One of the most amazing things about the fall season is that while the temperatures get cooler, the colors of the landscape get warmer. And thus, a popular fall activity is simply going somewhere to watch the leaves change color as summer turns into autumn. So if you are in the area, and searching for somewhere to see the fall colors in New Mexico, here are some activities for you!
5 Places to See Fall Colors in New Mexico
The Gila Wilderness is a federal Wilderness area in the U.S. Located near Silver City, New Mexico. This Wilderness area provides over 3 Million acres of mountain scenery and primitive recreation to those who wish for a more wild take on their autumn adventure. Hike to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, explore the Catwalk Recreation Area or watch the evening stars at the Cosmic Campground. The Gila Wilderness can offer a visitor an unforgettable experience packed with New Mexico’s fall foliage, and so much more.
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad
For a more rustic and old-fashioned view of fall in New Mexico, is the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad. This is the longest and highest steam railroad in the United States. Riders can take the 64-mile journey from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO. While zigzagging through colorful forests, experience some of the best rocky mountain scenery that both states have to offer. The railroad is an adventure the whole family can enjoy from grandchild to grandparent. For those who want a more relaxing view of the New Mexico Rockies, this ride might be for you.
Chama Rafting Trip
The Rio Chama is located just 35 minutes northwest of Española, NM. There is no better way to experience the fall color in New Mexico than from the Chama Canyon Wilderness! Enjoy wild whitewater, primitive solitude, good camping, and the vibrancy of fall all on the same trip.
New Mexico River Adventures offers a number of rafting trips on the Rio Chama in New Mexico. Aside from our regular 3 Day Rio Chama rafting trip departures, each of our specialty trips only runs once a year, so booking early is key.
Aspen Vista Trail
Not too far from Santa Fe is the Aspen Vista trail that leads to the top of Ski Santa Fe. This 10-mile round trip rugged forest service road is best hiked or biked, especially in the autumn. The multiple overlooks of the southern portion of Carson National Forest provide excellent views of the New Mexico fall foliage. Don’t miss the aspens show off a beautiful mix of orange, red, and yellow from the summit.
U.S. 64 West: Taos-to-Chama
One of the most scenic fall drives in the U.S. is just west of Taos on U.S route 64. This drive takes you over the famous Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and keeps going west into Carson National Forest. Relish in the lush and colorful forested mountains, accompanied by vast panoramic views at Brazos summit. The drive down towards Tierra Amarilla is equally as beautiful. Once you arrive, continue North towards Chama or continue south towards Abiquiu and its reservoir.
Whether you’re taking an autumn vacation, or looking for a weekend getaway, there are many ways to appreciate the fall colors in New Mexico! As New Mexico’s top-rated river outfitter, we at New Mexico River Adventures know how to plan an epic adventure. Whether you’re looking for New Mexico kayaking, want to experience a unique SUP trip, or have questions about Rio Chama rafting, we are your one-stop shop! Book a trip with New Mexico River Adventures today!