Leadville (technically the Lake County Airport) is famous as the highest elevation airport in the United States. At nearly 10,000 feet above sea level you'll land with the altimeter reading higher than most people see in cruise. You can even bring home the t-shirt to prove you were there! The approach from Santa Fe doesn't require crossing any significant mountain passes and the airport is in a broad valley that allows for reasonable maneuvering. That said, careful planning is necessary. In the summer months your departure must be in the early morning and refueling is best saved for a nearby lower elevation airport. Watch your airspeed and don't try to force your airplane to deliver performance it just isn't capable of. Mountain flying training is always well advised, the NM Pilots Association holds a class each fall.
There may be no scene more iconic of the wild west than Monument Valley. Thanks to numerous western films people worldwide know the breathtaking scenery of southeast Utah. Only 215 miles from Santa Fe, Monument Valley should be a destination on every pilot's "to-do" list. There is an airport just a couple miles away, UT25, that is private but open to all users by submitting a quick form. Food and lodging are a short walk from the airport, or if you prefer they'll come pick you up. There is no fuel available nearby, plan accordingly. The goosenecks of the San Juan and Natural Bridges National Monument are quite close and worth seeing on your trip.
more coming soon!