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Situated about an hour north of Santa Fe, and less than an hour south of the Colorado border, Taos is well-located for a variety of day trips. The American West landscapes beckon for road trips, while Native American historical sites abound.

Day Trips from Taos

Bandelier National Monument

Explore pre-Columbian ruins in this verdant canyon, marked by soft volcanic rock. Anasazi cliff dwellings and a cave ruin accessible only by a steep ladder climb make this an adventure for the strong willed.

58 miles southwest of Taos, www.nps.gov/band
Tags: day trip


On the western side of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, an off-the-grid, fully sustainable Earthship development invites visitors to come learn more about these half-underground, eco-friendly dwellings, created by the Taos-based firm, Earthship Biotecture. Nightly rentals are available to tourists.

10 miles northwest of Taos on US 64, www.earthship.net
Tags: day trip

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway

This popular 84-mile driving tour follows a Scenic Byway around New Mexico's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak, and takes in the beautiful Carson National Forest and picturesque ski resorts, outdoor adventure havens, and Wild West towns like Angel Fire, Red River, Questa, and Eagle Nest. Other attractions include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area. The Rocky Mountain landscapes are a surprising contrast to what's widely considered a desert state. Allow two hours to a full day for the loop, depending upon stops.

On 84-mile Taos-inclusive loop, www.byways.org
Tags: day trip

Great Sand Dunes National Monument

Cross into Colorado country to explore the tallest sand dunes in North America. A stunning blend of dunes, grasslands, wetlands, forests, and tundra, this national park ecosystem invites hikers, photographers, and simple observers into a wondrous wilderness.

88 miles north of Taos, www.nps.gov/grsa
Tags: day trip

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

This resort's sulfur-free springs have been a source of healing and rejuvenation for hundreds of years. Long considered a sacred place by native tribes, visitors today can overnight at the historic 140-year-old eco-friendly resort, soak in the mineral waters (there are 10 public pools to choose from), and indulge in a variety of spa and body treatments. Hiking and biking trails abound on the 1,100 acre property.

40 miles southwest of Taos, NM, www.ojospa.com
Tags: day trip

Santa Fe

Broadly speaking, Santa Fe is the chic big city to Taos' emerging underdog. Just 70 miles south of Taos, this enchanting, 400-year-old city is the nation's highest capital and claims the region's most dynamic shopping and gallery scenes and crisp, cool year-round weather.

NM, www.santafe.org
Tags: day trip

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