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Northwest

Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Courtesy of Lenny Foster/Taos Pueblo)

Taos is so close and yet so far from the ordinary

Feasting at the country’s oldest pueblo, trekking mountains with a llama along to lug the heavy stuff, hiking in 242,500 acres of natural wilderness, and then kayaking the Rio Grande?

Chimney Rock is a significant landmark on the Chimney Rock Trail at Ghost Ranch, north of Santa Fe. (Courtesy of James Glover)

Terrific treks

Although the nearby mountains are snowcapped and many of the higher-elevation hiking trails may be impassable without snowshoes, plenty of viable options remain for hikers who want to get out and enjoy the exercise and spectacular scenery.

A torchlight parade down the mountain and fireworks help celebrate the holidays in Taos. (Courtesy of Taos Ski Valley)

Choose Taos

Visitors who choose the winter months for a trip to Taos will enjoy a quieter vacation with fewer crowds than on summer days but still plenty of things to do – even off the ski slopes.

Those who enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides will no doubt be onboard for dog sledding trips with Alaskan huskies that will take visitors on an hourlong jaunt over a scenic forest trail at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. (Courtesy of Purgatory At Durango Mountain Resort)

Let it snow

This may not be exactly accurate in the vernacular of weather forecasting, but think of the coming ski season as “Quién Sabe.”

The steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes visitors to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express. (Courtesy of Durango &Amp; Silverton)

A train adventure

Children of all ages, eager to find the magic of Christmas, board the Polar Express, an annual excursion of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

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