Leaf Peepin’ in New Mexico
Planning to catch the fall colors on your next adventure to New Mexico? We’ve got you covered! While a relaxing, scenic ride as a passenger on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad makes for an unforgettable voyage through New Mexico’s golden landscapes, there are plenty of stunning fall views you can enjoy from the comforts of your own vehicle. Here’s a list of fall-colored road trips to help you catch even more golden views during your next trip to New Mexico.
Five Great Ways to Experience Fall Colors
Gold hunters, rejoice! Autumn delivers the shimmering yellows of aspens and cottonwoods, and the reds and oranges of mountain shrubs and our friends at New Mexico Magazine have picked a few ways for everyone to bask in the bounty.
History of the Cumbres & Toltec Landscape
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has a long history in New Mexico. It was originally constructed in 1880, serving the silver mining district of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, and, in 1970, was preserved and transformed into the scenic railway we enjoy today.
It is important to respectfully recognize and acknowledge that Chama, where the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is headquartered, is located on ancestral Tewa land, where the Tewa-speaking pueblos have lived, and continue to live, since pre-colonial times. Today, the six Tewa pueblos are located adjacent to the Rio Grande in central and north central New Mexico. These Tewa pueblos are Ohkay Owingeh (formerly known as San Juan Pueblo), Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Pojoaque, and Nambe Pueblos.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE WHILE VISITING THE AREA
Make a visit to Tierra Wools, where Rio Grande weaving heritage lives on through the generations. From hoof to loom, Tierra Wools have been proudly handcrafting yarns and fibers since 1983. Shop for one-of-a-kind hand-woven masterpieces or make your own.
El Vado Lake State Park
Spend a nice fall day at El Vado Lake State Park. The park offers fishing, boating, camping, and hiking opportunities for its visitors. You can even hike the scenic 5.5-mile scenic trail along the Rio Chama that connects El Vado with nearby Heron Lake State Park.
Continental Divide Trail
The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a US National Scenic Trail that stretches more than 3,000 miles between Mexico and Canada, crossing through five states, a multitude of ecosystems, and connecting countless communities. New Mexico’s stretch of the of this incredible trail system passes through Chama, where you can embark on a scenic out-and-back hike exploring the Cumbres Pass via the CDT.
The Lodge and Ranch at Chama Land and Cattle Company
The award-winning Lodge and Ranch at Chama Land and Cattle Company is legendary for its big game hunting, trout fishing, and luxurious accommodations. Owned by the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the 36,000-acre Lodge and Ranch at Chama offers some of the most sublime sporting opportunities and scenery in North America