A dozen cyclists head off from the Santa Fe River Trail onto the brand new Camino Real Trail to Diablo Canyon

The Santa Fe Conservation Trust joined Santa Fe County, federal partners, and the trail-loving public at Dead Dog Well Trailhead to celebrating National Trails Day and the opening of the new Camino Real Trail on Sat., June 2, 2018.  Parts of the new trail, which spans from the Santa Fe River Trail on the South Side of the city all the way to Diablo Canyon, were subject to Santa Fe National Forest’s one-day-old forest closure, but were temporarily exempted from the closure for this permitted celebration.

Working in concert with Santa Fe County and the Santa Fe County Horse Coalition, SFCT’s Trails Program Manager organized a bicycle ride from the Camino Real Trailhead on the Santa Fe River Trail near Airport Rd. to the celebration at BLM’s Dead Dog Well Trailhead, a distance of nearly ten miles of trail.  The ride started with pavement and finished with a very soft natural surface from SFNF’s Headquarters Well Trailhead north.  SFCT also set up an information booth at the event at Dead Dog Well Trailhead that was personed by our Executive Director and Land Program Manager.

Between the City’s Municipal Recreation Center and SFNF’s Headquarters Well we picked up four more riders but said good-bye to two where the pavement ends.

Food, cool drinks, music, speeches, freebies, and other festivities organized by Santa Fe County were followed by a long, hot, and dusty ride home, but it was all worth it – except for the further demise of our tent!  Once the forest closure is lifted, we can get back in there on our horses, bikes, and feet and pack that trail in some more.  We are looking forward to that!

We were joined by Steve Burns Chavez, recently retired from the National Park Service and the major force behind the new trail, which was built with federal funding to provide access to the original Camino Real route to New Mexico’s first capital, and the federal lands that it traverses

Once the pavement ended at County Road 62, the fat bike ruled!

Camino Real interpretation near HQ Well Trailhead. Not the guidance Onate relied on – good thing because we are not headed to Mexico City!

Two-wheelers and four-hoofers get along fine at the celebration

Hiker, dog, and Spanish flag-bearers make their way to the festivities at Dead Dog Well Trailhead

Heading back on the Camino Real Trail with the horses close behind

A long way to go for a bag of schwag, but who’s complaining?