Pecos and Las Vegas

A round trip of about 186 miles

Head northeast on I-25 and exit at Pecos National Historical Park to explore the ruins of Pecos Pueblo and a Spanish mission church. This is also the gateway to the Pecos Wilderness, a hiking and fly-fishing paradise. Back on I-25, drive to Las Vegas, once a major trading center on the Santa Fe Trail and then a bustling railroad town. Today, more than 900 buildings are in the National Register of Historic Places and antique stores, shops and restaurants surround the historic plaza. Visit the City of Las Vegas Museum to learn more about the area's history, including the role local residents played in the Spanish-American War as part of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.

Take NM 518 north to Storrie Lake. You can fish, swim and boat at this reservoir before driving on to La Cueva, where the raspberries are ripe for picking in August and September at the Salman Ranch. Continue on 518 to Mora and visit the Cleveland Roller Mill Museum, housed in a restored flour mill powered by water. About a hundred years ago, the mill helped build this region's reputation as New Mexico's breadbasket. Today, alpaca and llamas graze the fields and clothing made from their wool is produced here. Head into the mountains along 518 then take NM 75 to Peñasco where you'll pick up NM 76 (part of the High Road to Taos). Follow NM 76 to US 84/285 and turn south to return to Santa Fe.