Hiking and Biking in Santa Fe + Taos
Concierge.com's insider take:
Outdoor types will find prime hiking and mountain biking 15 miles outside of Santa Fe in the Santa Fe National Forest. For some of the best hiking, take Hyde Park Road up to the base of Ski Santa Fe and park in the second lot (the one that's furthest from the ski area). From there, the intermediate-level Windsor Trail leads up through aspens and pines. For a full-day out-and-back, start Windsor early in the morning to reach the summit of 12,622-foot Santa Fe Baldy; it's approximately 14 miles round-trip. The entire area, including the connecting Pecos Wilderness, is threaded with trails (www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe). Note: Even in summer, the weather can be unpredictable. Bring water and warm gear, even on a short day hike. Only advanced outdoorspeople should attempt the trail in the off-season.
If you're a fat-tire aficionado, take the Windsor Trail going down toward town. It's 10 or so miles of challenging and fun singletrack. The trail will dump you out on County Road 72A, near the village of Tesuque. Arrange for somebody to drive you back up to the parking lot, unless you feel like riding back uphill.