The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad runs 64 miles from Chama, New Mexico, to Antonito, Colorado. The route is through high mountains. There is even a tunnel at the Toltec Gorge. One option is to take the train halfway to the Osier, Colorado, station, and then ride back on the train coming the other direction. You will miss the Toltec Gorge if you do this out of Chama but you will get to do the Cumbres Pass. The trains don't run once the snow covers the tracks. The Fall is the most popular time when the tree leaves change colors.
We found it quite cost effective to camp in the RV during our south eastern tour of New Mexico. There are so many places to camp for the night, and most with full RV hookup. One thing you may want to do though, is either make reservations in advance, or at least get there before dusk to secure a spot and entry into the park grounds.
As is my custom, I had pre-booked a rental car from Hertz so I could do some exploring in New Mexico before I had to get down to serious business. This worked out fine, my meandering trip with no pre-conceived route was very enjoyable as the scenery constantly changed. The few times that I was on the Interstate highway system reminded me why it was that I chose to take the back roads - quite a bit of traffic moving at high speed with no time to really enjoy the sights! However, be warned that the speed limits on the secondary roads are some of the slowest that I have ever seen. They ranged from 25 to 50 mph but many long stretches were set at 35-40 mph. Since I was not in a hurry to get anywhere, this was no problem for me and I just set the cruise control accordingly. I did see about 5 cases where police had motorists pulled over, and I read some warnings on the internet about those 25 mph 'speed traps' in some of the small villages on the Jemez River road. I also saw a statistic that said New Mexico has one of the highest rates of pedestrians being killed by cars - mostly due to intoxication by the pedestrians! While driving to the motel in Espanola on Saturday night I think that I saw a couple of candidates! The roads are very good, even the back road that I took from Mora up to Angel Fire, just east of Taos. At times this road, Rte. 434, gets down to one lane at a speed limit of 25 mph as it twists its way upward through the mountains. I paid $103 for the two day rental, including taxes and charges (plus $21 for gasoline).
Drive it!! This is one place in the world where it is easy to drive and it is worth driving to and thru. It can be a mystical experience, the landscapes are amazing and like no other place in the world.
DRIVE!!!! NM is easy to drive around and more convenient if you want to visit different parts of the state.
The cheapest way is flighing directly into Albuquerque Internaton Sunport it is about a 60 mile drive to Santa Fe ans 120 mile to Taos. There is a shuttle from Albuquerque to Taos. You can also fly into Taos's small public airport but it about $150.
Walking is you best bet around the plaza, kit carson st. and bent street. There is a bus but it really is not necessary. For the out way trip like Taos Ski Valley or Arroyo Seco a car is your best bet.
Fly to New Mexico (either Albuquerque in the northern part of the state or El Paso for the southern part of the state) and drive! Be prepared for a 3 hour drive to be a 'short' drive. It's a BIG state.
Airline Transportation: into New Mexico from outside the state is reasonably reliable.
Airline Transportation: within the state of New Mexico is handled almost exclusively by Mesa Airlines. It's not that the 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 turboprop aircraft are uncomfortable; they're fine, and the longest jaunt in-state is only about an hour. the problem is that Mesa can *rarely* get a plane off the ground on time. Flying out of Albuquerque on Mesa gets worse as the day goes on; if your flight out is scheduled later than 4 pm, expect a delay. A long one, or even a cancellation. I've seen them cancel the flight to Roswell and offer to take passengers to Carlsbad instead (75 miles away) and then be 'kind' enough to let the passengers use the phone to call someone to drive down & pick them up at the other airport. Flights to Farmington leave and hour to tow hours late many evenings. Flights from Farmington also get to Albuquerque late often; I've seen passengers with connecting flights scheduled 1.5 hours after they were supposed to arrive in Albuquerque miss the connections becuase the plane was late from Farmington. Again, a fairly common occurence. Don't expect to rent a car and drive if your Mesa plans are scrubbed; the airport is wary of one-way rentals and you'll get a run-around. The best advice is just plan on and extra hour or two at least when booking connections through Mesa.
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