Rail riders chug through the scenic Rocky Mountains along the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad⎯the highest altitude and longest route traveled by an American coal-fired steam-operated train. Across 64 miles of track built in 1880, the iron horse chugs along at 15 miles per hour, winding through the Rocky Mountain air and presenting travelers with panoramic vistas. When voyaging from Chama, passengers pass through aspen trees and grassy hills on the way to the 10,015-foot high Cumbres Pass, where they drink in views of the entire Chama Valley and marvel at ant-sized humans transporting food to their queen. If leaving from Antonito, commuters cross over Ferguson's Trestle and a lava mesa before traversing the rim of the 800-foot-deep Toltec Gorge, passing through the mud tunnel, and bending around Phantom Curve.
The San Juan River winds through New Mexico's high desert country surrounded by cool, dry air in the summer and warm sunshine in the winter, providing year-round fishing opportunities for Mark Nesbit and his Blue Sky Fly Fishing Co. crew. They take everyone from beginners to advanced anglers out on wade, float, and reservoir trips, teaching the skills necessary to catch hard-fighting trout after determining where the fish have been congregating and which flies have been producing. While leading anglers into waist-deep water or overseeing them on drift boats, the guides also share advice on lure selection, which they have acquired over several decades of fishing in the San Juan River, Navajo Reservoir, and aquariums.
Big River Raft Trips owner Billy Miller, who has more than 10,000 river miles logged on his personal odometer, leads a team of expert guides that steers full- and half-day rafting trips along the Rio Grande. Big River Raft Trips categorizes each tour by its difficulty, delivering aquatic thrills to paddlers of all skill levels through placid, sightseeing rides for beginners as well as heart-racing treks through Class IV+ rapids for experts and human-dinghy hybrids. All rafting equipment is included for all trip.
Owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, Ski Apache touts a system of 11 ski lifts and is committed to keeping snow people safe while they enjoy nature's amusement park. The mountain offers dozens of trails for snowboarders and skiers of all skill levels, from first-time bunny slopers to double-black-diamond enthusiasts. Hitting the powder with friends or teaching an enemy that "french fry" skis are better than "pizza slice" skis when approaching a deep chasm can lead to a well-earned cup of cocoa at the bottom of the mountain and an overwhelming adrenaline rush to do it all over again.
Unlike mud runs before it, the 5K course of the Recon Run is adorned with boot-camp-style obstacles such as piles of tires, muddy trenches, and walls that runners must jump, scramble, and pull themselves over. The military theme comes as no surprise; after all, proceeds from this charity race support the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to injured and ill members of the US Armed Forces and their families. Upon completing the course, successful recruits earn T-shirts, dog tags, and beer that they can enjoy with fellow racers at the finish line.