Adventure Trip New Mexico and Colorado: Desert Mountain Escape

Women traveling together in small groups to the ruins of New Mexico
September 21-28, 2024
September 21-28, 2025
LOCATION: New Mexico and Colorado, USA
2024 PRICE: $3,295
2025 PRICE: $3,595

Women’s Adventure Travel Colorado and New Mexico

Join us on this newly reinvigorated itinerary! New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, is conveniently adjacent to our favorite part of Colorado – the San Juan Mountains! This is a perfect playground for Canyon Calling adventurers who are looking for a primarily hiking and exploring vacation. We’ll enjoy the gorgeous mountain towns of New Mexico and Colorado. We’ll soak in hot springs, explore ancient ruins and visit the highlights in Santa Fe and Taos. We’ll stay and hike in Georgia O’Keefe country, where we form a deep appreciation of the red canyons, magical mesas and soft light that Georgia O’Keefe loved so deeply. We’ve also included a stay at a tranquil and sacred mineral springs resort and spa offering restorative body therapies. And oh, did we mention an Artisan restaurant to die for..?  This refreshed itinerary brings the best of this area to your hiking bucket list. We’ve even added in a new National Monument to discover. Fall is a perfect time in the high desert, with mild day time temperatures and cool nights. Join us out west on this inspirational escape to the high desert mountains!

Desert Mountain Escape Activities at a Glance

  • Chimney Rock Natl Monument

  • Mineral Springs resort and spa

  • Visit World Heritage Site

  • Bandelier National Monument

  • 2 night stay in Santa Fe

  • Explore & hike in Ouray

  • 2 night stay in Durango

  • Gorgeous photo opps

  • Mesa Verde National Park

  • Hike at Ghost Ranch

Desert Mountain Escape Itinerary

Day 1

Your Canyon Calling Trip Leader will meet you at 2pm at the Albuquerque Airport and we’ll drive north to Santa Fe to check into our hotel for two nights. You’ll have some time to explore the wonderful galleries, enjoy the shops or museums.  Santa Fe also has a multitude of architectural and cultural subjects for photographers.  We’ll dine at a favorite local restaurant where we’ll sample the New Mexican cuisine. Overnight Santa Fe, NM

Day 2

After breakfast we’ll drive to Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country, as well as evidence of human presence going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities. We’ll hike Frijoles Canyon, containing some ancestral pueblo homes, kivas, rock paintings and petroglyphs. Some of the dwellings were rock structures built on the canyon floor; others were “caveats” produced by voids in the canyon wall and carved out further by humans.  After exploring, we’ll have lunch in the park restaurant and poke our heads in the gift shop. Next, we’ll head back to Santa Fe with some stops, and some free time this afternoon to enjoy this artsy town. We’ll regroup for dinner. Overnight Santa Fe, NM.

Your format and company sure draws some incredible women. We had more than a few belly laughs along the way.
Kris T, VA

Day 3

After breakfast, we’re off to Taos to explore the unique plaza area and its shops. If the Taos Pueblo is open, we will visit – hours and open days are subject to change by tribal choice. Next, we’re off to the Rio Grande Gorge for some wonderful photographs with our hike along the West Rim Trail. This breathtaking trail features incredible views of one of North America’s most iconic rivers, exploring the rugged beauty of the Rio Grande Gorge, a narrow chasm carved by the river millions of years ago. Along the way, we hike along cliffs and rocky outcrops with panoramic vistas of the Rio Grande far below. We’ll stop at a local organic diner for lunch, then it’s time to head to Ojo Caliente, a tranquil and sacred mineral springs resort and spa. Yes, this is an overnight stay at this Spa Finder-voted “Top 10 Best Hot Springs Spas in the World”. These springs are deemed sacred by the Native American tribes of Northern New Mexico – a gathering place and source of healing for hundreds, even thousands of years. This is the only hot springs in the world with a remarkable combination of four different types of mineral water.  After soaking and relaxation, we’ll enjoy the onsite Artisan restaurant which provides a real foodies experience and charming atmosphere. We’ll sleep well in our comfy beds tonight. Overnight Ojo Caliente, NM.

