Artist Rd. will take you away from the downtown and up into the Santa Fe National Forest. As Artist Rd. turns into Hyde Park Road, you'll be taken even further up into majestic alpine vistas where the beautiful outdoors offers up endless opportunities for adventurous activities.Two places to take note of on your way up will both be on your left. The Santa Fe Institute is the first that you will pass. I have never actually been there because it is where all the super elite of smartness congregate to discuss taking over the world. I'm just kidding (not kidding). Of course my husband has sat in on a lecture there and even ate lunch on campus and he loved it. I have read the mission statement and maintain my theory.
On the way up the mountain there are well maintained hiking trails, and famous mountain biking trails. Camping sites are available along the way including cabins for rent and RV sites. Aspen viewing is very popular in the fall and if you drive all the way to the very top of the mountain you will arrive at a secret gem; The Santa Fe Ski Basin. During the fall the chair lift is running for prime Aspen viewing and a fun look at the remains of the Mardis Gras tree. Of course, if you are visiting during ski season, a half day pass or a full day lift pass is a great option to experience the terrain you didn't even know existed in Santa Fe.
The perfect second day in my opinion would be spent hiking or snowboarding for the first half of the day and the second half would be spent at the spa. Remember, it takes much longer to get down the mountain when you are hungry. Luckily, Izanmi is right there if you need something to hold you over. If you make it back down in time to hit a restaurant for dinner, I'd recommend Maria's for Mexican and Margaritas. That is a great itinerary for your second day in Santa Fe. Once you have seen the city from 10,000 ft. in elevation, and had a great margarita, you won't feel like you have missed anything in Santa Fe!