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What to Do in Taos

Drawing visitors from all over the world with its dramatic desert landscapes and its historic Pueblo culture, Taos offers dozens of attractions and activities. Whether it's a fine arts museum, a round of demanding golf, or hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, your journey to our northern New Mexican town will be one to remember.

In addition to the exciting downhill skiing at nearby Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, or Sipapu, Taos abounds with outdoor adventure experiences. Hiking, white water rafting and kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, wildlife viewing, hunting, and bird watching are all to be found in or around Taos. Below are some of our favorite attractions close to our Taos hotel.

Important Tip: Taos has an elevation of 6,967 feet (more than 1,200 feet higher than Denver, the "Mile High City"). While visiting, remember to drink plenty of water, and use sunscreen as there is less protection from the sun at this elevation.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

TAOS SKI VALLEY

116 Sutton Place | Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525 | 800-776-1111

With an average annual snowfall of 305 inches, Taos Ski Valley offers every level of skier and boarder a great experience. Taos Ski Valley is generally open from Thanksgiving weekend through April (depending on snow conditions). Founded and operated by the Blake family until 2013, Taos Ski Valley offers athletic, rugged skiing and snowboarding with 113 total trails (24% beginner, 25% intermediate, and 51% expert). The new Kachina Peak Lift opened in 2015 and takes visitors to the summit of Kachina Peak at 12,450 feet, making it the third highest chairlift in North America. The lift increases the mountain's advanced and expert lift-serviced terrain by 50 percent. Other winter activities include snowmobiling and cross country skiing, in addition to the ski school and world class alpine skiing. Summer activities include horseback riding, and serious mountain biking on the new Berminator Trail, a 2.5-mile advanced flow trail, and the Pioneers Bike Park that offers beginner and intermediate flow trails, as well as the uphill/downhill Gateway cross-country trail. Ride the lifts to enjoy scenery, hiking, and birding June - October.

GOLF AT TAOS COUNTRY CLUB

54 Golf Course Drive | Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557 | 575-758-7300
Measuring 7,302 yards and featuring spectacular desert scenery dotted with silver-green sagebrush and challenging arroyos, Taos Country Club offers one of the most dramatic and exciting golf games you can enjoy. This championship golf course was awarded 4 stars by Golf Digest and is located just four miles from Sagebrush Inn & Suites.

RIO GRANDE GORGE BRIDGE

Along US Highway 64 | 14 miles NW of Sagebrush Inn & Suites
At 650 feet (200 m) above the Rio Grande, the bridge is the second highest on the US Highway System, and the fifth highest in the United States. The span is 1,280 feet: two 300-foot approach spans with a 600-foot main center span. Awarded "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" in the "Long Span" category by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the bridge has been featured in several films, including "Natural Born Killers," "Twins," "She's Having a Baby," "Wild Hogs," "White Sands," and "Terminator Salvation," making it one of the area's most popular sites. Access to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is easy: drive to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, park your car, walk across the expanse, and thrill at a breathtaking view of the Rio Grande glistening 800-plus feet below. Watch for soaring golden and bald eagles, and grazing big horn sheep along the east rim. In spring and summer, you can spot rafters peacefully floating along or running the rapids, and browse a variety of crafts from local vendors on the west side of the bridge. Guides to the national monument are available at the hotel front desk for $2, plus tax.

RIO GRANDE DEL NORTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center, Pilar, NM | 575-751-4899
Wild Rivers Visitors Center, north of Questa, NM | 575-586-1150

Created in 2013, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument encompasses more than 242,000 acres along the Rio Grande, with landscapes ranging from plains dotted with volcanic cones and cut by steep canyons and rivers. The Rio Grande Gorge is a rift valley up to 800 feet deep, with evidence of human habitation stretching back for thousands of years. See petroglyphs carved by ancient inhabitants on hiking trails throughout the monument. Raft or kayak through the gorge on rapids from Class II to Class V; rafting trips are available from local outfitters. Enjoy mountain biking, llama trekking, birding, and hiking, and study the basalt and lava flows from ancient eruptions. Get your fishing license and enjoy fishing for brown and rainbow trout or northern pike. See Ute Mountain, at 10,093 feet elevation. Enjoy spectacular views and spot wildlife from your car on the Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway, NM Highway 570, and US Routes 64 and 285. Guides to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are available at the hotel front desk for $2, plus tax.

LOS RIOS RIVER RUNNERS

4003 New Mexico 68 | Ranchos De Taos, NM 87557 | 575-776-8854
Rafting the Congressionally-designated "Wild & Scenic River" of the Rio Grande is a bucket list experience. The river flows through the bottom of the gorge, up to 800 feet below the rim, where you can enjoy a mellow float through Orilla Verde, or the exhilarating rapids of the Racecourse. Wildlife you may see on a trip down the river includes elk, big horn sheep, deer, river otters, beaver, bald and golden eagles, peregrine falcon, and mountain lions.

WILD EARTH LLAMA ADVENTURES

800-758-5262
Take a llama to lunch on a trek with Wild Earth Llamas in the pristine wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The llama carries your gear, and you hike with a wooly hiking buddy — a truly unique experience!

BIRD WATCHING

Enjoy bird watching in the Taos Plaza, the Rio Grande Gorge, Taos Ski Valley, or anywhere in and around Taos! The wetland areas in the semi-rural Fred Baca Park just southwest of town provides excellent viewings of the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher along with many more common species. From Sagebrush Inn & Suites, drive North (left) for 1.3 miles on Paseo del Pueblo Sur/NM-68 to Camino de la Merced. Take a left onto Merced, drive 0.8 miles to Camino del Medio where you take a right. Follow road for 0.4 miles; the park is on your right at 301 Camino de la Merced.

