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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.

Historice Route 66 took cross-state drivers through Gallup. (Journal)

Snapshot: Gallup

1910 population: 2,204 2009 population: 19,976 From statehood until today, the fastest way to cross New Mexico east to west… more »

In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, Tom Cunningham, curator of exhibits, admires the collection of oil and gas memorabilia at the Farmington Gateway Museum in Farmington, N.M. The bulk of the exhibit was donated by Alan Hawkinson, a local man who collected the memorabilia during the last 30 years. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Rebecca Craig)

Snapshot: Farmington

1910 population: 785 2009 population: 43,412 Farmington was extremely isolated until 1905, when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad connected… more »