|The lighting of Ledoux, a 15-year-old tradition. Photo courtesy of GaKStonn Imagery/Taos County Chamber of Commerce|
Work up an appetite for a spicy, smothered burrito by cross-country skiing below Wheeler Peak, the state’s tallest mountain. Or hit the slopes at Taos Ski Valley: 113 trails lace the glades, cornices, big bumps, steep chutes and bone-dry powder shots at one of the continent’s last family-owned and -operated resorts. Winter brings torch-lit parades and a late-January 10-day wine festival with two grand tastings with 75 blends from 20 regional vineyards and nibbles from local restaurants. Another popular Valley event is the Ski and Snow Jam, January 24-27, 2013. (Travelgirl tip: At press time, lodging, lift tickets, rentals and two nights of concerts cost just $350 per person, thanks to an early bird special).
The Taos Pueblo takes festivities up a notch with bonfires, rifle salutes and dramatic animal dances. Inhabited for more than a millennium, this small sovereign nation remains the only inhabited Native American community ever designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. Its bright blur of rattles, cowboy boots and beribboned headdresses puts a spin on the holidays that’s uniquely Southwestern.
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