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Fall Colors and Locations in Northern New Mexico

Larry H. - Atlanta, GA , Aug 31, 2010; 12:54 p.m.

I am considering visiting my aunt in Albuquerque in early October. I am hoping I can get some ideas about nature photography (landscape & wildlife) locations in northern NM around this time, as well as when fall colors arrive in the mountains. Anyway, I am considering making a grand loop to the Four Corners area to see Shiprock, Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, Los Alamos and Bandelier, but I am open to other suggestions. Are there any good wildlife refuges up in that area? (Bosque del Apache is farther southwest and I'd be there too early--I was there a number of years ago, though.)

I did a search, but I only got back ten threads, none of which really pertained. I know this info is probably already in the archives, but cannot figure what I am doing wrong. Most of what I get are threads about Bosque. -- Thanks, Larry

Responses

William Kahn , Aug 31, 2010; 02:55 p.m.

As long as you're going to Mesa Verde, go a little farther north to the Durango, CO area in the San Juan range of the Rockies. The aspens should be looking good by then...

Mitch Seaver , Sep 01, 2010; 02:20 a.m.

Bandelier is well worth it.If you have time in the area the Valles Caldera is interesting as are the Jemez Mountains. The High Road to Taos is very scenic, I would make an effort to include that. Here are some shots from back in my Oly 8080 days http://www.mitchseaver.com/newmexico

Larry H. - Atlanta, GA , Sep 01, 2010; 10:57 a.m.

Thanks William, I'll check into that. Although the more I think about it, I may prefer to stay for a few nights somewhere around Los Alamos (anyone know of a good lodge, B&B or rental cabins around there?) and just do day trips. I took a vacation last year where I overdid it on driving and may want to avoid that. It seems the Los Alamos/Bandelier NM area has a lot to offer by itself. Mitch, I love your pictures. I particularly like the gate in #12.

I did finally find a couple of good, older threads by searching on 'Bandelier'. But I still would appreciate info on places to go, mostly in north central NM. Also, I am still looking for info on when the fall colors generally arrive in this area, particularly if there might be any aspen stands without having to go to Durango (although that's a good idea I will check out.

Mitch Seaver , Sep 02, 2010; 12:41 a.m.

Thanks Larry. That is a shot of Sanctuary at Chimayo on the High Road to Taos. It has quite a history and is worth visiting. We stayed with our son in Los Alamos. He was working at the Lab at the time. He is back in school finishing his phd and I do not know of places to stay there.
We took a side trip to Taos. If not for the family thing I would have spent more time more time around Taos than Los Alamos. Lots of places I would have love to have shot I did not have time too. The town is interesting too, of course Northern NM is known for its light. We stayed in this bb there Well located and with some character: http://www.stayintaos.com/index.html I do not keep track of such things, but I have no doubt my wife shopped a good deal. No local knowledge on fall color or aspen stands, so can't help you there.

James Smith , Sep 02, 2010; 08:29 a.m.

Larry:
From Taos, you could travel the "Enchanted Circle" Taos-Angel Fire-Eagle Nest-Red River and back to Taos, which would take you through the mountains. The aspens should be very nice in early October. Also, you might plan to spend more time around Taos and shoot some of the classics (church at Ranchos de Taos, the high bridge, etc). A really great B&B in Taos is the Mabel Dodge Luhan house. Also, if you are willing to put up with the crowds, the Balloon Festival is a photographic treat. Also, between ABQ and Santa Fe is a relatively unknown National Monument, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, which are definitely worth a visit. Have a great visit- you are going to be there at a great time of the year!

James Smith , Sep 02, 2010; 08:58 a.m.

Larry:
From Taos, you could travel the "Enchanted Circle" Taos-Angel Fire-Eagle Nest-Red River and back to Taos, which would take you through the mountains. The aspens should be very nice in early October. Also, you might plan to spend more time around Taos and shoot some of the classics (church at Ranchos de Taos, the high bridge, etc). A really great B&B in Taos is the Mabel Dodge Luhan house. Also, if you are willing to put up with the crowds, the Balloon Festival is a photographic treat. Also, between ABQ and Santa Fe is a relatively unknown National Monument, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, which are definitely worth a visit. Have a great visit- you are going to be there at a great time of the year!

Larry H. - Atlanta, GA , Sep 06, 2010; 05:04 p.m.

Again, thank you everyone. I am still deciding what to do. I had pretty much figured on an itinerary when I realized I have an old high school friend in Silver City in the SW part of New Mexico, near Gila National Forest. Is anyone familiar with nature opportunities in this area? I know it is too early for the birds to be at Bosque, but it has been a long time since I was at White Sands (SE part of the state--I know, it's a big state). I was last at White Sands on a quick stay with my wife on a cross-country trip in the late 80s or early 90s--in the summer. Maybe I could substitute White Sands as a photo destination instead of fall colors in the northern part of the state. I also used to dabble in amateur astronomy and there's a amateur astro lodge in Cloudcroft, but I am guessing they have been booked solid for a while. From there, Guadelupe Mtns NP and El Paso is only a little further. (I've been to Carlsbad, and more recently to Mammoth Cave NP, so Guadelupe interests me more.)

Anyway, if anyone can give me feedback on nature opportunities in the southern part of the state too, I'd appreciate it. Also, when does fall color arrive at the higher elevations around Cloudcroft or Guadelupe Mtns? Thanks a milion! -- Larry

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