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  1. #21

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    Thanks for the tip Mike. How's the park as a whole?

  2. #22

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    Surprised no-one's mentioned Bisti. Sure you'll have to stay, eat and drink in Farmington but there's no long term hurt in that and provided you do a bit of research to avoid walking down the flat central plain with no interest. If you get Bisti right you'll get photographs as good as anything available in the south west.

  3. #23

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    Watch just walking around at White Sands- I left the 'confines' of the Monument into the Test Range apparently one time tho we passed no signs or fences. Hefty fine even then, in these more paranoid times it must be very high.

    There is a second part of Bandolier which is really great- smaller but quite beautiful. The name is escaping me now (I left NM in '95) but the main park can tell you about it. Lots of small cave dwellings you can get in and lots of petroglyphs. Tiny parking area right off the road, but there was hardly anyone ever there when I used to visit. I can only recall one time out of ten visits there was anyone else around.

  4. #24

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    Tsankawi?

  5. #25

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    Yes!

  6. #26

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    When I was in Taos years ago I was very impressed with the bridge over the Rio Grande. I think that is on route 64? Anyways, there are some hot springs which can be accessed by a road down into the gorge and many go there to skinny dip at night. I also enjoyed the lift up to the top of the Tao Ski Valley (great views up top) and the road up to Angel Fire.
    W.A. Crider

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    When I was in Taos years ago I was very impressed with the bridge over the Rio Grande. I think that is on route 64? Anyways, there are some hot springs which can be accessed by a road down into the gorge and many go there to skinny dip at night. I also enjoyed the lift up to the top of the Tao Ski Valley (great views up top) and the road up to Angel Fire.
    Yeah, the bridge is very popular with the tourists, and if you search for "New Mexico" on flickr you'll see its one of the most photographed places in NM. In Taos the Ranchos church and Taos Pueblo are also very heavily photographed.

    There are two hot springs in the gorge. Black Rock and Stagecoach (aka Manby). The Black Rock one is very near to a road, which recently washed out but I gather has been repaired, park just above the John Dunn bridge on the West side of the river, the road on the West side above this is a 4x4 road only ignore google's maps, access it from Arroyo Hondo. Stagecoach is cooler, but more historical. Manby built a bath-house there, which is ruins now but I have heard can be seen in Easy Rider? Anyway there is a lot of potential in both those areas, and some nice beach-like areas just down river of Stagecoach- that one you need to walk down from the top which is a long hike, longer coming back up, but the path is the old stagecoach road and is fairly easy. Both of these are generally clothing optional, watch for broken glass.

    Going up Ski Valley road there are several nice forest service trails, and in the summer its worth the hike up to Williams lake, park in the NFS lot near The Phoenix and Bavarian. There will still be too much snow today I think. There is a trail up from the lake to Wheeler peak, this is a strenuous hiking trail and only the most fit should consider this peak (highest in NM) as a day hike. From below the lake on up is all alpine type terrain. Beware of altitude sickness.

    Those wishing to get above tree line without a long hike might consider Midnight Meadows in Questa, up Cabresto Canyon... Cabresto lake is a dammed lake and not sightly to my eyes, but you can instead continue up the main canyon to a nice aspen area with large open grassy areas, elk are frequent, there is an old mine, really nice and really green- the Sangre de Cristo range does not look like most people's idea of NM, lots of trees and quite lush but cold in a storm, all these high places can experience snow any day of the year. The Questa ranger station can provide a map, etc. There is a 4x4 road going to a high peak and also one taking a back way to Red River. Latir Peak wilderness is North of here, pretty but parts of it, including Latir Peak, require a paid permit from a livestock association.

    Another place I would recommend in the immediate area, there is a nice BLM recreation area near Pilar. The road google maps shows going from Llano (near Ranchos) washed out decades ago, you must access from Pilar or from 567 on the West side of the gorge, the later road is nasty in bad weather or with a low clearance car and a white knuckle drive otherwise. On the West side there is a trail which runs to the Gorge Bridge a full day hike to the north, the best parts of this trail are the parts near the Taos Junction bridge though. If in this area, in the settlement of Carson there is a small eatery and grocery store, Poco Loco, which would be excellent for people watching, frequented by hippies, freaks, etc but be polite about pointing your camera.

    For the heck of it, some good eats in Santa Fe... Maria's is a little pricey but truly excellent for New Mexican (spicy) food and they wrote the book on Margaritas, reservations recommended for dinner. Blue Corn Cafe is cheaper and good, offers some non-spicy food, near the Mall, and Guadalajara Grill is only a bit pricier than Denny's but it is mostly spicy and their Americana type food isn't so good. There is a superb burger place outside of SF on Old Las Vegas Highway called Bobcat Bite, cheap but a ways outside of town. Piccolino on Agua Fria offers good Italian and is reasonably priced. Cowgirls downtown on Guadalupe has some nightlife, might look like a gay bar at first, but this is just because SF is really accepting and maybe more so here. In a pinch Wholefoods (who I hate btw) has a good selection of cheap, quick and healthy eats.

    And just cuz, in Taos, Sushi a la Hatori at Overland Sheep Ranch is the best sushi I've had when I wasn't within site of an ocean, is pricey for dinner but lunch is more reasonable. Taos Outback Pizza is damned good and the slices are giganormous. The Alley Cantina has good bar food and as much night life as you are likely to find in Taos. Guadalajara Grill (2 locations) offers good cheap New Mexican food. Doc Martin's and Joseph's Table are both top notch and priced accordingly.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    Thanks for the tip Mike. How's the park as a whole?
    The place is fantastic! I could have spent a whole week there, but was confined to one day. Make sure you look at the brochures of what's available!

    http://www.nps.gov/elma/planyourvisit/brochures.htm
    Last edited by toro_mike; 04-19-2010 at 11:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: text editing

  9. #29

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    Is Ritas still around in Taos?? Loved those burritos.

    Stagecoach was my favorite hotsprings in and around Taos. I recall seeing nothing but dirt and sagebrush out of every window of a VW bus but the rear one enroute there one time...

  10. #30

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    Any tips for Southern NM? I am trying to plan things out for my trips in a couple weeks.

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