Recreation

Rising from deserts, meadows and grasslands, the mesas, canyons and peaks of the Santa Fe National Forest are a place for re-creation. Whether you are gathering with family or gathering pinon nuts or firewood, the forest is a "querencia" - a special place. The past meets the present in this environment where year-round day use, water-focused recreation and trail opportunities offer a refuge in the cool mountain air. Thousands of cultural and archaeological sites reflect the Santa Fe National Forest’s rich historical heritage and the many cultures that value this landscape.

If you are interested in a specific Ranger District, click "Find an Area" on the right. Click on the Ranger District name or Recreational Area for an overview, or the + for a listing of sites and trails.

 

Know before you go...

If you plan to visit the Santa Fe National Forest, know before you go and "be outdoor safe."

  • Check the weather forecast and always be prepared for seasonal fluctuations. The summer season can bring monsoons, lightning and flash flooding.  The winter season may bring heavy snow at higher elevations. Use good judgment and basic safety precautions when hiking, fishing or camping. Remember that you may not always have cell phone service on the forest.
  • Forest roads susceptible to damage under severe weather conditions will be closed for the winter to protect public health and safety, infrastructure and natural resources.
  • Continue to monitor national, state and local guidance on COVID-19 precautions.
  • Please use designated trash cans for garbage. If trash cans are full, follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out your garbage and disposing of it at home.

 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Aspen Basin Campground Open to Visitor
Aspen Vista Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Baker Flat Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Battleship Rock Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Battleship Rock Trailhead Open to Visitor Open
Big Eddy Boat Take-out Open to Visitor
Big Pine Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Big Tesuque Campground Open to Visitor
Black Canyon Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Bluffs Fishing Site Open to Visitor
Borrego Mesa Campground Open to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas.
Chavez Canyon Boat Launch Open to Visitor
Clear Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season.
Clear Creek Campground Group Area Closed to Visitor Closed for the season. Reservations for the 2022 season of use can be made at Recreation.gov.
Clear Creek Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Cowles Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
Cowles Ponds Fishing Site Open to Visitor Please follow  Leave No Trace outdoor ethics for caring for public lands.
Coyote Canyon Camping Area Open to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Avoid crowded areas to maintain social distancing and comply with state public health orders limiting group size. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Dark Canyon Fishing Site Open to Visitor
E.V. Long Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season
East Fork Trailhead #137 Closed to Visitor Closed for the season. 
El Porvenir Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Field Tract Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Holy Ghost Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Holy Ghost Group Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season. This site can be reserved by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or online at Recreation.gov.
Iron Gate Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Iron Gate Trailhead Closed to Visitor 2021 Status: Road gate to access trailhead is closed for the winter; walk-ins permitted; use trails at your own risk.
Jacks Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Jacks Creek Group Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Jacks Creek Horse Camp Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Jacks Creek Trail #257 Open to Visitor Please follow Leave No Trace outdoor ethics for caring for public lands. 2021 Status: Road gate to access trailhead at Jacks Creek Campground is closed for the winter; walk-ins permitted; use trails in winter weather conditions at your own risk. Trailhead restrooms closed.  Conditions: Trail has been cleared of dead fall between the trailhead and the junction with Sebadillosos Trail 245 beneath Trailriders Wall. New trees may fall across the trail at any time. Equestrian users are encouraged to carry a hand saw should the trail become impassable. Mechanized saws are prohibited in Wilderness areas. 
Jemez Falls Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season. Create a reservation up to six months in advance through Recreation.gov or by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777. 
Jemez Falls Group Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Jemez Falls Trailhead Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Johnson Mesa Campground Closed to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas.Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
La Cueva Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
La Junta Fishing Site Open to Visitor Open year round. Please follow CDC guidance for social distancing and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics for caring for public lands.
Las Casitas Fishing Site Open to Visitor Open year round. Please follow CDC guidance for social distancing and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics for caring for public lands.
Las Conchas Day Use Site Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
Links Tract Campground Open to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Little Tesuque Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Lower Dalton Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Oak Flats Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Park only in designated areas. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Paliza Family Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
Paliza Group Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the 2021 season. To make reservations for 2022, please visit Recreation.gov.
Panchuela Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Panchuela Trailhead Closed to Visitor 2021 Status: Road gate to access trailhead is closed for the winter; walk-ins permitted; use trails in winter weather conditions at your own risk. Trailhead restrooms closed. No potable water. The water system has been winterized for the season.  
Redondo Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the 2021 Season.
Resumidero Camping Area Open to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Avoid crowded areas to maintain social distancing and comply with state public health orders limiting group size. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
Rincon Fishing Site Open to Visitor
Rio Chama Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season.
Rio Chama Campground, Small Group Sites Closed to Visitor Closed for season.
Rio De Las Vacas Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Rio Puerco Campground Open to Visitor Limited services may be available. Please be prepared and recreate responsibly. Park only in designated areas. Avoid crowded areas to maintain social distancing and comply with state public health orders limiting group size. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information.
River's Bend Fishing Site Open to Visitor
San Antonio Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
San Antonio Group Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the season.
San Antonio Hot Springs Open to Visitor Gate to Forest Service Road 376 N will be closed for the season on 12/27/2021. Visitors can make use of small parking area for non-motorized access while the gate is closed.  
San Diego Canyon Overlook Overlook Site Open to Visitor
San Diego Fishing Site Open to Visitor
Seven Springs Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Spanish Queen Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Spence Hot Spring Trailhead Open to Visitor Please pack out all trash. 
Upper Dalton Fishing Access Fishing Site Open to Visitor Please follow Leave No Trace outdoor ethics for caring for public lands.
Vista Grande Overlook Observation Site Open to Visitor
Vista Linda Campground Open to Visitor Open on a first come first serve basis.
Windy Bridge Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for season
Winsor Trailhead and Winsor Creek Fishing Area Closed to Visitor 2021 Status: Road gate to access trailhead and fishing area is closed for the winter; walk-ins permitted; use trails in winter weather conditions at your own risk. Trailhead restrooms closed. 

