New Mexico Explorer | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New Mexico Explorer

Trip Length 7 days

From $3,450

  • Hike in America's newest National Monument, the spectacular Rio Grand del Norte wilderness!
  • Visit Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keefe painted scenes of rust-colored hills and the majestic Pedernal mountain
  • Take a special hike to Bandelier National Monument to see the ancient sites of Ancestral Puebloans
  • Walk among bristlecone pines in the beautiful Wheeler Park Wilderness and hike the alpine meadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Explore the heart of New Mexico on this amazing journey through the less-visited National Monuments of Rio Grande del Norte and Bandelier. Along the way you'll discover the ethereal landscapes of Ghost Ranch, climb to the summit of Wheeler Peak, and soak in the healing mineral waters of Ojo Caliente. You'll even see the 1,000 year old UNESCO World Heritage site of Taos Pueblo! In Santa Fe, known to photographers for its exceptional high altitude light and limitless subject matter, you can feast on authentic chile dishes, and explore its artistic roots and native heritage. Then there are hikes along the red and yellow colored cliffs where Georgia O’Keeffe painted, and where the bones of unique dinosaurs are still being discovered. Every day includes active explorations of New Mexico’s abundant wild lands, and opportunities for deep insights into its modern and ancient cultures. With its other-worldly landscapes and unique culture, it is no wonder this 47th state is well known as the "Land of Enchantment."

Follow the Leader Trip with John Baston

"Taking a trip to New Mexico feels like going as far as one can go in the United States without ever having to cross a border! Between seasons of kayaking in Alaska and guiding other adventures, Northern New Mexico was my home for 14 years and I had a great time exploring all of its nooks and crannies—spring and summer, winter and fall. This late summer trip coincides with the greening from the monsoons, when the days are warm and the nights are cool. We'll hike in a variety of diverse landscapes and visit uncrowded National Parks and historic sites. So come with me and learn about the fascinating culture and stunning landscape of New Mexico—a place that is always beautiful!"

Day 1: Welcome to New Mexico

Fly into Santa Fe or Albuquerque at any time today and take a shuttle ride to our hotel in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is the oldest and highest capital in the U.S. and relecently celebrated its 400th anniversary—in fact, its modern history predates Jamestown and the Pilgrims! Outside of Santa Fe are the mountains that make up the southern extent of the Rocky Mountains and August is the perfect time for hiking in New Mexico's high country. Tonight we'll meet for a trip orientation and welcome dinner in historic downtown Santa Fe.

Arrive early today if you would like to experience the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is taking place until 4pm on August 21, 2016. The market is hosted by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and celebrates native arts and culture. Check it out online at http://www.swaia.org/.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inn of the Governors

Day 2: Set out through Bandelier National Monument

A beautiful hour-long drive will take us up into the mountains that ring the Jemez Caldera. We'll then visit Bandelier National Monument and take a hike along Frijoles Creek, where there are many remains of an ancient civilization. If we're feeling more ambitious we can hike the Cerro Grande Trail to the summit of the Jemez Caldera at 10,200 feet. We may also decide to go even further and take a longer walk out to the Shrine of the Stone Lions, where two life sized stone lions have been carved out of volcanic rock. This site has been used for ceremonial purposes for hundreds of years.

(Hiking distance: 6 miles, or 12 miles including the Shrine of the Stone Lions)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inn of the Governors

Day 3: Take the high road to Taos

Today we'll take the high road to Taos, following the route used by Spanish settlers for centuries. Along the way we will visit the Sanctuario de Chimayo, where we'll hear tales steeped in faith and lore, and wind through the old villages built on the western flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Next we'll  visit the Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site, an earthen structure that has been continuously inhabited for a thousand years! We'll end the day in Taos' historic plaza and take in the city's stunning backdrop of rocky mountain peaks. We can scale Divisadero Peak to get a scenic overview of the Taos Valley before settling in for dinner.

(Hiking distance: 6 miles)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Casa Benevides Inn

Day 4: Hike the trails of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

The Rio Grande del Norte is one of America's newest National Monuments and home to a stunning gorge and incredible scenery, including parts of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The valley is also one of the oldest continually inhabited landscapes on the continent! Today we'll take a 7½-mile hike along beautiful trails that descend into the 800-foot Rio Grande Gorge and ramble through a Ponderosa pine forest along its upper reaches.

