This day trip will take you to the charming town of Taos, a culturally rich small town set against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and a spectacular mesa sliced by the meandering Rio Grande to the west. For maximum sightseeing, travel to Taos on the High Road (US 84/285 to SR 503 to SR 76 to SR 518. Reach Taos in approximately 2½ hours) and return on the Low Road (NM 68 to US 84/285) that follows the Rio Grande for part of the trip. The Low Road is about a 1½ hour drive to Santa Fe. (Approximately 165 miles roundtrip)
Nambe Pueblo and Nambe Falls: Nambe pueblo is an historic 700-year-old pueblo located north of Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Beautiful Nambe Falls, 4 miles beyond the pueblo, tumbles through a rocky canyon in a spectacular display. A nearby recreational site offers an amazing setting for picnicking, hiking and camping. 505-455-2036
Chimayó: This small village is located 40 miles south of Taos and 24 miles northeast of Santa Fe, about ten miles east of Española in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It is on Hwy 76 (the “High Road”) – a scenic route through old Spanish villages. Today Chimayó is famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families. Many shops contain their work as well as fine art and crafts from the region. This quaint northern New Mexico town is also the home of the famous Santuario de Chimayó (a National Historic Landmark), a church built in 1814-1816 that has been the destination of countless pilgrims who attribute it with miraculous powers of healing.
Taos Pueblo: The Taos Pueblo is on the northern outskirts of the town of Taos. It consists of an amazing multi-story adobe structure built between 1000 and 1450 AD and has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. Approximately 150 people still live within the Pueblo full time, and the people of the Pueblo continue to maintain the age-old beliefs and cultural traditions of their ancient society. Privately owned shops and galleries throughout the village support the numerous local artists. 505-758-1028
The Millicent Rogers Museum: Four miles north of Taos, visitors can enjoy an outstanding historical collection of Native American jewelry, ceramics, paintings, and weavings, as well as Hispanic textiles, metalwork, sculpture, and a wide range of contemporary Southwestern art. The original collection was amassed by Standard Oil Heiress Millicent Rogers and has been expanded to include Hispanic secular and religious arts and crafts from colonial to current times. Museum hours and information can be obtained by calling 505-758-2462.
The Taos Art Museum: The Taos Art Museum is housed in the home of Nicolai Fechin (Fechin House), who, with his family, moved to Taos in 1927. Born in Russia, Fechin is one of the most important portrait painters of the 20th Century. His paintings of Native Americans and of the New Mexico desert landscape are considered among his best works. The Museum’s permanent collection also includes many examples of Fechin’s carvings, along with over 300 works of art by more than 50 Taos artists, and features the Taos Society of Artists and Taos Moderns. 505-758-2609
San Francisco de Asis: This historic church, four miles south of Taos in Rancho de Taos, dates from 1772. Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams have memorialized this famous church because of its unique massive adobe and masonry architecture. This edifice is ideally entered through the garden on the west side to fully appreciate its enormous structure and authentic adobe construction. The church is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but is closed from noon to 1:00 p.m. Please call for more information. 505-758-2754
Ohkay Owingeh (formerly the San Juan Pueblo): Returning from Taos via NM 68, one passes through this Pueblo that was established as the first Spanish capital city of the New Mexico Territory in 1598. Watch local artisans create their wares, and then purchase jewelry, pottery and other crafts at the Ohkay Owingeh Crafts Cooperative. 505-852-4400