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Northern Enchantment Tour
So many amazing cities are set in scenic northern New Mexico. Start in Santa Fe – the oldest capital in the country – and head for Los Alamos, Red River, Raton, and Las Vegas East. You’ll find museums, ski areas, and state and national parks at the ready.
New Mexico’s capital and fourth largest city, Santa Fe is known as “The City Different.” The nation’s oldest capital city, Santa Fe is a New Mexico’s travelers dream.
Culture vultures may stop by a number of SF attractions. Check out the Museum of Fine Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts, the New Mexico History Museum, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and many more.
Santa Fe neighbors the historic little town of Los Alamos. Just beyond the Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos features the Bradbury Science Museum, the Los Alamos Historical Museum, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Capital City is also surrounded by New Mexico state parks. Grab that sunscreen and hit the Cerrillos Hills State Park, or the Hyde Memorial State Park.
Hop on State Route 68 and head north for 100 very scenic miles.
The route to Red River follows the Rio Grande, and leads you straight to the Kit Carson Home & Museum and the Governor Bent House & Museum in Taos.
Red River is known for skiing. Head up in the winter for the Taos Ski Valley and Red River Ski Area.
Located right in Red River, the Red River Ski Area has a top elevation of 10, 350 feet, and features 57 ski trails. RR ski area also offers the Pot O' Gold Terrain Park, Bobcat Terrain Park, and Hollywood Terrain Park, plus special events like the Halloween Rail Jam, the Thanksjibbing Rail Jam, and the annual We be Jammin' Sundown Rail Jam.
Red River is surrounded by the glorious Sagre de Cristo Mountains, and several state parks like Cimarron Canyon State Park and Eagle Nest Lake State Park.
Head northeast on US Route 64 for 80 miles to Raton, found on the Santa Fe Trail.
For National Park stamps seekers, or people who just think volcanoes are cool, check out the nearby Capulin Volcano National Monument.
Check out local historic sites, plus restaurants and shopping, at the Raton Downtown Historic District – a U.S. Historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Just 12 miles from town, the 3,600-acre Sugarite Canyon State Park features hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and picnicking – plus boating and fishing on Lake Maloya.
From Raton, hop Interstate 25 and head south 110 miles to Las Vegas…New Mexico that is.
For any fans of Teddy Roosevelt on the tour, be sure to get a with the City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Memorial.
If any of you are doing this tour by motorcycle, try to hit Las Vegas in July for the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally.
More than a few state and national parks have Las Vegas surrounded. Check out Pecos National Historical Park and Fort Union National Monument for a taste of the NPS, or visit Morphy Lake State Park, Villanueva State Park, and the very close-by Storrie Lake State Park.
From Las Vegas, stick to I-25 for 70 miles until you’re back in Santa Fe.