(Hiking distance: 7 miles)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Casa Benevides Inn

Day 5: Explore Wheeler Peak Wilderness

Today we'll explore the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, home to the highest mountain in New Mexico! Our 10-mile hike starts in the mixed pine and spruce forest, climbs through some small stands of bristlecone rines, and finishes in the tundra with spectacular views in every direction. At the top we'll be at 13,000 feet. In the evening we'll relax at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and spend the night. The sacred waters of the springs have made this a special gathering place for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Day 6: See Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch

In the morning we'll hike up to the ruins above Ojo Caliente, where we'll see potsherds from the Ancestral Puebloans scattered everywhere. Then we're off to “El Rancho de Los Brujos” or Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted for many years—inspired by her surroundings and the dried, sun-baked bones that she found out on the naked red earth. We'll then hike up chimney rock and Kitchen Mesa and see layers of sedimentary rock, which contain 200 million years of our earth’s history, including some dinosaurs that were first quarried in this area.

(Hiking distance: 4 to 6 mile)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Day 7: Depart from New Mexico

You are free to depart at any time. We will provide transfers to the Santa Fe or Albuquerque airports.

  • Breakfast

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

$3,450  per person
$750  single supplement

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Casa Benevides Inn — Taos

The charming Casa Benavides Inn is located in the heart of Taos. Its 37 comfortable and distinctively styled rooms are decorated with artistic treasurers, wood-burning fireplaces, private baths, cable TV and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in every room.

Inn of the Governors — Santa Fe

The Inn of the Governors is located two blocks from Santa Fe's historic plaza, and the city's best galleries, shops, and restaurants. The inn is beautifully decorated with hand-carved furnishings and locally made artwork, and its amenities include a Tea and Sherry service, internet access, an outdoor heated pool and much more. The adjoining Del Charro Saloon is a rustic and western-themed watering hole.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa — Ojo Caliente

The legendary waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa have been soothing body, mind and spirit naturally for centuries. One explorer's record cites, "The greatest treasure that I found these people to possess are hot springs which burst out at the foot of a mountain...so powerful are the chemicals contained in this water that the inhabitants believe that they were given to them by their gods. These Springs I have named Ojo Caliente, or hot eye." Enjoy a fabulous stay at this relaxing resort.

  • Hike in America's newest National Monument, the spectacular Rio Grand del Norte wilderness!
  • Visit Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keefe painted scenes of rust-colored hills and the majestic Pedernal mountain
  • Take a special hike to Bandelier National Monument to see the ancient sites of Ancestral Puebloans
  • Walk among bristlecone pines in the beautiful Wheeler Park Wilderness and hike the alpine meadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Explore the heart of New Mexico on this amazing journey through the less-visited National Monuments of Rio Grande del Norte and Bandelier. Along the way you'll discover the ethereal landscapes of Ghost Ranch, climb to the summit of Wheeler Peak, and soak in the healing mineral waters of Ojo Caliente. You'll even see the 1,000 year old UNESCO World Heritage site of Taos Pueblo! In Santa Fe, known to photographers for its exceptional high altitude light and limitless subject matter, you can feast on authentic chile dishes, and explore its artistic roots and native heritage. Then there are hikes along the red and yellow colored cliffs where Georgia O’Keeffe painted, and where the bones of unique dinosaurs are still being discovered. Every day includes active explorations of New Mexico’s abundant wild lands, and opportunities for deep insights into its modern and ancient cultures. With its other-worldly landscapes and unique culture, it is no wonder this 47th state is well known as the "Land of Enchantment."

Follow the Leader Trip with John Baston

"Taking a trip to New Mexico feels like going as far as one can go in the United States without ever having to cross a border! Between seasons of kayaking in Alaska and guiding other adventures, Northern New Mexico was my home for 14 years and I had a great time exploring all of its nooks and crannies—spring and summer, winter and fall. This late summer trip coincides with the greening from the monsoons, when the days are warm and the nights are cool. We'll hike in a variety of diverse landscapes and visit uncrowded National Parks and historic sites. So come with me and learn about the fascinating culture and stunning landscape of New Mexico—a place that is always beautiful!"

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to New Mexico

Fly into Santa Fe or Albuquerque at any time today and take a shuttle ride to our hotel in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is the oldest and highest capital in the U.S. and relecently celebrated its 400th anniversary—in fact, its modern history predates Jamestown and the Pilgrims! Outside of Santa Fe are the mountains that make up the southern extent of the Rocky Mountains and August is the perfect time for hiking in New Mexico's high country. Tonight we'll meet for a trip orientation and welcome dinner in historic downtown Santa Fe.

