Fall is a magical season to visit us in northern New Mexico, especially when you do things like take a drive along the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway. The High Road to Taos passes right through the charming town of Chimayó before continuing north along Highway 76 through the stunning landscapes this area is known for. Though the drive is beautiful any time of year, it’s particularly breathtaking in the fall as the trees showcase the vibrant shades of the season.
There’s plenty to love about a fall getaway to New Mexico, particularly when you combine it with a stay at our Bed and Breakfast. There’s nowhere quite like the Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast, perfectly situated between Santa Fe and Taos in the charming town of Chimayó. We offer guests 6 acres of space from which to spread out and enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, and with only 9 guest rooms on offer, it’ll feel like you have the place to yourselves. What are you waiting for? Book a room at our northern New Mexico Bed and Breakfast and get ready to dive the High Road to Taos this fall!
Drive the Breathtaking High Road to Taos Scenic Byway
The dramatic landscapes of northern New Mexico, made famous by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, are never more beautiful than in the fall. The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway traverses 105 miles of the beautiful landscapes between Santa Fe and Taos.
If you drive the entire High Road to Taos Scenic Byway, you can expect it to take around 2.5 hours. That, of course, assumes you make no stops, which we’re almost certain you will. Realistically, give yourself at least 4 hours, if not an entire day, to drive this stunningly scenic route. Not only are there beautiful vistas you’ll want to photograph, but there are plenty of charming villages to explore along the way as well. You can save a little time on the High Road to Taos by starting here in Chimayó – the road passes right through town!
The High Road to Taos travels through the Sangre de Christo mountains and skirts along 13,000 ft peaks. Breathtaking scenery is guaranteed as you travel, but taking this trip is about so much more than the beautiful views out your window. It’s also the perfect opportunity to learn more about this region’s fascinating history. As you travel through the remote mountain villages on the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway, you’ll witness firsthand New Mexico’s Spanish Colonial roots and cultural heritage. Some of the communities worth exploring along the High Road to Taos include the following:
- Cordova, a village known for its woodcarvers, is also the home of the San Antonio de Padua Church, where you’ll find a magnificent large altar screen painted by Rafael Aragon.
- Visit Truchas, an old Hispanic settlement known for its early 19th-century church, Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Here, you’ll have the chance to view two large altar screens, one dating back to 1821. Truchas was built on a mesa below Truchas Peak, the second-highest peak in New Mexico, and is also home to several art galleries and is host to the High Road Art Tour held the last two weekends in September.
- In Las Trampas, admire San Jose de Gracia, a church still in use after 225 years. The Las Trampas Historic District is also a wonderful place to admire 18th century Spanish Colonial architecture.
- As you travel through the small farming community of Peñasco, you’ll enter the stunningly beautiful Carson National Forest. It’s wonderful under the vibrant glow of fall.
- In Ranchos de Taos, where you’ll find the incredible San Francisco de Asis Church. Spanish Colonial architecture is on full display here, with its massive adobe buttresses and high ceilings with vigas and hand-carved corbels. It’s one of the most depicted churches in artwork and photography, including by famous artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams.
And, of course, we can’t talk about the charming towns along the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway without talking about our very own Chimayó. Here, discover the Plaza del Cerro, the last surviving Spanish fortified plaza in the southwest. Another must-see is the famed Santuario de Chimayó, which is believed to be built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers. The Santuario attracts over 300,000 pilgrims each year who are seeking cures from the holy dirt found here. Chimayó is also famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families, whose works you can find in many local shops.
Things to do in Taos This Fall
As you reach the end of the High Road to Taos, you’ll want to make sure to leave yourself enough time to explore the beautiful town of Taos itself. Once a leading art colony, Taos is also home to a vibrant tapestry of artistic and cultural heritage. The diversity of things to do in Taos is incredible. Taos has long been a mecca for artists from around the world, all coming in search of this place’s majestic beauty and spiritual heritage. This fall, enjoy some of these wonderful things to do in Taos:
- You can’t visit Taos without visiting the Taos Pueblo, a collection of multi-storied adobe dwellings that have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. The Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. There’s a reason it is one of the #1 things to do in Taos, NM.
- Stroll around Taos’ historic plaza, where you’ll find wonderful attractions like the historic Hotel La Fonda de Taos and charming Bent Street.
- Embrace the arts in Taos, which has been attracting artists since the beginning of the 20th Century. Visit the Harwood Museum of Art, the second oldest art museum in the state of New Mexico. It showcases an exceptional collection of Hispanic works and visual arts from the Taos Society of Artists, Taos Moderns, and contemporary artists. You also shouldn’t miss the Millicent Rodgers Museum.
- Just outside of town, make sure to enjoy the views from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It’s the seventh highest bridge in the United States and offers spectacular views of the gorge. There are great hikes along the gorge rim if you have the time, too.
- Take a scenic chairlift ride up the Taos Ski Valley. At the top, you’ll enjoy views of Wheeler Peak, Kachina Peak, and all lit up in the vibrant hues of fall.
- Visit one of the natural hot springs in the Taos area, like Manby and Black Rock Hot Springs. You have to hike/walk into both of them, but sitting in the healing hot waters of northern New Mexico is a true must-have experience.
*Some of these sights remain closed to the public. Please be mindful of COVID-19 travel restrictions before you go.
We could talk for days about the many incredible things to do in Taos, not to mention the beautiful things you’ll see and experience along the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway. Nestled right in the heart of it all is our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast, offering travelers an unparalleled experience and exceptional hospitality. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime this fall, and book your room at our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast today.