Hello New Mexico! With Summer in full swing, it’s easy to get comfortable on the couch watching Hulu and Netflix. It’s also easy to forget how lucky we are to be surrounded by the beautiful landscapes that define New Mexico. In this article, I hope you find inspiration for some fun weekend trips to just a few of our natural wonders. If you do decide to visit any of the following parks, make sure to tag us in your social media post @SantaFeToday for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page! This article is the second part of our Summer Fun series, so make sure to check back for more weekend plans! (Find part 1 HERE)
1.GEORGIA O’KEEFES FAVORITE: THE RUST COLORED HILLS OF GHOST RANCH
This is maybe my favorite location in this series. The still beauty of ghost ranch is easy to feel once there. The rust colored hills are not steep and surrounded by wide open space, allowing for everyone to take their own path without being lost. This is a great location to be quiet and reflect, to just be around nature! Children and adults alike will enjoy photography, sketching, and writing in this space that once inspired Georgia O’Keeffe to move to our wonderful state and create international works of art. There is something about the contrast of the red dirt below you and the blue sky above you that makes a space of absolute serenity. The ancient history also defines the space, being known for an unusually high concentration of dinosaur fossils, how cool is that!
If you aren’t into a solo adventure, Ghost Ranch hosts tons of workshops and events for the community. From painting, to meditation, to tours, they have it all. If you want to look at the events they offer, click here. I cannot recommend this place enough, so make sure to get yourself and the family out to Ghost Ranch for some spectacular experiences!
2.THE POPULAR CONE FORMATIONS AT TENT ROCKS
Just a short drive out of Santa Fe, Tent Rocks is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike! Visitors will find themselves wandering among unique cone-like formations ranging from just a few feet all the way up to 90 feet. Along the way there are cave hide outs, obsidian tears, and huge toppled over trees, great for group family pictures! Unlike Ghost Ranch, where it’s more about taking it all in, Tent Rocks offers several hiking paths to trek through the park. To get to the highest peak is only a 1.5 mile long hike, so the whole family can make the hike together on a nice summer day. Just don’t forget to bring snacks and lots of water!
The park opens at 8 AM and closes at 4 PM. This is a popular destination though, so don’t be surprised if the wait time climbs all the way up to an hour and a half! If you want to get in without a wait, and also finish the hike before the hot New Mexico sun is high in the sky, make sure to get there between 8 AM and 9 AM.
3.TOWERING WHITE ROCK FORMATIONS AT PLAZA BLANCA
Another small part in Georgia O’Keeffe’s history is Plaza Blanca, being located just around a 20 minute drive out of Ghost Ranch. These formations inspired O’Keeffes series, “the white place”. This locations activities involve a combination of hiking, exploring, and admiring. This is a place where you won’t want to forget your camera! The formations loom dozens of feet above your head and surround you as you walk through the space.
If you want to have a day out in nature with the family, this is a great place to be. There is plenty of room for energetic types to run and hike around while still being serene enough for those that go to nature to relax. This is a great place for a picnic and some painting, just make sure to clean up after yourself! I recommend that you look online for some cheap, small canvasses and stop by your local craft store to pick up some paint and paintbrushes for a cheap and interactive family weekend trip!