Above: A herd of bison at Vermejo Park Ranch in Raton, New Mexico

A High-Desert Road Trip in Northern New Mexico

On arrival in Albuquerque, rather than heading up I-25 to Santa Fe, we took a leisurely 54-mile drive along the scenic Turquoise Trail (NM Highway 14), passing forested state parks, former mining towns, pottery shops and even an alpaca farm. Then, skirting downtown, we headed directly to our first hotel, Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese-inspired spa resort nestled in the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains — which glow red at sunset, hence the name — four miles northeast of the Santa Fe Plaza. Upon arrival, we breathed deeply the scent of pinyon pines, juniper trees and the sweet smell of sagebrush.

Ten Thousand Waves

Santa Fe

The entrance to our Hangetsu room at Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

Check-in was efficient, but the receptionist made no effort to help carry our bags as she led the way to the room. A private gated entry opened to a large courtyard and a freestanding adobe ranch house. Our room’s warm wood floors and minimal furnishings were enhanced by traditional Japanese artwork and wall hangings. The receptionist pointed to a small bowl with one apple and one pear and said, “Breakfast is included.” I later found stale granola in a jar in the fridge, which was also complimentary!

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