Scenic Taos Driving Tours
Let us offer a couple of driving tours from Taos that give you an opportunity to see and explore the great beauty of the surrounding geography and towns.
TOUR ONE: Enchanted Circle
The Distance: 84 miles
The Driving Time: 2 to 3 hours
Route: From Taos Plaza take Highway 64 north to Highway 522 north to Questa; then Highway 38 East to Red River. Then south to Eagle Nest and Angel Fire and finally Highway 64 west back to Taos.
You can start near the Plaza in downtown Taos. There’s a stop light about 4 miles north of the Plaza. Here you can take a short detour driving 7 miles to the east on N.M. Highway 64 to see the fantastic views from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Usually there are some vendors selling hand made and home made products at the bridge. If you don’t have a fear of heights park your car and walk across the bridge.
Next, return to Highway 522 (the stop light) and continue on the road for about 35 miles until you reach the small town of Questa. If you are observant you will see the entrance to the DH Lawrence ranch about 8 miles before Questa. At Questa the Enchanted Circle Loop takes New Mexico Highway 38 East. This road leads past the Carson National Forest ranger station and a molybdenum mine and mill (on hills, north of the highway). After 13 miles of driving you will arrive in Red River. In wintertime this is a ski resort and in summer it’s a fun place to hang out and enjoy the scenery. Highway 38 continues to move in a south and eastern direction for about 18 miles where you arrive at Eagle Nest. This is another small recreation and outdoor activity based town that is at the junction of Highway 38 and U.S. 64. If you enjoy water sports you can take a boat or kayak in the Eagle Nest lake, or go fishing. If you got an early start there are some nice hikes in the Cimmaron Canyon State Park approximately 10 miles to the west on Route 64. If you are ready to complete the look you head on Highway 64 East and first drive past Angle Fire (another ski resort) and then it’s about 30 miles to return to Taos (note the road is beautiful but 2 lane and rather twisty).
TOUR TWO: Wine Tasting and History
(Remember don’t drink and drive – always have a designated driver).
The Distance: approximately 85 miles
The Driving Time: 3 hours or more
Route: From Taos Plaza take Highway 68 South to Espanola. Then take Highway 76 North/West to Highway 75 West to Highway 518 North back to Taos.
There are some great things to see on this loop. First, just outside of town south on Paseo Del Pueblo Sur (about 4 miles from the Plaza) you come to the beautiful and well documents San Francisco De Asis Mission Church built between 1772 and 1816. Well worth visiting both the exterior and interior.