Arrive early today if you would like to experience the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is taking place until 4pm on August 21, 2016. The market is hosted by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and celebrates native arts and culture. Check it out online at http://www.swaia.org/.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inn of the Governors

Day 2: Set out through Bandelier National Monument

A beautiful hour-long drive will take us up into the mountains that ring the Jemez Caldera. We'll then visit Bandelier National Monument and take a hike along Frijoles Creek, where there are many remains of an ancient civilization. If we're feeling more ambitious we can hike the Cerro Grande Trail to the summit of the Jemez Caldera at 10,200 feet. We may also decide to go even further and take a longer walk out to the Shrine of the Stone Lions, where two life sized stone lions have been carved out of volcanic rock. This site has been used for ceremonial purposes for hundreds of years.

(Hiking distance: 6 miles, or 12 miles including the Shrine of the Stone Lions)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inn of the Governors

Day 3: Take the high road to Taos

Today we'll take the high road to Taos, following the route used by Spanish settlers for centuries. Along the way we will visit the Sanctuario de Chimayo, where we'll hear tales steeped in faith and lore, and wind through the old villages built on the western flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Next we'll  visit the Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site, an earthen structure that has been continuously inhabited for a thousand years! We'll end the day in Taos' historic plaza and take in the city's stunning backdrop of rocky mountain peaks. We can scale Divisadero Peak to get a scenic overview of the Taos Valley before settling in for dinner.

(Hiking distance: 6 miles)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Casa Benevides Inn

Day 4: Hike the trails of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

The Rio Grande del Norte is one of America's newest National Monuments and home to a stunning gorge and incredible scenery, including parts of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The valley is also one of the oldest continually inhabited landscapes on the continent! Today we'll take a 7½-mile hike along beautiful trails that descend into the 800-foot Rio Grande Gorge and ramble through a Ponderosa pine forest along its upper reaches.

(Hiking distance: 7 miles)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Casa Benevides Inn

Day 5: Explore Wheeler Peak Wilderness

Today we'll explore the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, home to the highest mountain in New Mexico! Our 10-mile hike starts in the mixed pine and spruce forest, climbs through some small stands of bristlecone rines, and finishes in the tundra with spectacular views in every direction. At the top we'll be at 13,000 feet. In the evening we'll relax at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and spend the night. The sacred waters of the springs have made this a special gathering place for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Day 6: See Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch

In the morning we'll hike up to the ruins above Ojo Caliente, where we'll see potsherds from the Ancestral Puebloans scattered everywhere. Then we're off to “El Rancho de Los Brujos” or Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted for many years—inspired by her surroundings and the dried, sun-baked bones that she found out on the naked red earth. We'll then hike up chimney rock and Kitchen Mesa and see layers of sedimentary rock, which contain 200 million years of our earth’s history, including some dinosaurs that were first quarried in this area.

(Hiking distance: 4 to 6 mile)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Day 7: Depart from New Mexico

You are free to depart at any time. We will provide transfers to the Santa Fe or Albuquerque airports.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Casa Benevides Inn — Taos

The charming Casa Benavides Inn is located in the heart of Taos. Its 37 comfortable and distinctively styled rooms are decorated with artistic treasurers, wood-burning fireplaces, private baths, cable TV and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in every room.

Inn of the Governors — Santa Fe

The Inn of the Governors is located two blocks from Santa Fe's historic plaza, and the city's best galleries, shops, and restaurants. The inn is beautifully decorated with hand-carved furnishings and locally made artwork, and its amenities include a Tea and Sherry service, internet access, an outdoor heated pool and much more. The adjoining Del Charro Saloon is a rustic and western-themed watering hole.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa — Ojo Caliente

The legendary waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa have been soothing body, mind and spirit naturally for centuries. One explorer's record cites, "The greatest treasure that I found these people to possess are hot springs which burst out at the foot of a mountain...so powerful are the chemicals contained in this water that the inhabitants believe that they were given to them by their gods. These Springs I have named Ojo Caliente, or hot eye." Enjoy a fabulous stay at this relaxing resort.

Dates and Pricing

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

$3,450  per person
$750  single supplement

Activity Level Moderate
Trip Length 7 days

From $3,450

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Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure