Forest and Parks in Santa Fe

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Forest and Parks

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The Santa Fe National Forest is right in the city's backyard and includes the Dome Wilderness (5,200 acres in the volcanically formed Jémez Mountains) and the Pecos Wilderness (223,333 acres of high mountains, forests, and meadows at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains chain). The 12,500-foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the name translates as "Blood of Christ," for the red glow they radiate at sunset) fringe the city's east side, constant and gentle reminders of the mystery and power of the natural world. To the south and west, sweeping high desert is punctuated by several less formidable mountain ranges. The dramatic shifts in elevation and topography around Santa Fe make for a wealth of outdoor activities. Head to the mountains for fishing, camping, and skiing; to the nearby Rio Grande for kayaking and rafting; and almost anywhere in the area for bird-watching, hiking, and biking.

Santa Fe National Forest Office. For information on general conditions in the forest, including advisories about areas closed because of forest fires (unfortunately, these are a fairly regular occurrence each summer), call or visit the helpful website of the Santa Fe National Forest Office. 11 Forest La., South Side, Santa Fe, NM, 87508. 505/438–5300. www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe.

New Mexico Public Lands Information Center. For a one-stop shop for information about recreation on public lands, which include national and state parks, contact the New Mexico Public Lands Information Center. It has maps, reference materials, licenses, permits, and myriad online resources—just about everything you need to plan an outdoor adventure in Santa Fe and the surrounding region. 301 Dinosaur Trail, South Side, Santa Fe, NM, 87508. 505/954–2002 or 877/276–9404. www.publiclands.org.

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