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3 Ways to Spend Some Time in the Chama Valley this Spring


Well, so far Spring hasn’t felt very Springy in the Chama Valley this year. Much of the area saw six or more inches of snow two days after Spring officially arrived and as we head into April, we’re still seeing freezing temperatures and snow showers. But, never fear, the temperatures will rise, the snow will stop falling, and it will be time for Spring fun soon!

Spring is an incredible season in Chama and this is the perfect time to start daydreaming about all the fun you can have on your next visit. But, if you’re a bit worried about the lingering chill in the air once you arrive in Northern New Mexico, here are some perfect ideas for this time of year.

Chama, New Mexico is only eight miles from Colorado and the border between the two states is beautiful. You can head north or west to reach Colorado and both drives are worth doing based on the views alone. But, if you’re looking for a day trip, why not take a drive from Chama, NM to Pagosa Springs, CO? The drive is approximately 45 minutes and the scenery is stunning. This drive is a great way to see the changing landscape of the area and at the other end you’ll find the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. There are a number of hot springs open to the public and most are located in scenic downtown. Local restaurants and shops are in easy walking distance of the springs, you’ll have your choice of delicious food and souvenirs.

If you like day trips in the car enjoying as much of the local landscape as possible here’s another idea. Echo Amphitheater is a natural amphitheatre located in the Carson National Forest about 45 minutes south of the village of Chama. The drive is stunning with views of Northern New Mexico completely different to those you’ll see in any other direction. The amphitheater is just a short hike from the parking lot. If you’re with someone else, split up and the person in front will hear the echos of those behind them sounding eerily close. Legend has it that the stains down the walls are made from the blood of those who died here, so don’t let your group get too far apart!   

If you’re ready for to be out of the car, exploring nature and stretching your legs don’t worry, Chama’s got plenty for you too. Explore the Edward Sargent Wildlife Management Area at the north end of town. Spring and Summer are the two best seasons to view wildlife in the park and visitors often spot mule deer, porcupine, black bears, and numerous birds such as the warbling vireo and northern shrike. Covering more than 20,000 acres, the Sargent is a great place for hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, photography, or just a walk and a picnic amongst some amazing scenery.

These three ideas don’t even scratch the surface of things to do in Chama in the Spring! But, they’re all great reasons to make a trip to the area. Whether you’re looking for a quiet country weekend where you don’t do much of anything or an adventurous weekend exploring far and near, head to Chama for some fun this Spring.

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