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Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest is one of the five National Forests in New Mexico and covers 1.6 million acres.

The Santa Fe National Forest lies in the heart of north central New Mexico. Within the forest’s borders are lush meadows, miles of conifer trees, and a dormant volcano with a 15-mile wide crater in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Visitors to the forest can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking and many other outdoor recreation activities. Residents can maintain their traditional and cultural uses of the national forest and forest products.

The highest point in the forest is the summit of Truchas Peak at 13,103 feet and located in the Pecos Wilderness . At the lowest altitude, the forest is 6,000 feet.

The forest boasts four wilderness areas, miles of scenic and historic byways, and two Wild and Scenic rivers. In the winter, come cross country skiing, or visit one of the area's downhill ski resorts, including the Santa Fe Ski Basin or the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

Learn more

Fire - Fire is one of the most natural prominent forces shaping the Santa Fe National Forest. Learn more about fire ecology and fire management here.

The upper reaches of the mighty Rio Grande run through this National Forest. Respect the River and Respect the Rio are multi-faceted restoration and education programs designed to balance the need for preservation of riparian and flood-prone areas with needs of the public. Learn more here.

New Mexico Forests

First-timer’s Adventure

In winter, cross country ski near Black Canyon, 7 miles up Hyde Park-NM road 475. This three-mile round trip trail is relatively easy and short. It is an excellent place to begin cross-country skiing. It is also a good area for kids. To get there, go to the Black Canyon Campground. The campground is closed during the winter and the gate is locked, but is available as access to cross-country skiers.

During warmer months you can do any number of short hikes from thesame Black Canyon campground. Camp just outside the campground and look for the "Black Canyon Trail, #181." This is an easy and scenic three-mile trip, great for the kids or a mellow afternoon stroll.

Statistics

State(s):

New Mexico

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Santa Fe

Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

OHV Use
The level of interest in off-highway vehicle use on the Santa Fe National Forest has grown quickly over the last ten years or so. Use has grown from a relatively low level, with minor and localized impacts, to levels that are causing concern for resource damage. Learn more about restrictions and rules before you go by contacting a local ranger station or calling the contact number below.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.