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The Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway is a dramatic 16-mile drive from the center of historic Santa Fe to the Santa Fe Ski Area through the high valley of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in New Mexico. This drive is most scenic in autumn when the aspen colors are in full effect. The scenic byway is part of the Santa Fe Trail, a 188-mile 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Franklin in Missouri with Santa Fe in New Mexico, and served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880.

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