The High Road to Taos is quintessential New Mexico at its best. Old adobe houses in lush river valleys, local art galleries and rustic produce stands. A desert painted with yellows, reds, greens, and oranges. Picturesque villages known for weaving and crafts, forest roads to explore, restaurants to try, and beautiful Catholic churches to photograph.
Late summer, early fall is a perfect time for this drive.
C’mon! Grab some crayons and paper for your little ones, strap them into their car seats, and either threaten or bribe them to behave so you can enjoy this scenic drive.
This road trip is about the journey not the destination.
You need to sit back, relax, and let your husband drive so you don’t miss anything. He can see it all another time.
Tell that handsome, yet lead-footed Indy driver of yours, to slow down so you can take in the sights. If you want to hang your head out the window like a dog, do it! Make sure the gas tank is full because you are headed into rural New Mexico.
Before you Go
Check out NewMexicoTrue for a handy map and a short description of your route. Take a Road Trip.com is perfect if you’d like a very brief history lesson of the little villages, the churches, and the people groups that traveled through the land as well as pictures on its interactive map. If your interests lie in a more artistic direction, High Road Artisans has info on where to stop to view the local wares.
Because You’ve Got to Eat!
The tiny town of Chimayo, known for its weaving, is also famous for the 300,000 people that do an annual pilgrimage here. Legend has it that the dirt has miraculous healing powers. It’s also popular for its amazing Mexican food. Rancho de Chimayó was honored as one of New Mexico’s Culinary Treasures in March 2014. If you are fully embracing the Fall in New Mexico theme, stop here and have lunch in this old hacienda. You won’t be disappointed.
After Chimayo you will pass through the lovely mountain villages of Truchas and Las Trampas where you will feel as though you’ve gone back in time.
Prefer a picnic in the forest over a restaurant? There are several forest roads along the way. Choose one at random, pull over, set up a picnic blanket, and nibble on some fried chicken and potato salad. The kids can collect pine cones and eat dirt and pine needles. That’s what kids do when you prepare perfectly good food for them.
Sugar Nymphs in Penasco has an amazing Sunday brunch if you got off to an early start. Instead of a bread tray, this local restaurant served us fresh peach scones to begin our breakfast. It’s also fun place to stop and satisfy your sweet tooth with dessert.
The High Road to Taos will end in Ranchos de Taos. Here you will be forced to make the critical decision of driving on into Taos for Happy Hour, taking the faster route back home, or going back the way you came.