Auburn and green-hued mesas rise to divide a brilliant sky, while a diversity of wildlife takes cover within the high desert grasslands. The combination of these expansive vistas and their remarkable cultures creates the Land of Enchantment. After being immersed in New Mexico’s landscapes, you will travel to the Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch, a 103,000-acre bison and guest ranch renowned for its hospitality. Bordering Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the Zapata Ranch is a wildlife mecca, home to elk, bison, coyotes and a variety of birds. Our early autumn visit occurs when aspen and cottonwoods are ablaze with color, intensifying the Southwest’s seemingly endless natural palette.
- Journey along the scenic Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, watching aspen and conifer forests intermingle under the grandeur of the Southern Rockies.
- Tour Georgia O’Keeffe’s home at Abiquiu and explore the landscapes that inspired her.
- Celebrate San Geronimo Day in Taos Pueblo, known for its red willows, with feasting, dancing, pole climbing and shopping at a market of local artisans.
- Explore Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, with massive dunes rising 750 feet from the valley floor and an array of birdlife, including spotted and green-tailed towhees, red-naped sapsuckers, pinyon jays, great horned owls and golden eagles.
September 28-October 6, 2013
Cost: $3,590 double occupancy, $3,995 single occupancy (plus tax)
Information & Reservations:
The San Luis Valley—roughly the size of Connecticut—is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, vast wetlands and an immense aquifer that sustains the plants, animals and human communities living there. It is also home to the 97,000-acre Baca Ranch, about one-third of which became the nation’s 58th national park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, in part due to the efforts of the Conservancy. Combined with Zapata Ranch, the Great Sand Dunes conservation network is considered one of the largest conservation areas of its kind, linking together a mosaic of federal, state and privately-protected lands constituting more than 400,000 acres.
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