We’ll assemble in Albuquerque early morning of Day 1 for the Santa Fe, Taos and Great Sand Dunes National Park Hiking Tour, and van shuttle north to the Taos area and hike the Devisadero Loop outside of town. This is a great introductory hike with views of the Taos valley.
We’ll spend our first two nights at the El Pueblo Lodge in Taos, NM, the epicenter of the arts, recreation and the Native Pueblo culture. On Day 2, we’ll hike to Williams Lake from the nearby Taos ski area. The lake is on the flanks of Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in New Mexico. This natural glacial lake is right at treeline and surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.
We start Day 3 with a chance to explore the Taos Pueblo. This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States, and a short tour here will get us a glimpse into the ancient puebloan life. Next we will van shuttle to the Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area near Taos and descend into the gorge overlooking the confluence of the Rio Grande and Red Rivers. We’ll hike to that confluence and then along the Rio Grande before climbing from the gorge to return to our trailhead. From there we will van shuttle to the Sand Dunes Lodge at the edge of Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Day 4 is a hike into the Sangre De Cristo Mountains above the dunes. We’re headed to the summit of Mosca Pass (9,751 feet), a moderate hike that showcases the many life zones embraced within the park.
We’re up early on Day 5 and in the cool morning, we’re off for an early morning start to climb, slide, roll and revel on the dunes. For the goal oriented, climbing the 750-foot High Dune can be your destination. We’ll head to Ojo Caliente Spa in the afternoon.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa is one of the oldest natural health resorts in the country. The sulphur-free, geothermal mineral waters have flowed from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years. More than 100,000 gallons per day come to the surface, revitalizing those who soak in the healing waters. (SPA is the acronym for the Latin phrase Salus Per Aquas, which means “health through water.”) In this relaxing setting you will get to choose your afternoon, whether a hike, a long soak in the hot springs, yoga or massage, reading or exploring, We will dine at the Ojo Caliente restaurant. Our rooms in the historic lodge are convenient, comfortable and are true to the period in which they were built. This does mean there are no showers in the room, as historically all bathing was done at the pools. Please let us know if you would prefer to upgrade to a room in another area with an in room shower.
On Day 6, we have the opportunity to hike right out our resort door. Ojo Caliente is on 10 acres of land with a variety of hiking trails that explore the local desert. After our hike, we’ll van shuttle to Sante Fe for a true southwestern lunch, with time to explore the historic town and its many shops. Then we make our final return to Albuquerque where our hiking trip of Santa Fe, Taos and Great Sand Dunes National Park concludes.