Taos, Santa Fe & Great Sand Dunes National Park
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, transfers, leaders, mindfulness sessions, spa entry, trail maps and narratives. Note: rooms at Ojo Caliente Resort have no in room showers, but can be included for an upgrade.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Albuquerque and tour locations.
Not included: Airline service to Albuquerque; Guide Gratuity.
Mindfulness Practice Sessions with licensed professional
Airport 8:00 am, Hotel 8:30 am
Of the many magnificent landscapes that we embrace as a part of our hiking tours, perhaps none is more startling than that offered by Great Sand Dunes National Park. Nestled against the grand backdrop of Southern Colorado’s rugged Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the dunes are the centerpiece in the surreal setting that defines the magnificence of the Rocky Mountain West. Distantly removed from any ocean or desert, the dunes present an incongruous contrast with the snowclad peaks that hover above. Created by the persistent winds that blow across the San Luis Valley, the dunes soar to an elevation of 750 feet and are the tallest dunes in North America.
As an added bonus on this trip, professional licensed social worker Donna Roe Daniell* will be traveling as a guide on the trip. With her you will learn how mindfulness and mindful self-compassion can bring inner strength and resilience to your life. We will include an Intro to Mindfulness Session plus a practice session and an Intro to Self-Compassion plus a practice session during our hotel stays. In addition, we will hold an early morning Outdoor Mindfulness Session on the Sand Dunes.
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 Ski Valley and hike to beautiful Williams Lake on the slopes of Mount Wheeler.
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. OnDay 2, we’ll challenge Gold Hill, New Mexico’s third tallest peak at 12,711 feet. Far less traveled than nearby Wheeler Peak, Gold Hill commands views no less spectacular than Wheeler’s. Several of the mighty “fourteeners” of Colorado line the northern horizon while Wheeler looms to the south (10 miles).
Day 3, we will van shuttle to the Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area near Taos andl 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 (8 miles), and 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 Cristos 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 (7 miles).
We’re up early on Day 5 and in the cool morning, we’re off for a mindfulness session in the sand before we 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 lunch and chocolate,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.
* Donna Roe Daniell, LCSW is the founder of Balance Your Life Coaching & Psychotherapy, which has been offering mindfulness-based therapy and coaching for women for the past 20 years. In 2016 she branded her new coaching program for women in midlife transitions called Women-in-Transformation. This program takes women on a path of healing using personal empowerment activities in nature with mindfulness tools to heal deep grief and create resilience and transformation.
|Day 1||Van shuttle to Taos Ski Area and Hike Williams Lake; evening Mindfulness Intro, overnight at El Pueblo Lodge, Taos||6|
|Day 2||Gold Hill (3,300 feet elevation gain) ; overnight at El Pueblo Lodge, Taos||10|
|Day 3||Self Compassion Intro session, hike Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area; hike to confluence of Rio Grande and Red Rivers; Shuttle to Great Sand Dunes Lodge||6|
|Day 4||Mosca Pass; Mindfulness practice sessions, overnight at Great Sand Dunes Lodge||7|
|Day 5||Morning on the Sand Dunes with outdoor Mindfulness Session, Drive to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, free time at spa; overnight at Ojo Caliente||5|
|Day 6||Hike Ojo Caliente in the morning; drive to Sante Fe, have lunch, afternoon to explore and shop, van shuttle return to Albuquerque||6|
Total Distance: 40 miles
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa
- El Pueblo Lodge