Spotlights

Espanola Ranger District

Aspens in full color at Santa Fe Ski Basin

Española Ranger District contains the western segment of the iconic Pecos Wilderness, the Caja Del Rio Plateau, and many more scenic areas. The Truchas Peaks border the Pecos/Las Vegas and Española ranger district boundaries and are a popular hiking destination. Every fall, people are drawn to Hyde Park Road to view the enchanting golden fall foliage of the quaking aspen.  There are plenty of developed sites to stop and enjoy the view! Both the Santa Fe and Los Alamos areas have trails nearby maintained by the Forest Service, providing an escape from city life and the summer heat.

There are four geographic regions that make up the Espanola Ranger District within the Santa Fe National Forest. These are the Forest lands South of Abiquiu, the Forest lands around Los Alamos, the Forest Lands West of Santa Fe known as the Caja del Rio, and the Forest Land North of Santa Fe within the Sangre de Cristo Range. A general map of popular recreation sites and trails in each of these areas can be seen by selecting the map area of interest below:

Map Disclaimer

 

Coyote Ranger District

Landscape View of Coyote Ranger District

The Coyote Ranger District, the northernmost district of the Santa Fe National Forest, encompasses 265,100 acres. The Chama River Canyon Wilderness and the northern section of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness provide amazing recreation opportunities. Visitors delight in floating the Wild and Scenic Rio Chama or hiking in the San Pedro Parks to escape the summer heat. The Coyote Ranger District also has 40 miles of the famous Continental Divide Scenic Trail system passing through its canyons and forests.

Cuba Ranger District

The Cuba Ranger District is located in the western part of the Santa Fe National Forest and shares the San Pedro Parks Wilderness with the Coyote Ranger District. San Pedro Parks Wilderness is easily accessed through the San Gregorio Lake Trailhead, and the district also provides access to the Continental Divide Scenic Trail. The Rio De Las Vacas and Clear Creek Campgrounds provide visitors with scenic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s the perfect weekend getaway and a respite from the New Mexico summer heat. Bull elk bugle in the fall, and quaking aspen change their colors to gold as temperatures cool.

Jemez Ranger District

Landscape view picnic site of Jemez Ranger District

The Jemez Ranger District is home to the Jemez National Recreation Area, located within the Jemez Mountains. A drive through the district reveals multiple cultural landmarks and impressive geological formations. Red rock canyons, round peaks, colorful mesas and clear blue skies provide an inspiring backdrop. Cottonwood gallery forests dot the lower recreation sites and provide shade for anglers in the summer, turning brilliant hues of gold and yellow in the fall. In the higher elevations, quaking aspen take over and display their foliage of gold and red. Trails lead to hot springs and waterfalls, glimpses of the Valles Caldera, and majestic views of the mountains. A visit to the district will leave you enchanted by the land that the people of the Jemez Pueblo have lived in for generations.

Pecos - Las Vegas Ranger District

View of a mountain hillside with yellow aspen and pine trees.

The Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District is home to the iconic Pecos Wilderness, and the headwaters of the Pecos River originate from the district. A vast system of trails provide plenty of day hiking and backpacking for adventure seekers of all levels. Multiple campgrounds like Jack’s Creek, Iron Gate and Panchuela make great base camps for those exploring the wilderness. The Wild and Scenic Pecos River Corridor provides excellent stream fishing. The district, which extends east toward Las Vegas, is rich with history and wildlife. The Las Vegas side has trails that also extend into the Pecos Wilderness. From hunting to hiking, recreation opportunities on this district are plentiful.

Areas & Activities


https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/santafe/recreation