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Northeastern New Mexico Sights

Valle Vidal

  • Scenic Drive/Tour

Fodor's Review

One of New Mexico's great, although quite isolated, scenic routes heads northwest from U.S. 64 toward the town of Costillo (44 mi north of Taos on NM 522), affording great opportunities for sighting elk, deer, wild turkeys, and many other birds. The roughly 80-mi dirt road requires several hours of driving to complete—although it's okay for non–four-wheel-drive vehicles in summer and fall (assuming there hasn't been a major rainfall in a couple of days and you're comfortable

driving on some pretty rough roads). The trip passes through the heart of pristine Valle Vidal, a remote 102,000-acre tract of high-mountain grasslands, ponderosa, aspen, and sandstone cliffs. The fishing (season is July to December) in this region is mighty fine—the native Rio Grande cutthroat trout is found only in the rivers here—and there are two campgrounds, Cimarron and McCrystal. The western section of the road is closed May through June for elk-calving season, and the eastern section is closed to protect the elks January through March. (for information on conservation efforts and history of Valle Vidal, visit

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Sight Information


Off U.S. 64, turnoff is 8 mi east of Cimarron, Cimarron, 87524, United States




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