There are many nooks and crannies in the western National Forests that are well worth checking out when passing through. Where a highway passes through a National Forest, attractions are guaranteed to be found along the way. The Santa Fe National Forest is a good example of this, because all along New Mexico State Road 4 there is one adventurous outdoor attraction after another waiting to be discovered!
Starting at San Ysidro in the valley and heading all the way up the mountain to Bandelier National Monument, a visitor will see riverside fly fishing spots, recreation areas, historic sites and campgrounds along State Road 4. The Santa Fe National Forest roadside signage for hiking trailheads, rock climbing sites, hot springs and scenic overlooks is easy to spot too. For a first time visitor, some of these National Forest attractions may come as a total surprise, because all too often these kinds of fun destinations will barely show up on a map. Since not everybody is aware of these lesser known destinations, overcrowding is rarely a problem, so this is like music to the ears of those who want to get away from it all.
One such interesting little destination that is all too easy to overlook when cruising on SR 4 through the Santa Fe National Forest is the San Diego Canyon Overlook. By the official description, this scenic overlook has a short nature trail that offers nice views of the heavily forested San Diego Canyon. It is not till a visitor hikes the short nature trail that the best part of this scenic overlook appears. The picnic tables are nestled in the shade of the tall pine forest, which makes this place ideal for an afternoon siesta!
Folks that like to go on picnics certainly do know when they see a spot that looks perfect and this is an accurate description of the San Diego Canyon Overlook. This area has plenty of shade, a cool breeze usually blows over the mountain ridge line and the pleasant fragrance of the tall pine trees is incredibly strong in this area, especially during the spring season. The fresh pine scented mountain air definitely has a way of invigorating a weary soul. Best of all, a picnic basket is all that is needed to make it happen!
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