Everything You Need to Know About Choosing the Best Time to Visit New Mexico

Anyone who has been to and fallen in love with New Mexico knows that there really isn’t a bad time to visit! However, there are certain times of year that are better than others depending on your needs and what you want to do during your getaway. Whether you want to avoid the heat or blistering cold, beat the crowds, or attend certain annual events, here is your ultimate guide to the best time to visit New Mexico so you can start planning your next trip today!

Once you find the best time to visit New Mexico according to your schedule and desires, it’s time to start planning the rest of your trip! Our Chimayo Vacation Guide is filled with all the best things to do in New Mexico and attractions that you won’t want to miss while you’re here. From hiking trails and parks to local shopping and dining, this guide has it all! Request your free copy today and we hope to see you in Chimayo soon.

Best Time to Visit New Mexico Based on Temperature

For the most part, Northern New Mexico experiences very pleasant temperatures for about half of the year. However, if you want to avoid extreme temperatures, we recommend visiting in the fall or spring. Summer temperatures range between 50 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average in the high 80’s from May to August. If you don’t mind the heat, however, you’ll enjoy plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and plenty of days of sunshine during the summer.

During the winter, you’ll certainly want to bring your coat! The Northern New Mexico area receives about 17 inches of snow each year. The accumulation of this snow varies greatly, especially upon the elevation of the area. Average temperatures also range between the low 30s and high 20s. Despite the chilly New Mexico weather, visitors flock to our area during the winter months for seasonal activities like skiing or snowshoeing.

During the fall and spring, the temperatures usually sit in the 50s and 60s. These cozy temperatures are ideal for spending a full day in the great outdoors and enjoying activities like Santa Fe’s famous hiking, relaxing in the local hot springs, and mountain biking. Whatever time of year you decide to visit New Mexico, you can be assured there will always be something fun and exciting to experience.

Here are some more quick tips that will help you choose the best time to visit New Mexico based on the weather:

  • We are located in a “high desert.” This means that we only receive an average of 14 inches of rainfall per year. This is a very dry climate. Bring your water bottle, sunscreen, lip balm, and a hat.
  • The spring months (March, April, & May) can be breezy in the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. Packing some lightweight wind gear may be helpful.
  • July and August are our wettest months of the year, only averaging just over 2 inches of rain in each of these two months. This small amount of rain usually falls in the early evening or overnight. If you are a hiker, consider having some lightweight rain gear in your pack.
  • At this elevation, we occasionally have some snowfall during the winter months (November, December, January, February) but it is typically melted off of the roads by mid-morning. Higher elevations will get more snow. Lower elevations will receive less snow or it will be in the form of rain.
  • Due to the fact that we are located in the mountains, the weather in Santa Fe is always much cooler in the evening versus the daytime temperatures (regardless of the time of year). The evening temperatures are typically 20 – 30 degrees cooler than the daytime high. For this reason, it is best to dress in layers all year-round.
  • Our daytime high temperature occurs typically just after mid-day. Our daytime low temperature occurs typically just before dawn.
    Northern New Mexico weather average over 300 days of sunshine per year. Conveniently located near Santa Fe and Taos, Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast is a great place to visit throughout the entire year.

The following is a chart that lists the daily average high and low temperatures for each month. Temperatures are given in degrees Fahrenheit.

Average High
Average Low
Average High
Average Low
Jan
43
15
July
86
54
Feb
49
21
Aug
83
53
Mar
56
26
Sept
77
46
Apr
64
32
Oct
66
35
May
73
40
Nov
52
24
June
83
49
Dec
44
16

Best Time to Visit New Mexico Based on Crowds

We understand that many travelers want to avoid the hordes of tourists during their stay with us. If this is the case for you, then the best months to visit New Mexico are September through February. These months typically see fewer travelers. Plus, fall and winter are ideal for those on a budget since travel prices tend to be lower this time of year.

On the flip side, if you enjoy meeting new people from all over the world or don’t mind the crowds, you may want to come by during late spring and summer. The three busiest months in Santa Fe and the Northern New Mexico area are June, July, and March. If you’re staying with us during this time of year and feel you need a break from the crowds, you may find some peace and quiet in some of our area’s smaller cities and attractions including Jemez Springs, the Taos Pueblo, or the Randall Davey Audubon Center.

Best Time to Visit New Mexico Based on Events

Throughout the year, there is a wide variety of enchanting events and festivals held in Northern New Mexico! Some are so popular that visitors from all over the nation come here just to enjoy them. If you’re interested in something fun and unique to do during your next visit, here is a quick look at some of our region’s most popular festivals that you’ll want to plan for.

Winter

  • Light Among the Ruins (December): During this event, attendees will enjoy free horse-drawn wagon rides from Jemez Springs park to the ruins of Gisewa Pueblo and San José de los Jemez Mission Church. These historic ruins will be decorated with hundreds of traditional farolitos, which are very similar to paper lanterns. After admiring the beautifully illuminated ruins, guests can enjoy a variety of fun activities including listening to Native American flute music, watching the Native American dances, two bonfires, and more.
  • Canyon Road Walk (December): Thousands of small, sand-filled paper lanterns known as farolitos will be lined along Canyon Road, one of the city’s most popular art and shopping districts. The historic neighborhood will be beautifully lit for a full evening of holiday activities. Visitors may promenade through the streets to admire the lanterns, join in on some caroling, cozy up next to the bonfire, or indulge in complimentary hot chocolate and traditional warm biscochitos.

Spring

  • Chimayo, NM Pilgrimage (Easter Weekend): On Good Friday, thousands of people gather in Chimayo, NM for the annual Holy Pilgrimage. Many of these travelers come from all over the nation and choose to walk hundreds of miles to the  El Santuario de Chimayo. Here, they may give praise, ask for divine interference, and make use of Chimayo’s legendary Holy Dirt, which is said to hold mysterious healing powers.

Summer

  • Santa Fe Bandstand (June-August): Enjoy more than 75 concerts throughout the summer season at the historic plaza in Santa Fe.
  • Pancakes on the Plaza (July): This Fourth of July celebration is a local and visitor favorite! During this event, you’ll enjoy stacks of tasty pancakes, silent auctions, a car show, arts and crafts and more.
  • Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (July): Recognized by USA Today as “The Best Art Market,” this unique shopping experience is an absolute must! Each year, the International Folk Art Market attracts more than 20,000 visitors, showcases masterpieces by hundreds of artists from all over the world, is operated by over 1,600 volunteers, and generates nearly $11 million in economic impact for the local economy. Needless to say, this is a huge event and there are so many things to see and do that you’ll barely have the time to do it all in one visit.

Fall

  • Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta (September): This five-day food and wine extravaganza allows you to taste some of New Mexico’s finest vintages and delicacies! You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in a live auction, chef luncheons, watch the golf tournament, and more.
  • Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (October): Experience the excellence of filmmaking in the diverse community of Santa Fe! This fun-filled event boasts independent, innovative, and cutting-edge cinema that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
  • International Balloon Fiesta (October): Hosted in Albuquerque, NM, this incredible festival is the world’s largest hot air balloon event! The International Balloon Fiesta is a 9-day festival that boasts dozens of exciting events! The crisp and clean autumn air that Albuquerque enjoys every year will make for perfect flying weather and hundreds of opportunities for you to have fun!

We look forward to seeing you in New Mexico soon! Don’t forget to request your free copy of our Vacation Guide or call us anytime at 505-351-4805 with any weather-related questions.