Now that the weather is heating up and the snow on the mountains is melting away, we turn our attention to all the fun activities that summer has to offer. There is something here for everyone! Read on for 6 must-do adventures for Taos summer fun.
Explore Taos Ski Valley
Beat the heat and head up to Taos Ski Valley, which is the highest municipality in the US at 9, 207 feet! This summer in the Valley you can dine at 192, The Stray Dog Cantina, the Taos Mesa Brewery Tasting Room, and The Bavarian. Feeling adventurous? Pack a lunch and jump on Chair 4 for a scenic chairlift ride. The picnic tables at the top are the perfect place for a snack! Enjoy the colorful wildflowers and the views of Wheeler Peak and Kachina Peak. The lift starts spinning daily on June 23rd, from 10:00am – 4:00pm, and tickets are $18.
Best time to go: For the best weather, take your lift rides in the morning.
Who is this for: This is a fun day trip for the whole family!
Don’t Miss: Head over to The Blake at Taos Ski Valley and check out the world-class art collection and showcased work from the Taos Society of Artists. Go upstairs to the restaurant 192 for more art and a great selection of food and wine!
Visit The Taos Pueblo
The Taos Pueblo has more history than we can even begin to describe. One cool fact, it was showcased in the 1969 classic, “Easy Rider.” You won’t be able to ride a motorcycle through the adobe village like Dennis Hopper did, but the Taos Pueblo is well worth a day visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Historic Landmark, the natives have called this land home for over 1,000 years, and many still reside in the Pueblo. Give them a visit to learn more about their history and culture that defines this region. The Pueblo is open daily for visitors between 8:00am and 4:30pm, and free tours start at 9am. Tickets are $16, and children under 10 are free.
Best time to go: The Taos Pueblo is open to the public daily, but the best times to experience the Pueblo are during special events and ceremonies. Do not miss the annual Taos Pueblo Pow-Wow on July 7 – 9.
Who is this for: The Taos Pueblo is something that everyone should experience!
Don’t miss: Definitely check out the local vendors for handmade crafts and native food. Speaking of food, make sure to try the local fry bread.
When in New Mexico, Eat like a Local
Nothing quite says New Mexican food like the smell of chili, cheese, and corn chips mixed up into a delicious frito pie. New Mexican food: it’s not new and it’s definitely not Mexican, although you will find influences of Mexican, Spanish, and indigenous flavors. Get the best at classic New Mexican restaurants like Orlando’s, La Cueva, and the Taos Diner. Also be sure to check out the Taos Plaza Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning for the freshest farm-to-table options.
Best time to go: New Mexican food is good any time, all the time. Seriously, enchiladas are a good option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Who is this for: If you love spicy hot food, you will love New Mexican food.
Don’t miss: “Red or Green?” is the official state question of New Mexico, but we recommend going for “Christmas” and trying both!
Raft The Taos Box
The Rio Grande is not only an infamous landmark, but also boasts some of the best whitewater rafting in New Mexico. Down in the Rio Grande Gorge is the Taos Box, a 15-mile stretch of the river known for its fast water and thrilling drops. Why is it called The Box? We’re glad you asked. Because there is only one way in and one way out. Throughout the journey you’ll pass hot springs, ancient petroglyphs, old stagecoach crossings and pass 650 feet under the Gorge Bridge, the second highest bridge on the national highway system. Click here for a list of local rafting companies.
Best time to go: The best white water rafting is in early summer, when the river is high from snow melt in Colorado and Northern New Mexico. The Taos Box is best for rafting above 600 cfs (cubic feet per second). Check the status of the river here.
Who is this for: This adventure is not for the fainthearted. Rapids in the Taos Box range between class III and IV, so expect big drops and long periods of paddling.
Don’t Miss: Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way! You’ll be sure to see Big Horn Sheep, deer, hawks, and maybe a river otter, if you’re lucky.
Explore Taos History and Art
Take a tour through history simply by strolling through the Taos Plaza and the surrounding area. Stop into our local galleries and museums! Visit the Millicent Rogers Museum to see Navajo and Rio Grande textiles, the Martinez Hacienda for a glimpse of early Spanish colonial life, or the Blumenschein Home and Museum to learn about the Taos Society of Artists.
Best time to go: Take a day to wander around the galleries, museums, and shops in downtown Taos. The annual Paseo Outdoor Art Festival is a highlight event on September 22 and 23.
Who is this for: If you like art and history, you will be enchanted by what Taos has to offer. Exploring the galleries and museums is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the culture of Northern New Mexico.
Don’t Miss: Walk down Ledoux Street, a winding road lined with historic adobe homes and art galleries; including the Harwood Museum of Art.
Hike to The Highest Peak in New Mexico
New Mexico’s crown jewel Wheeler Peak, named for the late American explorer George Wheeler, is the tallest mountain in New Mexico, summiting at 13,159 feet. Take a day to hike and see the spectacular views from the roof of the Sangre de Cristro mountain range. Start at the William’s Lake trail head for a 7-mile round-tip trail or take the longer 16-mile round-trip hike on the Bull-of-the-Woods trail.
Best time to go: This is an all day hike, so get an early start for the best weather. Be aware that depending on how early in the summer you hike, you may still encounter snow on the mountain. Late July through October is the best time to experience this hike.
Who is this for: Outdoor lovers! If you enjoy hiking, then Wheeler Peak is a must. The terrain can be rugged and the altitude is high, so make sure to come prepared with the right shoes and lots of water.
Don’t Miss: Treat yourself to a cold, refreshing beverage on the deck on The Bavarian after your hike. You earned it!