New Mexico January 26, 2020
The 77-Mile Scenic Drive In New Mexico You Will Want To Take As Soon As You Can
Who’s ready to hit the road for an exciting adventure featuring awe-inspiring scenery? If you have a day where your calendar is completely open, you’ll want to check out one of New Mexico’s prettiest scenic drives featuring a rich history and spectacular views.
Welcome to the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway, a 77-mile route running between Santa Fe and Taos.
One of New Mexico's premier pretty drives, this name of this route refers to the mountainous region you'll drive through. It also features architecture from the state's Spanish colonial days and some iconic views you've no doubt seen in art from internationally acclaimed artists like Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe.
Starting from Santa Fe, you'll follow US-84 to NM-76 toward Chimayo.
This little town is home to the historic and exquisite Santuario de Chimayó. The chapel was built in 1816 and is best known as a pilgrimage destination and a site of holy dirt that some believe has healing powers.
From Chimayo, you'll head to and through the sleepy community of Truchas, a remote agricultural location that has only received paved roads in the 1970s. This area is picturesque, especially with the mountains in the background.
A short drive from Truchas is the town of Trampas, a historic town with most buildings dating to the 19th century.
Nestled in the mountains, this town is known for its quaint Spanish colonial architecture and arrangement. Of these, the San José de Gracia Church is the most well-known. It dates to 1760 and features some beautiful woodwork and paintings.
Ten minutes north is Peñasco, a small town within a beautiful valley with the Truchas Peaks not far off.
The area has a rich agricultural history and, more recently, a small artistic community has developed. Stop by the Light Mountain Art Gallery or the Peñasco Theatre for a show, or stop for a bite to eat at Victor's Drive-In or Sugar Nymphs Bistro.
From there, you'll drive near Pot Creek Cultural Site, home to an Ancestral Puebloan site dating to about 1100 AD.
A one-mile trail will take you to the pueblo site and farming areas, as well as give you a chance to take in the scenic mountainous region.
Down the road from Pot Creek is Talpa, another sleepy community in the foothills. The humble yet lovely Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos sits here, an adobe chapel built in 1828.
Next is the lovely Rancho de Taos, just outside Taos.
Here, you'll find San Francisco de Asís Mission Church built in 1772 and the popular subject of photographers and painters. The church is gorgeous inside and out, featuring a beautiful adobe that contrasts pleasantly with the blue sky and delicate, intricate décor inside.
And finally, you'll reach the end of the road: Taos.
Be sure to stop at the Taos Plaza in the heart of town. You'll find galleries, restaurants, gift shops, and even more historic buildings here.
Have you had a chance to drive this route? What was your favorite stop?
The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway measures 77 miles and runs between Santa Fe and Ranchos de Taos in northern New Mexico.
Route: Google Maps
Mileage: 155.4 miles (over and back)
Looking for something else to do during your downtime? If an easy hike sounds like the perfect way to enjoy a cool, sunny day, check out the Catwalk National Recreation Trail near Deming. Read more in
The One Walk Above The Trees In New Mexico That’s Beautiful Any Time Of Year.
Address: Taos, NM 87571, USA