Day 4

We’ll have a morning hike to greet the day along with a delicious breakfast before saying our farewell to Ojo!  A scenic ride through the mountains north brings us to Pagosa Springs for lunch. After lunch we’ll explore and hike in Chimney Rock National Monument. Chimney Rock represents one of the largest Pueblo II (900-1150 AD) communities in southwestern Colorado and is considered a Chacoan cultural “outlier.” The area continues to hold special significance for today’s Native American peoples. More than 150 documented archaeological resources grouped into eight clusters at Chimney Rock date back to the Pueblo II period. Architectural structures include pit houses, great kivas, and great houses. The pinnacles that give Chimney Rock its name frame multiple astronomical alignments. The Ancestral Puebloans incorporated their knowledge of astronomy into the design of their community. Today Chimney Rock is one of the best recognized archaeo-astronomical resources in North America, with alignments with the northern lunar standstill, summer solstice, equinoxes and Crab Nebula. We drive the short distance to check into our hotel for two nights, get cleaned up and enjoy dinner.  Overnight Durango, CO.

I cannot tell you how much I respect your attention to detail and the quality of your trips.
Linda Z, NY

Day 5

After breakfast, we’re off to explore the adorable mountain town of Ouray, often referred to as the “Switzerland of America”, keeping much of its authentic turn-of-the-century charm. But first! We’ll hike in and enjoy Box Canon Falls. Box Canon Falls is the culmination of Canyon Creek narrowing and spilling thousands of gallons a minute of water over the falls. At this most spectacular geological formation, the 285-foot waterfall plummets into a narrow quartzite canyon. Note: The Box Cañon is recognized by the National Audubon Society as a birding hot spot too. We’ll stop by the Visitor Center, then we hike! There are three interpretive trails that range from easy to moderately difficult and we’ll do them all. The Falls Trail is a mostly level, easy, 500-foot walk into the canyon. The High Bridge Trail takes us up 200 feet in a half-mile round trip hike. Along the trail are beautiful views of the town and the high peaks of the Amphitheater Cirque. The Native Plant Loop is a short, easy stroll with river sounds, trees and shrubs, and plant markers to help identify the local flora of the Box Cañon. After we thoroughly enjoy this natural setting, it’s into town we go. The whole town is registered as a Historic District and includes many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. We’ll have lunch and enjoy views of the steep, beautiful San Juan Mountains, known to their original inhabitants, the Utes, as the Shining Mountains. We’ll have time to stroll through town, get more photos, have a bit of shopping and/or some gelato, before heading back to Durango for the evening and dinner. Overnight Durango, CO.

Day 6

After breakfast, we’ll pack up and go explore Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and Tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past. This World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth. As we walk through Spruce Tree House, we get a wonderful sense of the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.  If they still allow it, you may even climb down into a kiva, a room used for religious rituals. We’ll have our picnic lunch, and hike some more. Once we’ve had our fill, our destination this afternoon is Abiquiu – yes, Georgia O’Keefe country!  We’ll check into our lodge and enjoy dinner. Overnight Abiquiu, NM.

My first visit to the Southwest was chock full of grand memories. You made the trip so relaxing and fun. It was like traveling with true “road sisters!”
Regina E, MD

Day 7

It’s fun to get up early in the cool air, enjoy some quiet time before breakfast, and watch the desert come alive.  After breakfast, we’re off to Ghost Ranch – this educational retreat space offers a museum, trading post, and with our day pass in hand, we’ll enjoy a wonderful two-hour hike that takes us up through red rocks and white gypsum near Kitchen Mesa. The red and yellow cliffs of this mesa were favorite subjects for O’Keefe’s paintings.  Georgia O’Keefe once said “You enter the landscape of vast vistas, table-topped mesas, tall cliffs, the Rio Chama bordered by huge old cottonwood trees, mountains in the distance and more beauty around every bend in the winding road. It is not a country of light on things, it is a country of things in light.” The views are spectacular, and you can see why this ranch was so beloved by her.  After our hike, we’ll have lunch and then it’s time to drive back to Albuquerque. Here we check into our airport hotel to relax a bit before our farewell dinner.  As we reflect on all of our amazing experiences this past week, we’ll say farewell for now. Overnight Albuquerque, NM.

Day 8

Enjoy breakfast and the amenities of the hotel before the complimentary hotel to airport transfer for your flight home or stay and play in the Land of Enchantment!

What’s Included:

  • 7 days/7 nights fully guided tour by a Canyon Calling Trip Leader
  • Lodging accommodations in double occupancy
  • All land transportation as specified in this itinerary
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8
  • All activities as specified in this itinerary
  • All entrance fees, National Park passes and permits

What’s Not Included:

  • Round-trip transportation from/to Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Alcoholic beverages and other items of a personal nature
  • Gratuity to your Trip Leader at the end of the tour


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