HISTORIC LANDMARKS & MUSEUMS

TAOS PUEBLO

120 Veterans Highway | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-1028
Tiwa-speaking Indigenous Americans established the Taos Pueblo roughly 1,000 years ago. The Pueblo is adobe — an earth, straw and water mix — poured into forms or shaped by hand into bricks. (This construction predates the brick that was introduced by the Spanish.) These Native Americans generally lived indoors in the Pueblo village in the winter and in their fields during more moderate weather. The buildings were home and fortress, complemented by a 12-foot wall that provided crucial protection, especially when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in 1540. The fee to visit the Pueblo is $15 per person. The guided tour by a Pueblo native is memorable. Take the tour, purchase a loaf of homemade bread with chokecherry jam, and sit next to the Rio de Pueblo to experience the essence of the Pueblo. Call in advance to learn if the Pueblo is closed for ceremony.

The Pueblo also operates Taos Mountain Casino, New Mexico's only 100% smoke free casino.


HISTORIC CHURCHES

60 St Francis Plaza | Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557 | 575-751-0518
The San Francisco de Asis Mission Church was started on the Ranchos de Taos Plaza in the late 1700s and completed in 1815. Traditional adobe mission-style, built in the shape of a cross, it was the first line of defense to resist Indian attacks. The true gem is the original altar board, painted by locals when the church was first constructed. It's said to be the most painted and photographed church in the United States. Enjoy a driving tour of historic churches in Taos and Northern New Mexico by purchasing a guide at the hotel's front desk for $2, plus tax.

THE MILLICENT ROGERS MUSEUM

1504 Millicent Rodgers Road | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-2462
Specializing in Native American and Spanish colonial art, its namesake moved to Taos in 1947 and was an heiress and a patron of Native American artists. Her collection of self-designed Indian-made pieces is housed at the Museum.

THE HARWOOD MUSEUM

238 Ledoux Street | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-9826
This collection brings a unique record of the beginnings of the Taos Art Colony through present day. Originally called "El Pueblito" by Burt Harwood, the property was on the forefront of the Pueblo/Spanish Revival and restoration movement in New Mexico. Pottery, artifacts, textiles, wood sculptures, retablos adorn the property, along with modern art, exhibitions and lectures.

THE TAOS ART MUSEUM - FECHIN HOUSE

227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-2690
Taos Art Museum is dedicated to the art of early twentieth century Taos, with a collection of paintings by the masters of the Taos Society of Artists. This group was prolific from 1898 through the 1930s. The museum is housed in the beautiful studio and home that Russian-born artist Nicolai Fechin built for his family between 1927 and 1933.

MABEL DODGE LUHAN HOUSE

240 Morada Lane | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-751-9686
Luhan, a wealthy New York socialite, was responsible for bringing many elite artists of the day to Taos, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and D.H. Lawrence. In the 1920s, Mabel married Tony Luhan, a Taos Pueblo Indian. The main house where Mabel lived is now a bed and breakfast. Mabel's friends and parties were legendary! The late Dennis Hopper, long a Taos resident since directing and starring in the cult classic, "Easy Rider," once owned the Mabel Dodge property. Luhan gave The Kiowa Ranch, 20 miles north of Taos, to Frieda and D.H. Lawrence, where they lived in the early 1920s. Lawrence's widow, Frieda, gave the Ranch to the University of New Mexico in 1955. Now known as the D.H. Lawrence Ranch, it is open seasonally. Rananim, the online writing community of the UNM Taos Summer Writers' Conference, hosted at Sagebrush Inn & Suites each July, raises funds with a goal to reinstate a writer-in-residence program at the Ranch.

KIT CARSON HOME AND MUSEUM

113 Kit Carson Road | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-4945
Kit Carson was a trapper and scout. He was a friend of Governor Bent, first governor of the Territory of New Mexico. Both men were married to Hispanic women from politically connected Taos families. Carson, frequently away on scouting trips, is controversial in that he was familiar with Indian ways and used this knowledge to benefit the encroaching U.S. government and settlers. The museum is a window to the Southwest for history buffs.

GOVERNOR BENT HOUSE MUSEUM

117 Bent Street | Taos, NM 87571 | 505-758-2376
Early trapper and trader, Charles Bent became New Mexico’s first governor in 1834, when New Mexico became American territory won during the Mexican - American War. Protesting American possession of the New Mexico territory, an angry mob descended on his home in January 1847 and killed Governor Bent. His wife and children escaped through a hole they dug in the adobe wall of the home. Prior to becoming Governor, Bent was a respected trader who owned wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail as well as trading posts in Santa Fe and Taos.

HACIENDA DE LOS MARTINEZ

Hacienda Way (off Lower Ranchitos Rd) | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-758-1000
Located at the end of the Camino Real, the royal road connecting Mexico City to Spanish colonies in northern New Mexico, the fortress-like Hacienda is one of the last great houses remaining in the US. Part of the Taos Historic Museums, the Hacienda is on the National Register of Historic Places of the US Department of the Interior.
Admission is $8 per adult, under 16 is $4, under 5 is free.
Just minutes from Taos Ski Valley, surrounded by dramatic desert landscapes, adventures abound in our backyard. Partake in skiing or golfing, explore art museums and historic churches, or stay right here and enjoy our bocce ball courts, hot tubs and outdoor pool!