Bask in endless sunshine in New Mexico's High Mountain Desert

Choose from one our favorite half-day hikes listed below, or inquire with us if you would like to customize a several hour excursion to meet your needs. There are many options!!!

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Amenities

All of our half-day hikes include:

  • Pick-up/drop-off to your hotel or other designated meet-up spot
  • Organic trail mix, fruit and other snacks provided at no additional cost
  • Filtered, clean water in reusable bottles, cooled and ready to go
  • Extra packs provided if needed
  • Hiking poles available

Rates

1 Person
$115                      

2 People
$145

3-4 People
$215

5-6 People
$245

*Cost of entry to Bandelier is NOT included and is an additional $10 per person

*cost includes everything including insurance for our staff to take care of you out on the trail!

*Children under 12 hike for a discounted rate, just ask us!

*8% NM Tax and Gratuity not included


Desert Hikes:


Bandelier National Monument
Looking South down frijoles canyon towards the rio grande river in bandelier national monument

Looking South down frijoles canyon towards the rio grande river in bandelier national monument

2-2.5 hour drive (Round Trip)

Nice During: Anytime (busy in summer)

Popularity: Light-Heavy Traffic (summer)

Trail Level: Easy, Moderate and Difficult

Length: 3-14 miles depending on Energy!

Bandelier National Monument holds some of the most fascinating and well-preserved native sites in the Southwest. We offer this as a Cultural Expedition as well, but it is also an incredible wilderness of canyons, waterfalls, volcanic formations and vast mesas. Hikes here can range from the Falls Trail (3 Miles RT) to the famous and hard to reach Stone Lions, a 14 mile round trip through amazing desert landscape to the only bass-relief sculptures in the wild, of two Mountain Lions, over 1000 years old. Contact us to plan a day exploring this land and you will be rewarded by getting to know a truly special place.

Dome Wilderness, South Santa Fe
Canyon in the dome wilderness in wintertime

Canyon in the dome wilderness in wintertime

2 hour drive (Round Trip)

Nice During: Mornings, Evenings, Spring, Fall, Winter

Popularity: Light Traffic

Trail Level: Moderate

Length: 2-14 miles. Round trip 1-3 hours

The Dome Wilderness is a fantastic and minimally used region bordering Bandelier National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest in the Jemez Mountains. The area was scorched in 1996 by the massive Dome wildfire and is now a more exposed landscape filled with volcanic-tuff hoodoos, cliffs, canyons, mesas and pointed mountain tops. There are several hiking options to choose from in the Dome Wilderness that may include creeks, waterfalls, ancient native dwellings and even the wonderous Painted Cave, a 14 mile round trip that ends with one of the largest petroglyph panels in the Southwest. This area sees very little traffic, and feels very wild. We are happy to share some of this special desert landscape with you. 

Otowi Peak, North Santa Fe
a happy hiker enjoying the amazing view from the peak of otowi volcano

a happy hiker enjoying the amazing view from the peak of otowi volcano

50 minute drive (Round Trip)

Nice During: Mornings, Evenings, Spring, Fall, Winter

Popularity: Light Traffic

Trail Level: Moderate

Length: 5 miles. Round trip 3+ hours

We begin and end our hike on the banks of the Rio Grande river, a sweet, cool bookend to a good climb. The trail takes us through a sandy arroyo created by a thousand years of flooding, though you’ll not see water here, and up a rocky, somewhat testing, hillside that demands some attention. Once we reach the top we can relax and stroll a mile across a surreal Mars-scape mesa strewn with ancient volcanic material from our destination peak. It is only a 5 minute-uphill scramble to the top, where arguably the best views in the region are to be had. Small petrgoglphys and one of the volcano’s blow-holes are bonuses atop the peak. The experience of seeing 4 mountain ranges, the Rio Grande, volcanoes, several towns, native pueblos, and sacred sites is for you to enjoy.

Cerrillos Hills State Park
Hillsides bathed in evening light in cerrillos state park

Hillsides bathed in evening light in cerrillos state park

1.5 hour drive (Round Trip)

Nice During: Mornings, Evenings, Spring, Fall, Winter

Popularity: Light Traffic

Trail Level: Moderate

 Length: 5 miles, Round Trip, 2+ hours

Cerillos is an old mining town south of Santa Fe that hasn't changed a whole lot in the last century. Cerrillos Hills State Park is just outside the little village and is dedicated to protecting original mines excavated during the hay-day of turquoise, silver and other precious metal mining operations. Our hiking loop takes us past several of these old mines and through gorgeous desert. Cholla, barrel, prickly pear and other cacti are plentiful. Many birds; hawks, ravens, jays and wrens, as well as coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and prairie dogs make their home here too. Sunset hikes are ideal. Let the sound of the Santa Fe railroad announcing its way through town below you transport you to the Old West.

Kitchen Mesa, Ghost Ranch/Abiquiu
taking in the enormous sky and the view of the pedernal from kitchen mesa

taking in the enormous sky and the view of the pedernal from kitchen mesa

3 hours drive (Round Trip)

Nice During: Anytime but summer afternoons

Popularity: Light/Moderate Traffic

Trail Level: Moderate

Length: 4.5 miles Round trip, 2-3 hours

Invest a few minutes looking up the artist Georgia O’Keefe before you venture out to her iconic red-rock oasis, Ghost Ranch, where this hike begins. The landscape is fantastic, surreal and awe-inspiring. The trail leads us from her beautiful quaint home across a creek into a dinosaur fossil discovery field. Then we meander through an open desert valley, up a sandy hillside several hundred feet into a hidden slot in the cliffside, and up onto a gorgeous open mesa. We explore bizarre high altitude sandstone life as we stroll to the edge of Kitchen Mesa, where the views of O’Keefe’s beloved Pedernal mountain and Abiquiu reservoir are the stuff of Northern New Mexico glory.

*This hike can be made into a longer excursion if you would like to dip in lovely Abiquiu reservoir afterwards. Extra snacks, water and time will be provided if this is the case.

White Rock Canyon,White Rock

 1.5 Hour (Round Trip)

 Nice During: Mornings, Evenings, Spring, Fall, Winter

  Popularity: Light Traffic

  Trail Level: Moderate

  Length: 2.5 miles RT 2+ hours

Stand at the edge of the massive basalt cliffs of White Rock Canyon cradling the mighty Rio Grande and take in the awesome views before descending 1000 ft to the bottom where lies the giggling Pajarito Springs. There we find pools and waterfalls, lush grasses, dragonflies, and butterflies. This is a lovely oasis for reflection, a rarity of cool water in the hot desert, surrounded by an orchestra of birdsong. The hike back up is short, but can be grueling, and we are rewarded with stops to view petroglyphs left by pre-puebloan peoples and the beauty of the otherwordly, lava-strewn landscape.

Cholla cactus on the edge of white rock canyon with rio grande river below

Cholla cactus on the edge of white rock canyon with rio grande river below


The mountains are calling, will you answer?


"Walking...is how the body measures itself against the Earth" Rebecca Solnit