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Explore Taos and the Surrounding Area

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The Top Memorable Things To Do in Taos

The town of Taos combines the stark beauty of the high desert southwest with the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains as the backdrop to a rich history steeped in culture, art, and endless outdoor recreation. The weather is beautiful year-round with sunny blue skies, mild temperatures, and moderate snow during the winter and spring. New Mexico has so much to offer – let's take a look at some of our favorite suggestions for things to do in and around Taos.

Taos Pueblo

The northernmost of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico, Taos Pueblo is a living Native American community with a 1,000+ year history. It is one of the longest inhabited communities with a detailed oral history dating back long before Columbus. The present adobe buildings of the Pueblo were likely built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., appearing much as they do today when the first Spanish explorers arrived in Northern New Mexico in 1540. We encourage you to take a tour of the pueblo, learn of the rich history, and attend a ceremony. You can also do a little shopping at the individually owned curio shops within the Pueblo. Mica-flecked pottery and silver jewelry are always a favorite, as well as moccasins, boots and drums. There is also a growing number of contemporary Pueblo fine artists, combining Indian tradition with modern artistic expression. 

Rio GrandE Gorge Bridge

The fifth highest bridge the U.S., you are guaranteed to have some impressive views of the Rio Grande River some 650 feet below. Spanning 1,300 feet in width, you can park at the rest area to the west of the bridge which provides access to a 6 mile trail (out and back) along the gorge rim. It's an easy stroll (or mountain biking trail), so be sure to keep your eyes open for Bighorn sheep perched expertly along the crumbling rocks within the gorge. Insider tip: there are spectacular views at sunset!


Within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is a great scenic hike with beautiful river and gorge views. Connecting the River Trail and the Little Arsenic trail creates a fairly short and easy-to-moderate section, but you can always add on additional hike sections to keep exploring.


The Spanish established missions throughout the southwest, with the oldest in New Mexico. Starting in the 1600s, Franciscan friars built missions in villages in an attempt to convert the locals. While many were destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, some were rebuilt, and there remains 24 in northern New Mexico.

Here are a few we suggest to start with:
  • San Francisco de Asis Mission (Ranchos de Taos)
  • Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos (Talpa)
  • Santisima Trinidad (Arroyo Seco)
  • Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Pilar)
  • San Geronimo de Taos (Taos Pueblo)
San Francisco De Asis Church, also known as

EXPLORE Museums & Galleries

With several museums and over 80 galleries, art and history lovers can rejoice and keep themselves busy. From the visual arts to the literary arts, from clay to fiber, you are sure to have a memorable experience. Here are a few to consider:

VISIT The Earthship Community

The Earthship concept was conceived in the 1970s by architect Michael Reynolds. These remarkable, self-sustaining structures are built with recycled and natural materials, and comprise the world's largest off-grid subdivision. A supermodel of sustainable living, the Greater World Earthship Community is open for tours and available for sleepovers.


As a leader in using geothermal energy it shouldn't be a surprise that New Mexico also has many hot springs throughout the state. We have several around Taos – both primitive and pampered luxury – that allow you to take advantage of the mineral-rich waters that bubble up from underground. And, even better after a winter day on the slopes!
  • Taos Pueblo Tribal Hot Springs
  • Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, Caliente
guy in hot spring by the mountain

Discover Native American Artisans

There are 19 Pueblos in New Mexico each with its own unique traditions, culture, and a vibrant art community. Hundreds of skilled artists are creating fine art in both traditional and contemporary styles. Here a few places and artists to begin your exploration:

Kimosabe website
Atcitty's on Taos Plaza website
RC Gorman website
Amado Peña website
Bobby Bales website
Dawning Pollen Shorty website
David Naranjo website

FinD the Perfect piece of Turquoise Jewelry

While New Mexico is teaming with iconic emblems, there's nothing quite as quintessentially southwest as the beautiful marriage of turquoise and sterling silver. Here are a few places to start your quest for the perfect piece:

Bryans Gallery website
El Rincon Trading Post website
Mesa's Edge website
Taos Blue website
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If your adventures take you through Arroyo Seco, be sure to grab a treat at Taos Cow. We recommend their tasty New Mexico-inspired flavors: Piñon Caramel, Cherry Ristra, or Choco Rio Grande - yum!


