These are the most commonly asked questions by visitors to Taos. Curious about how distances, elevation, or other basic information? Find your fast facts here!
The population of the incorporated towns in Taos County as recorded in the 2021 census are: Taos 6,595; Questa 1,735; Red River 539; Taos Ski Valley 79.
Town of Taos: 6,967 feet Taos Ski Valley: 9,207 feet Wheeler Peak: 13,161 feet
Taos Pueblo’s hours for visitors are Tuesday to Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Taos Pueblo does close to the public periodically for cultural reasons and for a 2 month period in late winter (February- April). To contact Taos Pueblo Tourism, call (575) 758-1028 or email [email protected]. For more information visit: https://old.taos.org/what-to-do/taos-pueblo/
The Enchanted Circle is the most popular tour in our area. This National Forest Scenic Byway circles Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico at 13,161 feet. Throughout the drive, you’ll see some of the oldest rocks in the southwest – quartz and feldspar that date back two billion years. Look for special Enchanted Circle markers to help guide your way. Learn more at EnchantedCircle.org.
Taos is located about 135 miles North of Albuquerque. If you are driving from Albuquerque drive North on I 25. At Santa Fe, drive towards Espanola on US 285. In Espanola, look for NM 68 to Taos. The drive from Albuquerque takes approximately 2 and a half hours.
The most direct route to Taos, also known as the “The Low Road”, is 73 miles north of Santa Fe. Estimated Time: 1 hour 21 minutes. Travel the “Low Road”, driving through Española where Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate staked his claim 400 years ago. Visit the nearby village of La Mesilla to admire the simple beauty of San Isidro, built in 1918, and the village of Velarde to see Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, built in 1817. Velarde is also a fruit-growing community, and roadside stands offer the season’s freshest produce. Follow alongside the fertile valley of the Rio Grande as it winds through a narrow canyon to the villages of Embudo, Dixon, Rinconada and Pilar. For information about the artists and studio tours, stop at Dixon’s Casa de Piedra Cooperative and the Pilar Yacht Club. At the top of the “horseshoe turn” just south of Taos, stop to admire the rich landscape of Taos valley.
Distance: 105 miles/170 KM Driving Time: 2-1/2 hours from Santa Fe to Taos (no stops) Trip Time: As there are so many interesting places to stop along the way, this trip can take from 4 to 7 hours. Please allow some extra time to enjoy this unique scenic byway and its tiny villages along the way. Route: From Santa Fe,take Hwy. 285 north to Espanola; Hwy. 76 north to Chimayó , Cordova, Truchas, and Trampas; Hwy. 75 east to Peñasco; Hwy 518 north to Ranchos de Taos; and then Hwy 68 north to Taos Plaza. Pressing into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains past 13,000-foot [3,962-meter] peaks, this route is the most scenic between Santa Fe and Taos. The small, isolated mountain towns sprinkled along the way retain the flavor of the early Spanish settlers who came here four centuries ago.
Taos has some of the regions most inventive and fun restaurants. Who can just pick one as a favorite? Casual dining in Taos allows you to enjoy wonderful world class cuisine with no jacket or tie required.
Geographically the town of Taos, New Mexico combines the high desert southwest with the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Bureau of Land Management publics lands are located throughout the Taos area and include two outstanding Wild and Scenic Rivers–the Rio Grande and the Rio Chama–and three developed recreation areas — Wild Rivers, Santa Cruz Lake, and Orilla Verde. Opportunities for hiking and biking are plentiful on miles of developed trails in these areas offering dramatic vistas, wildlife viewing, solitude, and visits to prehistoric and historic cultural sites. *Taos is surrounded by the Carson National Forest. There are 330 miles of trails, some maintained by volunteer groups. Opportunities abound for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and 4-wheel drive exploring. Many summer hiking trails and forest roads become cross-country ski and snowmobile trails in winter.
In the middle of downtown is Taos Plaza, “El Corazon de Taos” (The Heart of Taos). Don Fernando de Taos Plaza was settled by the Spanish colonists more than 300 years ago and still retains its original shape. Taos Plaza is undeniably the main focal point of the Town of Taos. The entire community can gather to enjoy the culture, renew old friendships, and perhaps most importantly encourage new ones. The plaza provides a brief respite from busy lifestyles and activities. Traditional celebrations, live performances, as well as fund raising efforts are plentiful in this lovely town square. Visitors can enjoy art galleries, museums, specialty shops, restaurants – all located in a five block walking area!