Top 6 Things To Do in: Taos, NM
No matter what you may have heard about Taos, chances are it’s nothing like that at all. Taos is a place that defies definition. It’s touristy and down to earth. Refined and gritty. Weird and traditional. This little town of 5,766 in northeastern New Mexico can be enjoyed not only for the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, but for the unique scene as well.
- Drive across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, photo courtesy of Marissa Bracke
The Rio Grande River cuts a 50-mile gash through the high desert near Taos, NM. While you can drive into it near Pilar, it’s absolutely breathtaking to behold from above. Just ten miles outside of Taos is the Gorge Bridge, a steel deck arch bridge which crosses the gorge. It’s 565ft to the bottom, so don’t stand too close to the edge! Be sure to bring cash as there are frequently vendors selling everything from trinkets to ice cream during the summer.
- Visit the Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo in Winter, photo courtesy of Mike Fisher
Ancestors of today’s Taos Indians have lived in the surrounding area for 1000 years. The Pueblo itself was built 1000 and 1450 AD, though other adobe buildings were constructed in years since. One hundred and fifty people live in the Pueblo today and is open to visitors at certain hours. We recommend taking a tour to learn about the Pueblo’s history and traditions.
- Eat at Taos Pizza Outback
Known as TPO to locals, this small hidden away restaurant makes some of the best and most thoughtfully baked pizzas in the world. Each slice is its own serving and is cooked individually to order. Green chili? Check. Honey chipotle chili sauce? You bet. Boring? No way. TPO has something on the menu for everyone, including a gluten-free crust option.
- Enjoy the Southwest art scene
Shopping on the Taos Plaza, photo courtesy of Mark Goebel
Taos is known for its vibrant Southwest art scene. Head down to the Plaza, a historic district that was built by the Spanish in the late 1700s. In addition to the numerous tourist shops, you’ll find a plethora of fine art galleries and jewelry shops with work from local and regional artists.
- Check out the Taos Ski Valley
Taos Ski Valley, photo courtesy of YoTuT
Taos Mountain is one of the steepest ski resorts in the United States with loads of expert terrain. But don’t worry! There are still plenty of ski runs for everyone else. With views overlooking the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Taos Ski Valley feels secluded and secret, hidden miles above the town of Taos.
- Climb New Mexico’s highest peak
Wheeler Peak and Williams Lake, photo courtesy of YoTuT
You can also access Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico at 13,167 ft. Accessed from the Ski Valley via two trails (Williams Lake and Bull-of-the-Woods). The shortest route is via Williams Lake, but you will gain a lot of elevation in a very short period of time. From the clear alpine lake, you’ll hike 2,000ft to the summit up a steep talus ridge. The views from the top are well worth it: on one side the Moreno Valley opens up below you and on the other the high desert. Enjoy and don’t forget your eNZees to prevent blisters on your hike!