The Land of Enchantment know no seasons

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of September 14-21, 1995

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The Land of Enchantment knows no seasons
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The Land of Enchantment know no seasons
Q: Is fall a good time to travel in New Mexico?
Bob Winter
Chicago, IL
[email protected]

A: There really is no bad time to visit the Land of Enchantment; every season has its share of good weather, outdoor activities, and cultural events. Fall is particularly beautiful--with its cool nights of temperatures in the 50s, sunny days in the 70s and 80s, and mountains fringed with golden aspens. We're currently seeing the tail end of "monsoon season" which begins mid-July and runs through mid-September, so its a good idea to bring rain gear. Afternoon thunderstorms can roll in suddenly, although these usually amount to torrential drenchings that dissipate into clear skies within a couple hours.

The mountains surrounding Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos provide excellent terrain for hiking and mountain biking through October. You'll want to beware of those aforementioned storms, as a recent study ranked New Mexico the second most hazardous state for lightening--about seven people are struck each year. In the higher elevations, snow can fall as early as mid-October, but generally doesn't start to stick until mid-November. When the snow comes to stay, don't forget there's excellent skiing at Taos and Santa Fe ski areas.

An abundance of autumn events lends a festive atmosphere to the region beginning in August with the Bernalillo Wine Festival and Indian Market Be sure to check out a dance at Taos Pueblo, and a morning launch at the world-famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes off in the beginning of October. For more information, call the New Mexico Department of Tourism in Santa Fe, 505-827-7400.

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