I was considering spending Christmas in Santa Fe, but due to the elevation and the season I was concerned with there possibly being snow & ice. Is this a valid concern?
Yes, there could be snow in Santa Fe around Christmas. However, roads are well maintained, and unless they have a really big snow, it usually is gone within a day or two. The Sangre de Christo mountains are another thing entirely. The Santa Fe Ski Basin is right above Santa Fe, and can get quite a bit of snow.
The weather was extremely cold and, yes, there were snow and ice. We didn't notice it in town, being able to duck into shops... but it sure was cold watching the dancing for hours at the pueblos. Temp never got as high as 32!
That being said... it was also a magical and beautiful time. The word "magical" kept entering our conversations so often that we tried to think of other words to use. None expressed the correct feelings as well, however. (grin)
Santa Fe is an amazing place to be at Christmas time! Enjoy.
Lynn in Rochester, NY
We spent Christmas in Santa Fe a few years back and I only have one warning- plan your meals for Christmas Eve and christmas ahead of time. We had a difficult time finding a restaurant open on both days that we wanted to eat at and the decent ones that were open were packed and had short hours.
Our snow in NM is not like getting caught in a snow storm, say in New England usually. You will not normally find yourself snowed in and stores closing up. It could also be 50! Or if it does snow, just hold on- it will change in a few hours.
Snow is part of the magical experience of Northern New Mexico at Christmas. It's not only a fact of life, it's expected. During the day, the sunny skies help cast that light this area is known for around the world. As the sun sets, the temperatures quickly drop and we all bundle up to venture out to the various festivities hosted by each town or each Pueblo.
The previous post hit the nail on the head -- the word "magical" keeps coming up over and over again. I've also heard: "It ain't about Santa Clause here."
A few layers of the appropriate, comfy clothing and a warm heart are all you need. The weather plays a role in creating the atmosphere of sharing a special moment with yourself, your family and friends, and the community that has gathered to be here.
Yes, snow possible (even desired, for atmosphere). However, it is rare if it gets much deeper than, say 6 inches or so, not a real "blizzard" or anything. A few years ago around Christmas, SF got a foot or two of snow and no one was prepared for "so much". That shut things down, so you can see that is not the norm at all.
As said, SF often gets snow showers, comes, goes, melts, etc. Ice can be an issue, but same conditions. If you plan to stay in Santa Fe itself, I'd say, no problem. Sometimes the roads outside of town, esp. going north towards Taos, can be an issue, tho. I try not to plan too much distance travel in winer, but then again, it can be fine after all.
Christmas *is* a magical time to be in Santa Fe, just as rochesterwoman says.
There will be snow but I don't recall ice in town but up at the ski area was a little icy but nothing bad.
We were in Santa Fe when the blizzard of 2006 hit. It was something else! It shut down I-40 and I-25. We got there the day before it hit. The town was so quiet and everyone was in such a playful mood. Snowball fights between strangers, people cross-country skiing through the plaza. It was one of our most memorable times in Santa Fe.
Yes! Snow! Because of elevation and western weather, it's usually "fluffier" than eastern snow and doesn't linger enough in town to become that old, gray stuff of other climes.
However, expect cold temperatures, plenty of snow a couple of thousand feet higher than town, and certainly think about bringing weatherproof boots. Icy spots on sidewalks will be on shady north sides of buildings.
Our ski/snowshoe season often begins by mid-December and lasts until March.Edited: 12 August 2010, 07:13
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