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Trail watch volunteer Charlie Wood at the trail head of Pino trail in the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area.  Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.(Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal.)

Charlie Wood; Trail Friend

Charlie Wood pauses from scraping dirt and glances at a female hiker who wears a water bottle on eac …

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?

Bob and Patrice Rosenthal of Ojai, Calif., enjoy the view at Tsankawi, a division of Bandelier National Monument, near White Rock. (Courtesy of Karl F. Moffatt)

The best hiking under the sun

These three gems offer grand vistas and — for now — delightfully warm New Mexico sunshine

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.