Originally Posted by AllDone
JPatrick: if you aren't used to the altitude, you'll want to keep your hiking plans modest.
That is a good point, Santa Fe is about 7200 ft elevation. Some people do get altitude sickness which is primarily a headache. It usually goes away after a day or two, but the recommended plan is to limit some of the more physical activities until you are acclimated and drink sufficient water to stay well hydrated. Once acclimated the only issue is the thinner air will get you more winded and take longer to get your breathing down to normal. Just about all of NM is high desert climate and very low humidity.
I live at the same altitude in mountains east of ABQ, and notice a big difference when jogging down near sea level vs at home. At sea level it seems I don't get tired
As to Santa Fe demographics, it is kind of like mentioned: upper middle and higher class, and lower class. Not as much in the middle. It does create a bit of friction with the long term residents when the bigger money comes in and drives up the prices. But to my estimation, Taos has much more of the celebrity rich vacation home issues than Santa Fe.
BTW, speaking of Taos, the whole loop around the Sangre deCristo mountains there (Hwy 64 and 38, and 522) is a beautiful drive. Wheeler peak is the highest peak in NM. See Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire on the loop. Approx 1 hour north from Santa Fe.