There is so much to see and do in the Santa Fe area that it is hard to do it all. We only spent 5 days there and still could not get through everything. Since I am a photographer and painter I love all the galleries and could spend days discovering new places and new artists. We started with historic Santa Fe and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the Andrew Smith Gallery both of which we enjoyed immensely. We also visited the Plaza, the Palace of Governors, and The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi which is a beautiful church, along with walking many of the narrow scenic streets.
And of course, there is the famous Canyon Road which is lined with interesting galleries where you can sometimes find artists busy at work painting or sculpting.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is located about 30-40 minutes from Santa Fe and is a lovely geological rock formation area. There is a nice, short loop trail which takes you past the tent rock formations and another trail which leads off from the loop up a mile which takes you into a slot canyon and then straight up over 600 feet to lovely views from the top. It is a beautiful area BUT it can be quite crowded on the weekend. The parking lot was almost full upon our arrival and there were people everywhere. Some kids were sitting in groups along the slot canyon smoking cigarettes and just hanging out. Obviously, a local place just to hang for the day. The trail is narrow and onE lane in many places which means you may need to wait on steep inclines for traffic. Definitely a place we would recommend for early morning and mid-week and well worth the hike.
Further down the dirt road about 3.5 miles is the Veterans Memorial Overlook which has a 1 mile loop trail. It is a beautiful place to wander and admire the beautiful scenery. This area was not very popular which allowed for more peace and solitude.
Cochiti Lake is located on the Rio Grande River about halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and is within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Indian Reservation. On the west side of the lake is the lovely Cochiti Campground run by the Army Corps of Engineers. The campground has four loops with nice long sites which look perfect for big rigs. We only visited two of the loops, Buffalo Grove loop which has electric and water hookups and Ringtail Cat Loop which is dry camping. The sites looked very new and clean and many offered nice views. The campground is located about 5 miles from Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Tetilla Peak campground is located on the east side of the lake but we did not get a chance to visit it.