High Road to Taos Day Trip
7:30AM – 4PM | Offered Year-Round | Every Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
$349 per person + tax for party of two | $285 per person + tax for party of three or more
Meet at Santa Fe’s Inn & Spa at Loretto lobby at 7:30AM and return to the same location at 4PM
Includes entry fees into Taos Pueblo and a traditional pueblo style lunch.
Journey from Santa Fe to Taos through the Scenic Historic High Road
Travel North from Santa Fe via the High Road, a byway that goes along a scenic mountainous route and into remote artistic enclaves clinging to ancestral roots. Be ready for a full day of New Mexico history, architecture and culture.
First, you’ll arrive in Chimayó on the doorstep of Santuario de Chimayó, where a sacred shrine built in the early 1800s reputedly houses holy healing dirt. Continuing on through Chimayó, you’ll witness the bucolic landscapes where they filmed the movie the Milagro Beanfield War around Truchas, New Mexico.
Whether it’s the Spanish colonial religiosity or Indigenous talismans and earthy elements, you’ll feel how the intermarriage of blending traditions shape this land. Your next stop at San Jose de Gracia is an example of that mix, as a designated National Historic Landmark, it is a Spanish Colonial Pueblo mission church and an acclaimed model of natural adobe architecture.
Part of that blend includes Anglo transplants like Leigh Gusterson who headed to New Mexico in 1990 in order to find the “freedom to express” herself. We’ll visit with her in her Peñasco studio where she paints colorful joyous landscapes representing her outdoor settings, with depictions of iconic Southwest elements like adobe buildings, churches and old trucks.
Winding upward you’ll see New Mexico’s tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak, before you finally reach our Northernmost location – Taos. In Taos you’ll visit the most photographed church in the U.S., the San Francisco de Asis chapel in Rancho de Taos. Another incredible example of a mission style adobe church with National Historic Landmark designation.
You’ll wander through Taos Plaza before heading to Taos Pueblo. A continuously inhabited Pueblo for over 1,000 years, their multi-storied adobe buildings will provide a glimpse into a timeless ancient settlement. By now you’ll probably be famished and ready to try some traditional native cuisine at Bertha’s Al’Thloo’s Café, or grandmother’s kitchen in the Tiwa language.
Next, we’ll go to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to stand at the edge of the 565-foot drop and be amazed at the dynamic geological factors that created this spectacular scenery. The rim road that follows the geologic rift and slowly winds down into the belly of the gorge and to the banks of the Rio Grande river, will be our path out of town. Not many get to see the gorge from this perspective, you’ll have breathtaking volcanic fields of multi-colored basalt walls towering around you!
Finally, add a stop at Vivác winery if you feel parched. Vivác means “high-altitude refuge” in Spanish and that is exactly what this winery emulates. Choosing only the highest quality New Mexico grown grapes, they’ve perfected hand-harvested and hand-sorted processes that rival the finest international vineyards.
This area is saturated with the people, the history and the heritage that makes this mountain region so spellbindingly unique. Take this day tour to maximize your experience of these communal multi-cultural influences preserved in this gorgeous landscape.
Read our blog post about New Mexico’s Artisanal Mountain Heritage, for more information.