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Taos is New Mexico True
Taos, NM
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The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos,

Looking for a spring break getaway?

Cradled by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the foothills of the Rockies, Taos is renowned for Taos Pueblo (the oldest consistently inhabited dwelling in North America) as well as its rich tricultural history and longtime reputation as a Bohemian art colony (with a myriad of galleries and museums to prove it). It’s also home to a world-class Ski Resort, Taos Ski Valley. 

Taos has it all as a Spring Break destination―history, culture, and adventure―plus great weather, and when it comes to traveling with kids, Taos is as good as it gets.

But chances are, you already know this. You probably have your flight booked and lodging arrangements set and are now counting the hours before take-off.

Once you get here, if you’re wondering what to do with the kids in those few hours when they’re not on the slopes, here are a few ideas for the best Spring Break destinations in Taos.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

About 10 miles northwest of Taos on U.S. 64, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge’s steel-deck arch spans one of New Mexico’s most scenic and dramatic vistas, another of the best Spring Break destinations in Taos.

The bridge sits high above the Rio Grande Gorge, our very own mini Grand Canyon, though just how high the bridge is depends on whom you ask: the general consensus is around 600 feet above the floor of the gorge. Though standing in the middle of the bridge, peering over the edge, it feels a lot higher!

The adjacent park offers plenty of parking for those who want to walk across the bridge, visit vendors, or walk trails that offer stunning views of the gorge and the river below.

If you’re lucky, you might be blessed with the sight of a herd of the bighorn sheep that traverse, fleet-footed, the steep, rocky cliffs of the gorge.

Earthships

Taos is the Birthplace of the Earthsip

About a mile or so up the road from the Rio Grande Gorge is another of the best Spring Break Destinations in Taos: the Greater World Earthship Community, home to a colony of self-sustaining homes that are seemingly embedded in the landscape.

There are about 70 houses in the 633-acre subdivision, all made from recycled materials. There are no water, power, or sewer lines, and lot owners are not allowed to drill wells. All water comes from the rain and snowfall, and  sewage systems are all self-contained.

The community is the brainchild and headquarters of Earthship Biotecture, founded by one of the early pioneers of the sustainable building movement, Michael Reynolds. There is a visitors center where you can learn more about Earthships, and if they really take your fancy, nightly accommodations are also available. 

Wild Rivers 

Only a few miles west of Questa as the crow flies is Wild Rivers Recreation Area, part of the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. (You do have to drive about 15 miles north of Questa via NM 522 to NM 378 to reach the area.)

You’ll discover fabulous hiking trails here, at the confluence of two wild and scenic rivers, the Rio Grande and Red River. For a beautiful view of the rivers, there are a few easy and flat trails along the gorge’s rim, including a loop from the visitor center out to La Junta Point. 

But what makes this one of the best Spring Break destinations in Taos is the opportunity to hike down into the gorge and study the rivers up close. This adventure entails hiking one of a couple of well-marked, but very steep, trails down into the gorge, a descent of about 650 feet. Be sure to bring hats, sunscreen, and water. Without sufficient water or stamina, you may have an easy time descending into the gorge but find it difficult to hike back up!

Taos Pueblo

Note: As of summer 2021, the Taos Pueblo was not open to visitors. Please check out the Taos Pueblo website for updates.

One of the best Spring Break destinations in Taos is the Taos Pueblo. It has been studied by anthropologists for decades, yet much of the history remains a mystery. In keeping with traditional customs, the oral history is not divulged outside of the community, which has kept most of the secrets of the Pueblo for centuries.

Despite this lack of record, most anthropologists believe there was a settlement in the Taos Valley by the year 1000 CE and that the current Pueblo was built between 1000-1450 CE. The Red Willow People say it is a thousand years older still.

Even though modern upkeep occurs, Taos Pueblo still remains connected to its past. Although they invite visitors to get a close-up view of their world, they keep the outside world at an arm’s length to protect the secret and sacred history of their traditions and rituals.

Be sure to check they are open (the Pueblo closes for funerals, other “doings,” and Quiet Time, usually in April). Follow all rules and guidelines and be respectful of their traditions. COVID-19 hit pueblos particularly hard, and many pueblos across the country are remaining closed to tourist traffic. Make sure to check with Taos Pueblo before you plan your trip.