The High Road to Taos is a scenic route that offers spectacular views of small Spanish and Pueblo Indian villages, high desert, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, farms, and other kinds of scenery that is unique to the American southwest. It’s been said that this is one of the most impressive drives that one could have in New Mexico, so sleeping in the car is not a good idea when driving in the scenery it offers.
It will take about two hours to drive from Santa Fe to Taos, and the things you will find on the road will be definitely as exciting as the destination itself. Embarking on this trip will assure you of so many new sights and sounds that you probably haven’t seen or experienced before. By taking the Highway 503, you will be on your way to being in the midst of a scenic route—you’ll pass by Nambe Pueblo, which has the marvelous Nambe Falls, a natural wonder in the Indian reservation; and the Roman Catholic church of Santuario de Chimayo, which many believe has healing powers.
This route will also lead to the village of Truchas, where you can see some Hispanic villages and shops with native products such as pottery, rugs, wood carvings, etc. Next is the town of Las Trampas, where you’ll see the colonial era San Jose de Gracia church.
As you get closer to Taos, you will see more breathtaking sights of mountains, and when you’re finally there, you’ll be in for a diverse set of activities. If it’s a skiing adventure you’re looking for, you can do it at the Taos Ski Valley, which has activities in store for both beginners and experienced visitors.
Taos is known as an art colony—many come to this place just for its impressive and undoubtedly unparalleled art. There are so many galleries and shops that are not only beautiful, but are very important to their history as well. Some of the galleries you can visit are the Nicolai Fechin House, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and the Ernest Martin Hennings House—places offering artworks and crafts proving that this place embraces its culture and heritage.
The Taos Pueblo is one of the spots that everyone must see. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to an Indian community that has managed to keep its language and culture intact even in this modern day and age. The north and south buildings in this pueblo are simply breathtaking, but you must always remember that you’re a visitor here—so you must be able to know the things that you must and must not do (they have a booklet for visitors for this).
Visitors of this place have different preferences when driving between Santa Fe and Taos—some say that the so-called “Low Road” (which follows the course of the Rio Grande) is better because it’s faster, so some think that doing the trip the other way around. In any case, any route will surely provide something that will make your trip absolutely memorable.