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Santa Fe, NM is a remarkable place — the oldest established Capital City in all of the United States of America. With so much history, it can be easy to overlook some phenomenal locations in this place that we call home. This series is meant to capture and highlight these unskippable Santa Fe sights.
One of the must-sees in our area is the fantastic transition of seasons in our Sangre De Cristo Mountains — a literal Aspen Paradise.
Which mountains are we talking about here?
We love that we have to narrow down exactly which mountainscape we are talking about in Santa Fe. The Sangre De Cristo Mountain is the largest and closest stretch of mountain to our city. You can find them located just northeast of the Historic Santa Fe Plaza. You will need to get on Hyde Park Road to start the view-filled trek up the mountain. On the way up, you will pass by the Ten Thousand Waves Spa & Resort, and numerous trails & paths to highlight the most spectacular nature & views that Santa Fe has to offer — specifically, the distinctive aspens.
An Aspen Paradise
People from all over the world come to visit our mountains in the fall, primarily to watch the transition of one thing (or should we say many things), the aspens. Did you know that aspens often live between 120 to 200 years? These trees share a very special relationship, as they are all part of a much larger organism. These trees are all inter-connected and need each other! We found a blog that puts it this way…
“One aspen tree is actually only a small part of a larger organism. A stand or group of aspen trees is considered a singular organism with the main life force underground in the extensive root system. Before a single aspen trunk appears above the surface, the root system may lie dormant for many years until the conditions are just right, including sufficient sunlight. In a single stand, each tree is a genetic replicate of the other, hence the name a ‘clone’ of aspens used to describe a stand.“
When should I go?
There is about a two week stretch of time that the aspens transition from their bright green leaves gripping tightly to the trees, to a vivacious yellow, where the leaves begin to say goodbye to their branch-homes, setting the stage for winter. The soft applause of leaves chattering, walking through an otherwise dead-still trail is a seemingly larger-than-life experience that you do not want to miss. This often happens towards the end of September, into the first few weeks of October. This transition happens faster than you think, so make sure you don’t miss it! My personal favorite trail for this experience is Aspen Vista.
If you happen to miss the changing of seasons in the Sangre De Cristos, don’t worry! There are still many beautiful sights to see in the mountains, year-round!
Ten Thousand Waves is a beautiful Spa & Resort where you can enjoy a relaxing spa, spectacular food, and the most amazing massages to help unwind and enjoy your stay.
AllTrails is an app designed to help you find the best trails, paths, and hikes in your area. Click here to check out some of the trails to check out in Santa Fe!
Ski Santa Fe prides itself on being family-friendly and offers one of the best dollar values in the Southwest. Located only 16 miles from the heart of Santa Fe, one of the most popular destinations in the US. A city rich in culture, fine arts, and exceptional cuisine, this is one of the country’s most diverse and unique ski destinations. During the Fall Season, they open up the mountain to take a look at the scenery via chair lift, up and back down the transitioning mountainside (however, this service is closed this year due to COVID precautions).