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Forget any preconceptions you may have about the New Mexico "desert." The high desert climate of this part of the world is generally dry but not always warm. Santa Fe and Taos, at 7,000 feet above sea level, have midsummer highs in the 90s (30s Celsius) and lows in the 50s (teens Celsius). This is the busiest time of year in New Mexico, when most cultural activities are in full swing and prices and temperatures rise. You'll want to make hotel reservations in advance.

Spring and fall are some of New Mexico's most pleasant seasons, with highs in the 60s (teens Celsius), and lows in the 30s (-1°C and below). Spring can be windy, but the skiing can be excellent, with sunny days and the season's accumulated deep snow. Fall is a particularly big draw because the aspens turn golden in the mountains. In both spring and fall, tourist traffic is sparse and room rates are lower.

Winter can be delightful in northern New Mexico, when typical daytime temperatures are in the low 40s (single digits Celsius), and overnight lows are in the teens (-8°C and below). The snowy days here are some of the prettiest you'll ever see, and during a good snow year (as much as 300 in. at Taos Ski Valley), skiers can really enjoy the region. However, during holidays, the slopes can get crowded. During all the seasons, temperatures in Albuquerque, at 5,300 feet, often run about 10° warmer than elsewhere in the northern region.

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.