alpine sky never fails to seduce me:

Aspen stretching toward the light

Ski Santa Fe is only a few more minutes drive from here, and at this rate there should be some skiing by Thanksgiving. Many of their lifts reach up the Tesuque Peak, which was liberally frosted by the storm:

Tesuque Peak above Santa Fe

Ski Taos is even further along. Taos is beautiful in the winter, and it makes a great day trip from Santa Fe when you’re making your stay with us:

Sacred Taos Mountain, wreathed in clouds, shining over Taos

So start sorting though your warm fleeces and limbering up your knees for a glorious winter vacation in the Southern Rockies! We’ll keep your home base snug and warm for you:

Home at the Inn on the Alameda

The Forest Service sign at Aspen Vista, changed out for winter

Nearly ever year, sometime around the end of October, Santa Fe gets its first little snowfall to let us know that winter is on its way. This year the reminder came a little earlier, the weekend before Halloween, and the more turbulent conditions up in the mountains put a quick end to the colorful aspen leaves. We had a week’s respite of wonderful weather here in town, but by last weekend another storm swept through, and as far as the highlands are concerned, winter is officially here.

Once the sun came back out I had a drive and a short walk along the Aspen Vista Trail, about a 25 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe. The county is good about keeping the road clear:

The road to Ski Santa Fe, at the Aspen Vista Trailhead

I had a short walk, in dazzling light, along with a few other fellow travelers:

This could be you!

The vivid blue of the alpine sky never fails to seduce me:

Aspen stretching toward the light

Ski Santa Fe is only a few more minutes drive from here, and at this rate there should be some skiing by Thanksgiving. Many of their lifts reach up the Tesuque Peak, which was liberally frosted by the storm:

Tesuque Peak above Santa Fe

Ski Taos is even further along. Taos is beautiful in the winter, and it makes a great day trip from Santa Fe when you’re making your stay with us:

Sacred Taos Mountain, wreathed in clouds, shining over Taos

So start sorting though your warm fleeces and limbering up your knees for a glorious winter vacation in the Southern Rockies! We’ll keep your home base snug and warm for you:

Home at the Inn on the Alameda

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