“We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor…the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thundercloud and the rain…some life pasturing freely where we never wander.” –Henry David Thoreau
I’ve lived in Santa Fe off and on for the last two years, and in that time I’ve participated in nearly every outdoor pursuit available to a human bound by finances and gravity. Few places on earth offer such a varied palette of adventure, situated as Santa Fe is at the intersection of alpine and high desert biomes. With that adventure occasionally comes danger, but the rewards, for me, have always outweighed the moderate risks. Yet those who thrive on challenges tend to escalate them. Here you’ll find stories of some of my favorite nearby adventures, in order of escalating toughness, with maybe a flyspeck of danger. (We’ve also ranked them on a 1-5 scale for difficulty, danger and fun—1 being the least and 5 being the most.) Nothing crazy here. Just some fun moments in places worth wandering.