Take a jaunt on one of the highest mountain roads in New Mexico. Elk Mountain, located 11,661 feet above sea level, provides adventurers with stunning 360 degree views, from the rugged Truchas Peaks to iconic Hermit Peak, and from the southern most tip of the Rockies, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, to the Plains. This tour is particularly dramatic during the fall season when the aspens are changing to their glorious golden foliage.
Perched high on mountaintops, manned fire towers provide an excellent viewpoint for spotting wildfires. Popular in the 1900s, many are unutilized these days. Take a scenic ride, ascending over 3,000 feet and across four vegetation zones, to a historic and unique lookout tower built in 1940. Enjoy the expansive views from our turnaround point at 10,200 feet, particularly striking in the fall when the aspens have changed color.
Ride the Pinzgauer through a wide open arroyo, drifting occasionally in the sand, and then along a narrow dirt trail, surrounded by a juniper and piñon forest, to the breathtaking Diablo Canyon, a popular local rock climbing area. The 4×4 adventure takes you back in time with stories about the town of Buckman and the old “Chili Line”, a narrow-gauge railroad that linked Santa Fe to Antonito, Colorado from 1887 to 1941.
A very remote and difficult place to access, yet a short ride from Santa Fe, the vistas at this destination will astound you. View wild horses, Cowboy and Indian ruins with pottery shards, and spectacular painted desert landscapes. For those who sign up for a longer tour, we will show you petroglyphs, petrified wood, caves and cliff dwellings.
The Rio Grande, which flows from Colorado through New Mexico, Texas and into the Gulf of Mexico, has been an integral part of the southwest for hundreds of years. Ride the high desert trails of Caja del Rio in our Pinzgauer and walk to an overlook that provides stunning views of the river and White Rock Canyon. Located only 20 miles west of Santa Fe, our destination is off the beaten path and a great place to learn about the Rio Grande rift and New Mexico’s geologic history.
Take an exceptionally fun ride in our Pinzgauer to the west of Santa Fe and explore one of New Mexico’s many volcanic fields. The Caja del Rio Plateau, or Cerros del Rio, offers a rugged landscape, dotted by cinder cones and sparsely covered with piñon pines and juniper trees. The dirt roads that traverse the plateau are rarely utilized, offering explorers the opportunity to truly enjoy nature.
Take a ride along the Historic Route 66 and hike a portion of La Bajada Hill, with its switchbacks leading down to the town of La Bajada and Cochiti Pueblo. The high desert views are stunning along this historic and still unpaved trail that in earlier years served as the royal road from Mexico City to Santa Fe, the famed Camino Real.
Another spectacular 4×4 adventure at the Caja del Rio plateau, this excursion takes you to Tor Hill with views of the Cerros del Rio volcanic fields, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Jemez Mountains. Take an optional walk to view the remnants of New Mexico’s volcanic history or simply enjoy the magnificent vistas.
Take a scenic dirt road from the village of Tesuque up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Drive through a forest of majestic ponderosa pines and beautiful aspens to a viewpoint near the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Enjoy the crisp air, ten thousand feet above sea level, and delight in one of New Mexico’s stunning sunsets.
We offer these sunset tours from mid-April through mid-November, weather permitting, departing from Santa Fe approximately 2 hours before sunset.
This is a full day Pinzgauer excursion that will take you from downtown Santa Fe up into the Jemez Mountains. Ascending from 7,000 feet to 11,500 feet, enjoy spectacular mountain views as you drive along 31 Mile Road near Española, the Lowrider Capital of the World, towards Chicoma Mountain. We’ll continue up into the mountains, stopping along the way for a picnic lunch and an exhilarating snowshoe hike. Please call a week in advance to book a New Mexico Polar Expedition.