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Northern New Mexico may simply mean the northern part of New Mexico, but in cultural terms it usually means the area of heavy Spanish settlement in the north-central part.
The traditional southern boundary of the area is an escarpment called La Bajada ("the descent") southwest of Santa Fe. The map in Cobos (1983) is a guide: from La Bajada the boundary runs northwest about 50 miles (80 km) west of U.S. Routes 285 and 84, and northeast about 20 miles (30 km) east of Interstate 25, to the Colorado border. The area might also be described roughly as comprising Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Taos, and Colfax Counties; northeastern Sandoval County, northern Santa Fe County; and western San Miguel and Mora Counties, possibly with parts of adjoining counties. To the west is the Four Corners region; to the east is "Little Texas".
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