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How to Spend a Winter Weekend in New Mexico

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Snowboarders and skiers in northern New Mexico search for a choice spot to begin their descent. Photo by Bud Force/Aurora.
Snowboarders and skiers in northern New Mexico search for a choice spot to begin their descent. Photo by Bud Force/Aurora.

Exploring New Mexico’s winter landscape doesn’t mean giving up fine food or a bit of culture. Ghost Ranch, a retreat and education center just an hour’s drive from Santa Fe, has lured artists, explorers and spiritual seekers for decades — including Georgia O’Keeffe, who painted almost every view of the surrounding sandstone formations and sweeping valley of the Chama Basin.

An après ski break at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Photo by Julien McRoberts.
An après ski break at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Photo by Julien McRoberts.

The ranch’s winter programs blend the very best of culture and adventure. Entering the White Mystery adventure (a multi-day course at the ranch), arms you with the skills needed to explore on skis or snowshoes. Though most of the course is spent on snow, time to explore the ranch and visit Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs resort and spa is included.

A native western screech owl. Photo courtesy of iStock.
A native western screech owl. Photo courtesy of iStock.

In northern New Mexico, more than 500,000 acres of wilderness surround the Costilla Lodge at Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch. The lodge comes with eight simple yet sophisticated rooms, a private chef and a striking panorama of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Costilla Basin. At 10,200 feet, it serves as the perfect base camp for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and wildlife viewing. Cap off your outdoor activities with gourmet meals, an in-room massage or fireside chats with other guests.

— By Jordan Martindell

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