Wander west down San Francisco Street. Take a left on Guadalupe Street and hop on the paved path along the river. After crossing St. Francis Drive, the River Trail begins and travels to Frenchy’s Field, where you can trudge through the sandy riverbed arroyo or turn back toward town.
Walk east up Palace Avenue and turn left onto Cerro Gordo. The narrow road is steep, and eventually, it turns dusty. The gradual incline quickly takes you high enough above town to look down onto the river valley. On the left, the Cerro Gordo Park is a good place to pause on a bench, or wander down to the river to stroll along the lush, tree-covered path by the water. If you choose to continue up Cerro Gordo, you can pick up the Dale Ball Trail where the road veers sharply to right. If you choose to wander it, bring a lot of water and follow the well-marked trail signs. The views of town and the mountains are breathtaking.
Head East on Cathedral, and make a left onto Alameda. At the intersection with Paseo de Peralta, cross the street and turn right, followed by an immediate left onto Canyon. Wander up Canyon and enjoy the galleries. You’ll eventually pass El Farol on the right and the Teahouse on your left. Keep walking until you reach the Patrick Smith park on your left—this is a great place to stop for a lounge on some of Santa Fe’s greenest grass—and turn right onto Acequia Madre, or Mother Ditch. Follow the acequia or take a detour onto the roads that branch to the left. Eventually, you will hit Garcia, where you can stop at Downtown Subscription for a pick-me-up, or turn right to finish your loop at Canyon.
Head west along San Francisco Street until you hit Paseo de Peralta. Veer left and cross St. Francis. Follow Camino de las Crucitas up to the Frank S Ortiz Dog Park. Stop at the park to wander through the arroyos that branch away from it, or take in the view of Santa Fe down below. Then, where the road branches just beyond the park, follow Old Buckman Road. This is a gorgeous walk—every mountain range is in sight: The Jemez to the west, the Sandias to the south and the Sangres to the east.
For Gordon Bunker’s story on a walkable Santa Fe, click here.