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Hello from MD, but heading Southwest!

Hello! I'm a beginner hiker; grew up in NJ and currently living in MD. I joined because I'm learning more about this community and really just love getting outside on weekends, getting healthier, and trying to get away from my super hectic workplace (in healthcare...enough said). Right now I'm focusing on getting advice and hearing stories about hiking in the US Southwest---I'm planning a trip to New Mexico (for when travel advisories and public health allows) and would love to learn more about what it's like to hike in that part of the country, particularly in the fall around October or November. I'm looking forward to chatting with and learning from everyone!

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Former Southwesterner now living in California.  SW is wonderful country.  Elevation determines climate, so you can find optimum conditions year round - low in the winter, high in the summer.

humidity is generally lower, so there are greater diurnal swings in temperature.  Plan on carrying, and consuming more water.

Favorite areas in New Mexico - Gila Wilderness, Pecos Wilderness, Bandalier National monument, and lots more, depending on your preferences.  Plenty to see in the adjacent states....

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Thanks! So layers are best I guess for a trip like this. Folks keep telling me it will be colder than I would expect, as someone from the Northeast anyway...

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@agraciouspearl 

Welcome to the community!

You'll find some good folks who have experience living, traveling, and recreating outdoors in the southwest. We recommend taking a look at our New Mexico and Arizona boards to find some good info and meet some folks in the area. We're so glad you're here!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Welcome to your new adventure in New Mexico.

If you happen to visit Santa Fe, and need accommodations, as a base of operations for your planned hikes, I highly recommend staying at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza.

https://www.lafondasantafe.com/

Cultural and historic Sante Fe is an ideal city for “Urban Hiking”. A full weekend could be spent hiking and exploring this rich artistic community’s galleries and shops. 

Santa Fe is definitely on our list! At least two days in the city and then hikes in the surrounding areas...maybe some hot springs which would be amazing.

This historic staircase landmark is a “must see” work of artistic craftsmanship.

http://www.jesusmariasite.org/the-loretto-chapel-staircase-miracle/

Hi @agraciouspearl !  

I can't provide you any real-world experience about the SW, but, it's nice to see another Marylander on the forum.  Welcome!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I went on vacation to New Mexico three years ago in October.  I second the suggestion of Bandalier Nat'l Monument that was made above.  Another park that was mind-blowing is Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  I took so many photos there!  It is popular and not the sort of hike you go on to be totally by yourself in nature.  But still, it can't be missed.  Good luck!