Attractions and Activities in Taos, New Mexico
Students of Native American culture, early Spanish and Mexican inhabitants, and American settlers will find an abundance of intriguing history in and around Taos. The Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. Kit Carson’s legacy is also an integral part of Taos’ history, featuring his early home and museum, and gravesite. Several other museums offer additional insights into the rich history of the Taos area.
Art Lovers will find an abundance of studios – 28 in all – featuring traditional, contemporary, Native American and Southwestern art. These galleries offer a variety of paintings, pottery, glass, sculpture, photography, and prints.
The climate here in the Southern Rockies can vary between extremes. While it never gets too hot in the high country due to the altitude, the sun is very strong at 7,000 ft. above sea level. Average temperatures during the summer months range from lows in the 40s to highs in the 70s. During the winter, average lows are anywhere from 10 to 30 with average highs from 40 to 60. Northern New Mexico gets nearly 300 sunny days a year however temperatures may vary quite a bit within the span of a day. It could be sunny and in the 70’s one moment, and turn very chilly and wet the next, with the coming of summer thunderstorms. Our monsoon season, in July and August, brings afternoon rains on almost a daily basis, with it usually clearing for vivid sunsets and clear, cool nights.
Shopping in Taos
Taos is home to many stores, boutiques and galleries specializing in jewelry, apparel, crafts, gifts, decor, souvnirs, furniture, and much more. You will find many of these shops located in and around the centrally located Taos Plaza, just a short walk from the El Pueblo Lodge.
Taos is also known as home the renowned Taos Ski Valley, just 18 miles from downtown Taos. This well-maintained mountain features exceptional guest facilities, providing skiers and snowboarders alike a memorable day on the slopes. For a bit of variety, the ski resorts of Angel Fire, Red River and Sipapu are also within easy driving distances.
Many trails around Taos await your exploration. Whether hiking, biking or camping, the Carson National Forest is a must-visit. Some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest is found in the 1.5 million acres covered by the Carson National Forest. Elevations rise from 6,000 feet to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico. Access is within minutes of the El Pueblo Lodge and there are an abundance of Forest Service roads and other paths to choose from.
Taos Country Club is located five miles south of town and offers a spectacular par 72, 7,300 yard championship course. The clubhouse includes a full service pro shop, restaurant and bar. Practice facilities include a driving range, putting green and sand bunkers. 18 hole green fees are $62 weekdays (Monday – Thursday), and $72 Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Special twilight and 9-hole rates are also offered. Club rental is available. For tee-times and additional information, please visit taoscountryclub.com, or phone 575-758-7300.
The Rio Grande River provides ample opportunity for exciting river rafting outings. Class II, III, and IV rapids through the world famous “Taos Box” await the truly adventureous souls. Several outfitters offer a variety of trips including half-day, full-day and even overnight excursions.
Rio Grande Gorge
The Rio Grande Gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos reaching a depth of 800 feet just south of the Gorge Bridge, 10 miles northwest of Taos. The bridge, completed in 1966, is the third highest bridge in the US, at 650 ft. The Taos Gorge is known for its world class white water and steep pocketed rock climbing, as well as its hidden hot springs that flank the river for miles. Many ancient beautiful petroglyphs and ruins can be found along the banks of the river as well.
Several Taos area guide services are available to take you on a memorable fishing outing. Whether fly or spin fishing, you will enjoy the multitude of rivers and mountain streams from the Rio Grande to the Red River, Rio Costilla, the Cimmeron and Brazos, to name a few. Look for cutthroat, rainbow and browns, with the occasional northern found in the waters of the Rio Grande.
Feeling lucky? The Taos Mountain Casino is less than a mile from the El Pueblo Lodge and features a wide assortment of the most recent video slots, as well as your old favorites. The casino offers exciting blackjack and craps games, and a delicious menu from the Lucky 7’s Cafe…all in a 100% non-smoking atmosphere. Open 8:00 am to 2:00 am Thursday through Sunday, and 8:00 am to 1:00 am Sunday through Wednesday.
Taos celebrates the arts — visual, performing, culinary, musical, literary — over and over, all year long. Artists, writers and musicians are heroes in Taos. Plan to visit Taos during one of its annual arts festivals. In addition, our various art villages regularly hold art walks and studio tours that give visitors a chance to see art-in-the-making.
Whatever your taste buds crave, whatever environment you seek, and whatever your wallet can afford, there is something for everyone in Taos…and it’s all delicious! Fine dining establishments with upscale dishes are abundant, as are small cafes with home-style cooking. There’s everything in between as well, including pizza houses, a brew pub, bars, coffee houses, and bakeries. The cuisine is certainly biased toward Mexican and southwest fare, but you can find traditional American dishes as well as “pub grub”, chinese, and an array of fast food outlets.
Use the link below to find what’s happening in and around Taos:
Taos Ski Area
Angel Fire Ski Area
Sipapu Ski Area
Red River Ski Area
Taos Chamber Calendar of Events
Taos Country Club