HIKING THE HILLS AROUND SANTA FE
We love the landscapes surrounding Santa Fe. From the grass and juniper covered hills south of town to the stark rocky canyons and mountains to the north, there is plenty of territory to hike within an hour's drive.
Cerrillos Hills State Park
This small state park on Route 14 ( the Turquoise Trail) between Santa Fe and Madrid preserves some mines from a brief period in the late 1800's. The mines were dug with hand tools and the miners endured many hardships so it's probably good the boom only lasted a couple of years.
34 million years ago magma oozed through the the earth's crust in this area and deposited veins of galena, a lead-silver sulfide, manganese, zinc, iron and turquoise in rock fractures beneath the surface. Millions of years later the surface rocks had eroded enough to expose these veins of minerals. Prospectors dug the mines by hand.
It was a beautiful spring day. The flowers were out and so were the insects. We spied several little red and black ones that we had never seen before.
If you want to know what this is check this link:
Bandelier National Monument
Towering walls of volcanic tuff line the canyon where ancient puebloans lived and farmed. Caves carved into the soft rock, petroglyphs and free standing stone structures show evidence of human habitation back 11,000 years. It has been a national park since 1916.
Looking at this beautiful canyon today it's easy to see why they settled here- pretty views, source of water, shelter and food.