Santa Fe Canyon Preserve

Santa Fe Canyon Preserve

The Nature Conservancy Important Bird Area 1670 Upper Canyon Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Official Website
Santa Fe Canyon Preserve map
Santa Fe Canyon Birding Guide
Randall Davey Audubon Center and Santa Fe Preserve IBA

About this Location

The Santa Fe Canyon Preserve was established in 2000 when the Public Service Company of New Mexico donated 190 acres of open space to The Nature Conservancy. The Preserve has grown to 525 acres and is located on Upper Canyon Road, just a few miles from Santa Fe’s historic downtown plaza. More than 30,000 visitors and 5,000 students hike the preserve annually.

Within the preserve are the ruins of Old Stone Dam, built in 1881. This was the city’s first official attempt to harness the Santa Fe River to supply local residents with water. A flood in 1904 filled the dam with silt. By then, the Two-Mile Dam, the remains of which are also on the property, was in place to meet Santa Fe’s growing water needs. Completed in 1893, the Two-Mile Dam was the second of four dams built on the Santa Fe River to store its seasonal flow.

Years of restoration and conservation work have turned what was once the center of the city’s hydroelectric industry into an oasis with wildflowers, willows, deer, and beaver. The preserve offers visitors a 1.5-mile interpretive loop trail detailing the colorful history and fragile ecology of the place.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website

Last updated October 25, 2023