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Chama New Mexico offers historical walking tours, outdoor recreation, shopping, fossil hunting and panning for gold. Three scenic national forests surround the Chama Valley - Carson, Rio Grande and Santa Fe, plus two state parks and two lakes. Chama Valley's outstanding feature, the famous Brazos Cliffs and waterfall, is a hiker's and photographer's dream. The state parks and forested mountains bring hundreds of visitors each year for hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, river rafting and kayaking, birdwatching and viewing incredible wildlife such as deer, elk, eagle and bear. The Chama, Brazos, and Los Pinos Rivers are known for their trout fishing. If you’re up for the challenge and you want to go a little further, there are miles and miles of remote fishing waters only available on foot. Chama has much to offer year round – not just spring and summer. Autumn brings outstanding fall foliage and hunting opportunities, and winter brings cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

If you’re looking for a place to experience the Old West, Chama is, by far, one of the most exciting and well-known historic Old West towns. One of the town’s main attractions is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Climb aboard and experience the sights and sounds and smells of steam engine travel. The Cumbres & Toltec is one of the few narrow gauge railroad trains still running in the U.S. and it takes tourists on a spectacular 64 mile ride to Antonio, Colorado and back again. A road joins the two communities, making it possible for visitors to take the train one way and return (or drive to Antonito) by car. You can also book a van ride for one-way transportation -- either to or from Antonito. Osier is the high halfway point where the train stops and lunch is available. There are actually two trains that exchange at Osier and both have cars that are either fully enclosed or open. The train runs Memorial Day through mid-October. The line was built as the San Juan extension of the Denver & Rio Grande in 1880 to service the mining camps in the San Juan Mountains. It is now owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, and runs Memorial Day through mid-October.

You’ll also want to tour Old Town Chama, including the railroad yards and warehouse. Be sure to visit The Hotel and Shops, a refurbished 1939 hotel and shops, right across the street from the railroad. Other nearby attractions include the Ghost Ranch Living Museum, located 45 miles south of Chama. This fascinating museum is on the site of the Old Ghost Ranch, which is the legendary farm where artist Georgia O’Keeffe painted some of her earliest works. The Echo Amphitheater is a recreation site near the Ghost Ranch that offers trails that explore the large Santa Fe National Forest, and also a scenic campground. The Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation is located west and south of Chama and the drive through the reservation is considered a scenic drive The Little Beaver Roundup is held on the reservation in July and the Stone Lake Fiesta in mid-September.


 

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