A Guide to Santa Fe Activities in Winter

A Guide to Santa Fe Activities in Winter

  • Ricky Allen, Cathy Griffith & Tara Earley
  • 02/5/24

While many people might associate Santa Fe with warm breezes and pristine high-desert scenery, this charming town with over 400 years of history can transform into a winter wonderland.

Since Santa Fe boasts over 280 sunny days per year, the city never feels like a desolate winter tundra. Instead, blue skies cast a sunny vibe even when the temperatures start to fall. As a result, winter in Santa Fe can be an enchanting experience for residents and visitors. Some towns may quiet down when winter arrives, but Santa Fe continues to pulsate with activity.

From outdoor adventures in the snow to sizzling restaurants and top cultural spaces, there is no shortage of things to do. Learn more below about the best Santa Fe winter activities.

Hit the slopes

From November until April, you can expect to find snow in Santa Fe and a lively ski culture. The city usually receives modest snowfalls of an inch or two, with a yearly accumulation of around 26 inches. When you head to higher elevations, however, the snow can pile up quickly, creating ideal skiing conditions.

Ski Santa Fe

1477 NM-475, Santa Fe, NM

Just 16 miles outside of Santa Fe, you will find fresh powder at Ski Santa Fe. At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, this popular ski resort gives its guests over 70 different runs from which to choose. Skiers can enjoy the crisp air and treetop views as they travel down two peaks within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Skiing novices can take lessons, while more advanced skiers can maneuver steep drops and bumps for a rigorous adventure.

Try snowshoeing

For those hoping to spend time in the snow without moving as quickly, snowshoeing is a great alternative to downhill skiing. Fortunately, Santa Fe provides several places to wander through the wilderness and take in the snow-capped sites. Snowshoeing is a great family-friendly activity, too, since it does not require the same balancing skills as skiing.

If you go a little higher in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Santa Fe, you will find the Aspen Vista Trail, which starts at the Aspen Vista Picnic Ground. During the fall, this trail is a hiker’s paradise, as bold fall foliage defines the scenery. During the winter, it transforms into a serene backdrop for an afternoon of snowshoeing. Be prepared for an elevation change as you ascend Tesuque Peak, but know that the views at the top are worth the extra physical effort.

Another popular place to snowshoe or cross-country ski is the Winsor Trail. This trail covers nine miles and reaches an elevation of 11,000 feet. Snowshoers enjoy the challenging climb through pine trees and past streams on snowy days. In the summer, plan a return trip to this beautiful trail to go hiking or biking.

Visit Santa Fe’s top museums

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

217 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM

If you need a break from spending time in the cold, Santa Fe has over a dozen museums to visit. Among the most popular is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, where you can see a collection of the famed artist’s lush paintings and personal belongings. With a new museum slated to open in 2026, residents will be able to learn even more about O’Keeffe’s masterful paintings of the high desert.

Museum of International Folk Art

On Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM

Other attractions include the Museum of International Folk Art, which encompasses 80,000 square feet and the world’s largest collection of international folk art. In its 70 years, the museum has grown to include miniature street scenes, textiles, beadwork, and dolls representing a wide range of cultures.

If you are struggling to make up your mind as to which cultural space to visit, Canyon Road has you covered. This famed Santa Fe arts district includes a staggering 100 artist studios or galleries in a half-mile stretch. You will find examples of Latino and Native American art housed in adobe buildings, plus contemporary offerings from practicing artists.

Indulge in the city’s culinary happenings

With a population of just under 90,000 residents, Santa Fe boasts an impressive assortment of restaurants and food-focused festivals. And when the temperatures dip below freezing, the area’s culinary masters crank up their efforts to keep foodies and families happy.

Santa Fe Restaurant Week, for example, brings together inventive prix fixe menus from fine dining establishments at the end of February each year. In January, you can taste the area’s best craft brews at Winterbrew, an event that pulls together selections from 17 area breweries. Also, in January or February, soup aficionados gather to compete for top billing in the Souper Bowl. This event raises money for a local non-profit while treating attendees to savory samplings of delectable soups.

Discover fresh produce at the farmers’ market

In many cities, farmers’ markets close up shop during the winter season. In Santa Fe, however, the city’s farmers’ market stays open year-round. Every Saturday, residents can count on finding the best seasonal produce, freshest meats, and artisanal products sourced from local ingredients. Housed in a pavilion in the city’s Railyard district, the market has become a favorite way to support local vendors while experiencing the vibrant ambiance of Santa Fe at any time of year.

Find fun winter activities in Santa Fe

Living in Santa Fe means having access to some of the country’s top winter activities. From indulging in tasty local cuisine to wandering through the forest on snowshoes, the possibilities are endless. While visitors can queue up an itinerary of activities for a fun getaway, residents can take advantage of wintertime fun whenever they want. Find Santa Fe homes for sale so you can invest in a comfortable retreat after a day of skiing, snowshoeing, or browsing the city’s excellent cultural spaces.

To make your home in Santa Fe, you will want to connect with a real estate team that understands the area and brings a track record of success. The Ricky Allen, Cathy Griffith, and Tara Earley Team knows Santa Fe luxury real estate well and can help you hone in on the ideal space to meet your needs. Whether you are relocating from out of state or seeking a new place to call home, reach out to us so we can answer your questions and help you find the perfect property.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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