If you're in the mood to explore more of New Mexico, take the day to learn more about the area, view the stunning high desert landscape, breath in the mountain highs, explore historical sights, pueblos, and more. Here are few day trips from Taos.
An 83-mile drive centered around Wheeler Peak (NM's tallest at 13,159ft). Through valleys and mountains, mesas and forests, you'll also visit many charming communities full of culture, activities, and outdoor recreation. Learn more.

Abiquiu is a quaint village about 62 miles away that was settled in the 1740s and still retains the flavor of Spanish settlements. Ghost Ranch is located nearby – a beautiful place surrounded by multilayered cliff walls, red hills, and mesas. A visit here and you'll quickly understand why Georgia O'Keeffe loved northern New Mexico. While O'Keeffe didn't own Ghost Ranch (just a home in it), you can take a guided tour of the ranch to learn more about O'Keeffe and stop at the places where she painted, tour her home, or simply hike the area, take a trail ride, or visit the museums on site. Learn more.
A picturesque 105-mile route to Santa Fe through small villages with breath-taking views of rocky mesas and alpine forests, from mountain tops to valleys. Learn more.

Encompassing more than 30,000 acres of stunning canyons and desert mesas the land of Bandelier National Monument was once home to Ancestral Pueblo People. As you explore the area, you'll see evidence of human existence that dates back more than 11,000 years, which includes Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and the standing masonry walls of former communities. At just 70 miles from Taos, it makes for a wonderful day trip.  Learn more.

Just two hours from Taos (120 miles), Great Sand Dunes National Park is actually in Colorado, but makes for an excellent and adventurous day trip. Hike the dunes or rent a sand sled and enjoy the day playing in the sand. Learn more.


Hiking is undoubtedly one of the most popular summer activities in Taos with stunning vistas and idyllic temperatures. There are many other ways to experience our land of adventure from horseback riding to white water rafting to ballooning high above. Here are a few ideas (yes, including llamas!):
Whether a mellow float, a family-friendly white water adventure, or a thrilling ride through the Taos Box, water lovers rejoice! The Rio Grande River or nearby Chama River will scratch that itch for an aquatic good time. Learn more.

Into the mountains, the canyons, or across urban paths, choose one of our favorites here.

Whether an easy 7 miler at Cebolla Mesa or a strenuous 10+ mile in Ojitos Canyon, there are miles of trails in and around Taos to discover.

If road cycling is your preference, Taos is as underrated as it is challenging with epic scenery and solid climbs. Try The Enchanted Circle, a popular 85-mile loop through Questa and Red River, near Angel Fire.
Consider a different way to appreciate the beauty of lands around Taos – high on horseback or with a gentle four-footed llama companion. Guides share their extensive knowledge of local ecology, natural history, and good stories. A memorable way to experience the wilderness surrounding Taos.

How about amazing 360-degree views from 500-4000 feet above? There are several balloon outfitters in Taos offering a sunrise float above the Rio Grande Gorge, drifting past ancient basalt formations and exploring the sensational terrain of the area. Learn more.
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Snow-Loving Activities

It's true, Taos is known for some of the best skiing in the country. But, whether on or off the slopes, winter in Taos is full of activities for everyone!
There are several options to ski and snowboard around Taos at our four ski areas, many of which also offer alternative snowplay options.


X-Country Skiing is available throughout Carson National Forest. If you are looking for groomed trails, we recommend Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area. Learn more.
Taos Ski Valley offers several snowshoe trails including Columbine Canyon trails, Yerba Canyon Trail, Italianos Canyon Trail, and more. Learn More.

U.S. Hill Snow Play Area Learn More.

Each winter season the public is offered a wide range of open skating at the Taos Youth and Family Center. Learn More.