Rio Grande Rift Valley

Santa Fe County New Mexico

SFT photo

Photo by Mark Nohl

The valley, a vast, irregular structural depression known as a graben, defines the distant landscapes about Santa Fe. The N-S lines of two major mountain chains sandwich the Rio Grande's southward flow past La Bajada, a significant land form.

The surrounding mountains provide watersheds, determine stream flow and direction, and moderate the N Chihuhuan Desert weather (rainfall and snowfall especially), which lend themselves to the attractiveness of Santa Fe as the city at the end of the Santa Fe Trail.

    Location Information

  • View the Google Map for this site (lat-long decimal degrees, NAD27) 35.74337 -106.13993
  • Contact Information

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • 517 Gold Ave. SW
  • Albuquerque, NM 87102
  • Phone: (505)842-3898
  • Fax: (505)842-3800