Santa Fe National Forest spans a total area of about 1.6 million acres of land that can be found in north-central New Mexico and nearby popular cities and towns like Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Espanola, Pecos, Santa Fe, and Cuba. Access to the forest land can be gained through several roads including I-25, US 285, US 85, US 64, US 84, NM 4, NM 126, NM 96, and NM 63. The protected national forest land was dedicated on July 1, 1915, and the forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Santa Fe National Forest includes several attractions like the Southern Sangre de Cristo Range, San Pedro Range and Jemez Range which have peaks that rise to as high as between 10,000-12,000 feet high. For example, the Southern Sangre de Cristo Range includes the 13,103-foot, Truchas Peak. You can also find the 89,000-acre scenic Valles Caldera National Preserve as well as hundreds of miles of Mountain streams and lakes including a fork of the designated Wild and Scenic Jemez River.
Besides these geological attractions, the protected forest land is also a favorite place for visitors to enjoy several recreational activities including mountain biking, camping, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking, ORV riding, skiing, and snowmobiling. These activities are facilitated by the forest’s amenities which include trails (over 1000 miles), 23 campgrounds, 13 picnic sites, and scenic outlooks.
Dogs are permitted on some of the forest land, and it is upon you as the dog-owner to find out which areas of the forest are accessible to both you and your pooch. Additionally, you must keep your dog leashed at all times or in a secure enclosure when not leashed. These rules are designed to protect the forest’s resources as well as visitors to the forest and their pets. Ensuring that your dog is well-behaved and that you clean up after your dog is also paramount.