To the northeast, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower over Taos Valley at 13,000 feet. To the west, the Rio Grande Gorge plunges 800 feet down into the canyon. As remote and rugged as this region can feel, humans have lived in Taos Pueblo on the northern edge of town for nearly a millennium, making it the oldest continuously inhabited dwelling in North America.
“Taos is steeped in traditional culture and history, and that element is an integral part of every outdoor adventure.”
What To Do:Hike: The Williams Lake Trail winds from the Taos Ski Valley Resort through spruce and fir forests for two miles before reaching picture-perfect Williams Lake at 11,101 feet. For more, continue up the trail to Wheeler Peak - the highest point in New Mexico at 13,161 feet. Look out for bighorn sheep and marmots.
Ride: Locals and visitors alike claim that South Boundary Trail is the best cross-country mountain biking trail in all of New Mexico. The 22-mile point-to-point is mostly single track through mountain meadows and aspen and pine forests, with a few tough (but short) climbs.
Climb: The Rio Grande Gorge - vertical basalt walls and cliffs for climbers of all levels. John’s Wall has easy access and about 20 different routes, and Miner’s Crag has a number of both sport and trad routes.
Something visitors don't do but should: Tsankawi at Bandelier National Monument is seldom visited, despite featuring ancient footpaths to Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs.
Where to eat: After a mountain adventure, get a green chile cheeseburger at the Stray Dog Cantina, or fondue at the Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant. In town, Antonio’s makes a killer chile relleno en nogada.
Where to imbibe: The Taos Mesa Brewing has great beer and live music in a scenic desert backdrop. What more could you want?
Where to stay (budget): La Doña Luz Inn, a bed and breakfast just steps from the old plaza, or for families with children, the Old Taos Guesthouse Bed & Breakfast. For camping, Orilla Verde or Wild Rivers Recreation Areas.
Where to stay (splurge): The Historic Taos Inn, located in the heart of town and known as the "living room of Taos." Or the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, located 50 minutes west of town.
Finish off your short break with a little relaxing SUP yoga...