The helix shaped spiral staircase has two 360 degree turns and has no central support. It was built without nails or glue, only square wooden pegs. The railing was added to the outer spiral 10 years later at the request of the nuns.
Viewing the beautiful staircase was worth the $3 admission fee, but more miraculous were the views along the Aspen Vista Trail within Santa Fe National Forest. With 60-70 degree days and the lack of snow back home, we decided to go for a New Year's Day hike in the mountains. We walked only a small portion of the 12 mile trail, but at 10,000 feet elevation, it was a good workout, and breathtaking in every sense of the word.