taos fall road trips
Taos’ Most Colorful Time of the Year
Taos in the Fall is among one of the most beautiful sights you can find in New Mexico. All of the activities this town has to offer are made exponentially better when they take place among Taos’ already stunning landscape as the leaves are changing to the most beautiful colors and the mountain air becomes just a little bit more crisp in a way that makes you want to take a huge breath to take it all in.
If you’re headed to Taos for the ultimate leaf-peeping road trip, here are some picture-perfect autumn adventures:
The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
Distance: 83 miles/136 KM
Driving Time: 2-1/2 to 3 hours
Route: From Taos Plaza, Hwy. 64 north to Hwy. 522 north to Questa; Hwy. 38 east to Red River, then south to Eagle Nest and Angel Fire; Hwy. 64 west to Taos.
New Mexico has long been known as The Land of Enchantment, so it’s only fitting that this designated scenic byway be called the Enchanted Circle. Explore the beautiful loop through mountains, valleys, mesa, and national forest and witness stunning fall colors that will leave you breathless. Download the map!
The High Road to Taos
Distance: 105 miles/170 KM
Driving Time: 2-1/2 hours from Santa Fe to Taos (no stops)
Route: From Taos Plaza, Hwy. 68 south to Ranchos de Taos; Hwy. 518 east; Hwy. 75 west to Peñasco; Hwy. 76 south to Trampas, Truchas, Cordova and Chimayó; Hwy. 68 south to Santa Fe; Hwy. 68 north to Española and Taos.
Another tour popular with visitors, the High Road travels through awe-inspiring scenery and remote mountain villages that cling to their Spanish colonial roots. During the fall, the changing colors of the leaves that line the drive make the drive even more beautiful! Download the map!
The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
When: September 4, 2017 – October 22, 2017
Where: Daily Train Rides from Antonito or Chama.
Climb aboard this National Historic Landmark for a 64-mile day trip you’ll never forget. The coal-fired steam engine carries you through steep mountain canyons, high desert, and lush meadows as you zig zag between the Colorado and New Mexico border. Open your eyes to spectacular and rare Western scenery which can only be viewed from this train’s unique route.
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally
When: October 27, 2017 – October 29, 2017
Where: Balloon Rally field behind the Taos County Courthouse on Albright Street
Every year on the last full weekend in October, as the trees in the high country erupt into a painter’s canvas of oranges, reds, ambers and yellows, even more color is added to the vista as the Taos skies are filled with dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons lifting into the clear, cold dawn of a Taos Mountain sunrise.
Hiking and Biking
Clearly, Taos is no stranger to fun fall events. But beyond that, the town offers many day-to-day activities that are just a little bit more special during the fall. Known to many as a hub for outdoor activities in the Southwest, Taos offers incredible trails for either hiking or biking that offer a taste of that brisk, fall air thatyou just can’t enough of. The West Rim Trail follows the the west rim of the Rio Grande River and offers breathtaking views of the Rio Grande Gorge, while the Williams Lake Trail begins at the the well-known Taos Ski Valley and ends at the beautiful Williams Lake. These trails offer scenic viewpoints and some of the freshest air you can imagine due to Taos’ impressive elevation.