Northern New Mexico is interesting and enchanting on many points.
Historically, it is one of those places where the ghosts of the past still dwell amongst the present civilisation. Though 400 years seems very recent for us, Santa Fe is the oldest state capital city in the United States and the oldest city in New Mexico. Here, past architecture is preserved and perpetuated. Chased from their original way of life, countless Native American Pueblos are still present, and many ruins of their ancient dwellings are preserved and venerated. Bandelier National Park is one of those ancient dwellings. Hundreds of Native Americans used to live there until 1550, living of the land and animals around them, building ingeniously and accordingly with their environment.
Nature wise, we were happy to see mountains and pine trees again. Santa Fe is surrounded by high mountains and ancient volcanoes. Valles Caldera has recently joined the National Parks Services (2015) and protects the caldera of an ancient volcano and its ecosystem. It is a marvelous place where wind and snow are more present than visitors. Numerous hot springs warmed are hidden in the mountains. On a cold and snowy morning, we decided to hike to San Antonio Hot Springs. Although this 4h hike was quite strenuous with all the snow (especially on our way back!), it was all worth it : warm water baths, a stunning view, and nobody around us, it was a little paradise.