Santa Fe National Forest Guide

Santa Fe National Forest is home to several spectacular peaks, four beautiful wilderness areas, and hundreds of miles of scenic byways with quite a bit of history. One of the park's most breathtaking locations features the 15-mile wide crater of a dormant volcano located in the Valles Caldera National Preserve on the forest's southside. Hikers will enjoy over 1,000 miles of trails that blaze through lush meadows, mountainous terrain, and fields of aspens. Some of the other activities visitors can experience are mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, and rock climbing. There are also 23 campgrounds to choose from and two ski areas to explore at Santa Fe Ski Basin and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

RV Rentals Near Santa Fe National Forest

Shape Hiking Trails

Santa Fe National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest is packed with plenty to see and do as you spend your days exploring the forest on geocaching adventures, fishing on any one of its 620 miles of lakes and streams, and spotting some of the indigenous wildlife such as turkeys, bighorn sheep, elk, and even black bears. 

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to Santa Fe National Forest

Address: 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508

Fee: Day-use fee $5.0

The Santa Fe National Forest is an amazing place to connect with nature and spend some time exploring the natural beauty of the Southwest. Opportunities for adventure and relaxation abound throughout the wilderness as you create unforgettable memories on hiking, backpacking, and fishing excursions in the breathtaking Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Getaways to Santa Fe National Forest are perfect for any season, but no matter when you choose to visit, an RV is a fantastic way to experience the "Land of Enchantment" in comfort and style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Santa Fe National Forest

What type of wildlife lives in Santa Fe National Forest?

Wildlife in the Santa Fe National Forest includes turkeys, bighorn sheep, black bears, and elk. There is a variety of birds in the forest, plus plenty of fish in the mountain streams and lakes.

Is there a fee to get into Santa Fe National Forest?

No, there is no fee to get into Santa Fe National Forest. There are fees and permits required for certain activities in the forest, however, or to use certain day-use areas.

Does Santa Fe National Forest offer free camping sites?

Yes, Santa Fe National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest, and dispersed campsites are free. Campers must bring all of their supplies, including water, with them to camp and must leave no trace when they're finished.

Is there a limit to how long you can camp in Santa Fe National Forest?

Yes, there is a limit to how long you can camp in Santa Fe National Forest. You can camp in dispersed sites for up to 14 consecutive days within a 30-day period before needing to move. Developed campgrounds may have their own limits on how long visitors may camp there, so check with the campground to be sure.

What is the best time to visit Santa Fe National Forest?

The best time to visit Santa Fe National Forest is in September. Fall usually comes early in the mountains, so you have a good chance of seeing beautiful fall foiliage. However, temperatures are often still warm, so you can get outdoors to hike and enjoy the scenery. Finally, the summer crowds have disappeared so you can enjoy the outdoors without a lot of people around.