Is the Galisteo Basin Preserve the same thing as the Galisteo Basin? What about the Village of Galisteo?

Actually, they are all different and all related.

The Galisteo Basin is a geographic region in north-central New Mexico defined by the Galisteo Creek watershed and several mountain ranges: the Sangre de Cristo to the north, the Ortiz to the west, and the Sandia and Manzano mountains to the south. Because of its size—approximately 470,000 acres—and position amid several mountain systems, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Great Plains, the Galisteo Basin has long been a critical migration corridor for wildlife and an important travel route for prehistoric and historic traders and explorers. Read more about the natural history and ecology of the Galisteo Basin in the Natural Features section.

The Galisteo Basin Preserve occupies 13,522 acres within this significant geographic region. A land-conservation and community-development initiative of Commonweal Conservanc (a Santa Fe-based nonprofit organization), the Galisteo Basin Preserve is dedicated to preserving its major viewshed, wildlife habitat, cultural history, and natural resource values, while also promoting a new model of resource-efficient and stewardship-based community building. Located roughly 15 miles south of the city of Santa Fe, the Preserve includes large-scale protected open space, public recreation trails, private conservation properties, and a proposed village development known as Trenza.

The tiny village of Galisteo is a “traditional village” in the parlance of New Mexico cultural geography. Home to fewer than 180 residents, the village of Galisteo was established in 1816. It is located about 19 miles south of Santa Fe and 5 miles south of the Galisteo Basin Preserve’s entrance. Prior to Spanish settlement, the area was inhabited by Pueblo people for thousands of years. Read more about the cultural history of this area in the Cultural History section.

How big is the Galisteo Basin Preserve? How much of the Preserve will be protected open space?

The Galisteo Basin Preserve includes 9,500+ acres.

Commonweal Conservancy's goal for the Galisteo Basin Preserve is to protect and restore open space on a landscape scale, which means that more than 95 percent of the preserve is planned as protected open space, and less than 4 percent will be impacted by development (e.g., buildings, roads). Conservation lands are open to the public—accessible via a planned 50-mile trail network—are projected to account for about 80 percent of the Preserve. Privately held properties governed by environmental protection standards make up the remaining 20 percent of the Preserve’s land area.

In combination with about 9,800 acres of adjoining federal, state, and Santa Fe County public lands, the Galisteo Basin Preserve helps to create a regional open space area of nearly 20,000 acres.

How will the Galisteo Basin Preserve be publicly accessible? How much of it will be open to the public? Can I explore there now?

We are excited for you to come explore—and keep exploring—the Galisteo Basin Preserve! Our hope is to continue to build a community of people who care deeply about the health of this land.

The majority (about 80 percent) of the Galisteo Basin Preserve is planned as public open space, which will be accessible via 50 miles of proposed hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. Carefully sited trail corridors within the Preserve will connect it with nearby federal, state, and Santa Fe County lands and with regional trail networks—facilitating trail connections that link the city of Santa Fe, the Community College District, and Eldorado with the communities in the central part of the county.

Since 2006, Commonweal Conservancy has developed nearly 28 miles of public hiking and mountain biking trails at the Galisteo Basin Preserve. Please visit our Trails page to download the current version of the Galisteo Basin Preserve Trails Map. You can help Commonweal Conservancy care for the public trails and open space within the Galisteo Basin Preserve by joining the Friends of the Preserve community stewardship program.

Are their homesites I can buy in the GBP?


There are currently available properties within the Galisteo Basin Preserve, each of which offers a unique opportunity to build a innovative green home surrounded by thousands of acres of open space. To learn more about what’s on the market now, visit our Available Properties pages or contact us directly at 505.982.0071, ext. 102. Or you can send an email inquiry to

How can I get involved with the Galisteo Basin Preserve? (And how can I get one of those cool, oval GBP stickers?)

Thank you for asking! There are several ways you can get involved with the Galisteo Basin Preserve:

  • Stay abreast of all the goings on at the Galisteo Basin Preserve: sign up for our periodic (not too many) e-newsletters and announcements about the Galisteo Basin Preserve, the progress of Trenza, real estate opportunities, news, and events. Get on the list through the Contact page on this website or by emailing Commonweal here: [Email Us]
  • Become a fan of the Galisteo Basin Preserve on Facebook: click here or on the blue "f" at the top of any website page.
  • Join the Friends of the Preserve community stewardship program to help take care of the Galisteo Basin Preserve’s public trails and open spaces.
  • Create a home in the Galisteo Basin Preserve. Check out the currently available properties in the Preserve on our Available Properties page or call us at 505.690.3094 to schedule a tour.

GBP stands for, of course, the Galisteo Basin Preserve, and the cool, oval GBP stickers are part of the Friends of the Preserve community stewardship program. The Galisteo Basin Preserve public trails and open space are a nonprofit-owned community resource, and we need help in order to care for them and keep them open to public. Each membership level in the Friends of the Preserve program is associated with a thank-you gift: a GBP sticker, a Commonweal Conservancy/Galisteo Basin Preserve cap, a reusable stainless steel Galisteo Basin Preserve water bottle, a signed photograph of the night sky, or a celebration tree in the Preserve Orchard. Click here to become a Friend of the Preserve.