Almost everywhere we drove in New Mexico was scenic, the journey as well as the destinations were a pleasure. Can you believe, I still can’t, that someone said to us “You can skip New Mexico, there is nothing to see there.” What ?! We were already blown away by the National Parks, Forests and Monuments and the great hiking but we just kept discovering more that we loved like the artsy, funky towns, and the ancient ruins. I find it sad to think that anyone could say that about such a beautiful state with so much to offer.
We spent a few days in Santa Fe, as Christmas drew near I needed my Christmas fix and Santa Fe provided. The Christmas lights around the historic plaza were lovely and just what I wanted. During our stay in Santa Fe we visited Tent Rocks , which was fantastic, we loved the canyon trail. The Wild Rivers area within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument was highly recommended to us so we made that our next stop, enjoying the scenic high road to Taos on the way. Rio Grande Del Norte was spectacular and we had the place all to ourselves. We really liked it there, if we had had more time we would have happily stayed for several more days. The hike down into the canyon from Little Arsenic campground was beautiful and each night we walked the rim trail to the La Junta overlook to enjoy the beautiful sunsets.
From the Capulin Volcano in North East New Mexico we crossed the border into Colorado. We did the scenic drive from Walsenburg to Durango, which included Wolf Pass, in one heck of a snow storm but Joe and The Heffalump handled it beautifully.We decided to spend Christmas in Durango where we saw the Polar Express, which made me wish that I could be a kid again. We also drove the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton and it was stunning, a beautiful Winter wonderland. But enough with Winter! We left Ottawa to leave the snow behind so we headed South back into New Mexico.
It was time to immerse ourselves in local history so we visited Mesa Verde-stunning! Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon. Amazing places to explore and to lose yourself in another time. We rung in the New Year in a little known gem called, Bisti De-Na-Zin Wilderness WOW, its like Alberta’s Badlands plus super cool rock formations like the “cracked eggs” and even a petrified wood forest. It was the perfect place to end 2016. Please click here to view our December Flickr album.