The New Mexico Colors of the Fall Equinox

Aspens begin the color change on the day of the Fall Equinox.
A view from 9590 feet above Santa Fe, through the smoky haze

The only good news about Covid, and it’s not good news for those in the tourist business, is that there are less tourists taking in the gold-gilding of New Mexico’s high country.

These are colors that make the fall season spectacular in New Mexico

This quick day trip from Santa Fe takes the road up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin, Hyde Park Road. It winds pass the ever-popular Ten-Thousand Waves Spa. The Asian-inspired spa is now by appointment only. It’s a worthy appointment for a chill-out day.

Past the spa, the road begins its curvacious climb past Hyde Memorial State Park. Lovely campsites, but passing vehicle noise has excluded us from camping there. Other camping opportunities along Hyde Park Road are Black Canyon Campground and Big Tesuque Campground. Be sure to first study their websites if you’re looking for a place to pitch your tent and sleeping bags.

The walk-in trail at Big Tesuque Campgrounds

The joy of this wee road trip is the amount of hiking trails available. If you have acclimated to the high altitudes (way over 9000 feet), a favorite trail of ours, just past the Big Tesuque Campground is the Aspen Vista Hiking Trail and Picnic Site. Wide trails, decently groomed, and very, very popular by both locals and visitors.

Gilda loves the high country. No problem for that Eurovan! We wanted to stop and get some of the top of the mountain photos from the roadside, but eh, it’s just a bit too curvy to pull over for those photos. God forbid some hot wheels clip Gilda’s back end while I’m trying to get that photo of yellowing aspens at over 10,000 feet. (Long lens only!)

On the west side of the road is a viewing pull out. Wait! Catch it on your way downhill.

Hyde Park Road ends at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.

Our best advice to enjoying the fall colors near Santa Fe, savor, bring a picnic, take your time, but beat the snows because we’ve been snowbound as early at the first week of October.

The creek at Big Tesuque Campgrounds urges you to sit a bit and let nature calm your soul.

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