Sunday morning we woke to beautiful fall morning, so after a filling breakfast we got back in the car and drove the High Road to Taos. The road is well sign-posted and offers beautiful views. As an October bonus, there is nice fall color too.
view along the road
As we progress toward Taos the landscape changed from dry scrubby brush to the pines of the Carson National Forest.
It really smelled incredible, which is good since breathing is a little more difficult at the 8,000+ft elevations.
After about two hours enjoying the scenic byway we arrived in Taos and stopped briefly at the Taos Information Center. The woman behind the counter was helpful in describing some of the events going on that weekend and helping us with driving times to different destinations. As a bonus they have free wifi, helpful given the slow/intermittent cell coverage in the area.
From Taos we drove the southern half of the enchanted circle, but it didn’t wow us like the High Road did – it felt more like a highway, so harder to stop for photos, and the eastern section wasn’t as scenic. However, we did run across this prairie dog near Eagle Nest Lake:
Next we drove north of Taos toward the famous Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The landscape leading up the bridge is quite flat, then all of a sudden you are 600+ft above the river gorge. Views are outstanding, especially if you take the small 1/2 mile hike past the parking area to view the bridge from the south.
On our way toward the bridge we saw a sign for Taos Mesa Brewing, so we stopped for a beer and enjoyed their outdoor patio area for an hour. Afterward, we headed to downtown Taos to explore some of the shops and a special glass exhibit they had in several galleries. Bright blue (turquoise) trim and chile pepper accents are prominent around town.
On our way out of town we stopped at the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church.
For our journey back to Santa Fe we took the Low Road which has some beautiful sections along the river.
The low road is faster, about 1.5 hours, so we made it back to Santa Fe just after sunset.
We really enjoyed the High Road and the scenery around Taos and can see why so many artists inhabit the area.