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The NRA Whittington Center (tel. 575/445-3615; www.nrawc.org), off US 64 about 10 miles south of Raton, is considered the most complete nonmilitary shooting and training facility in the world. Operated by the National Rifle Association, it spans 50 square miles of rolling hills.

In the little town of Springer (pop. 1,300), 39 miles south of Raton via I-25, the Santa Fe Trail Museum, in the center of town on Maxwell Avenue (tel. 575/483-5554), is housed in the old three-story 1881 Colfax County Courthouse. It contains pioneer artifacts and memorabilia from travelers along the Santa Fe Trail and early residents of the area. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to noon and 1 to 3pm. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors, and $2 for students; free for children 8 and under with an adult, free on Saturday. The Colfax County Fair takes place in Springer annually in mid-August, with a rodeo and 4-H fair. Call tel. 575/445-8071 for more information.

If you want to stay or dine in Springer, stop in at the Brown Hotel & Café, 302 Maxwell Ave. (tel. 575/483-2269). This old-time place has photos of area ranchers on the walls and sweet country-style rooms upstairs. The food is diner-style, with plenty of pancakes, burritos, and, of course, chicken-fried steak.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.