Hop in and buckle up. Our Humble Brands tour guide, Marisa, shares 6 things to do in and around Taos. Some may surprise you.
When you think of New Mexico, snow-capped mountains and some of the best skiing in the country may not be the first things that come to mind, but November through March, Northern New Mexico truly is a winter wonderland! With over 300 days of sunshine each year, beautiful weather is seemingly endless and perfect for outdoor adventures exploring rugged landscapes and vibrant sights in town. Here are some of my favorite wintry ways to enjoy this special place that Humble Brands calls home!
1. Skiing & Snowboarding at Taos Ski Valley
Taos Ski Valley, home to the highest peak in New Mexico (13,161 feet tall!), is a wild frontier famous for its steep slopes, massive amounts of snowfall, and humble charm that you won’t soon forget. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or you haphazardly teeter between pizza and french fries, TSV has the terrain for you, including double black diamonds, a bunny hill, and everything in between. This untamed, snowy retreat is located 50 miles south of the Colorado border and sits firmly in the center of the Enchanted Circle, offering up an array of winter activities (in addition to skiing and snowboarding) like hiking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
2. The Enchanted Circle
Looking for something a little more low key? Grab your driving glasses, pop in some tunes, and give The Enchanted Circle a try! (I mean, who wouldn’t want to explore a place called The Enchanted Circle?!) A roughly 2.5 to 3-hour drive, this scenic, winding road starts from Taos Plaza, through Red River, Angel Fire, and back again. Explore historic mountain towns and get a lay of the dramatic and unique landscape, all from the comfort of your own car. You won’t regret it.
3. Hiking the Canyons
Explore the many trails and canyons in and around Taos all year long! With a plethora of hikes to choose from, traversing the canyons is a great way to take in the captivating, high desert surroundings at your own pace. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Italianos Canyon: This 3.6 mile trail in Taos Ski Valley follows a creek with many crossings through aspen groves and meadows, leading you to a breathtaking ridge-top view.
- Big Arsenic Trail: The moderate 2.4 mile out and back trail leads you down a short, but steep path to the Rio Grande.
- Miners Trail: Along this 1.7 mile out and back, enjoy big views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains beginning at the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge.
4. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Did you know that New Mexico is the hot air ballooning capital of the world? Well, now you do. And if anytime’s a good time to go hot air ballooning, why not right smack dab in the middle of winter? Yolo! Sail on the soft desert winds, enjoying the view from above, and be forever changed by the incomparable Taos Gorge hundreds of feet below. Take a magical experience and make it even more enchanting with one-of-a-kind, aerial views of the Rio Grande and the delightful desert scenery below.
5. Taos Art Galleries and Museums
They say you can’t throw a rock in Taos without hitting an artist! And though I don’t recommend attempting that, this colorful, multicultural area has a rich history of art and continues to thrive, attracting creative, quirky people from around the world. A few of my favorite museums include: The Harwood Museum, The Millicent Rogers Museum, and The Kit Carson Museum. These museums highlight work from artists who have been touched by Taos in the past and present—a great way to soak up the colorful culture inspired by this exhilarating place.
6. Cocktails at the Rolling Still
Take a breather after an exciting day in nature and head downtown to The Rolling Still Tasting Room for a delicious, Southwest-inspired beverage. Treat yourself to small plates, chile-infused cocktails, mocktails, and charming scenery. In the heart of downtown Taos, I love sitting on the patio, snuggling up by the fire, absorbing the sights and sounds of town and the passersby.
No matter the season, there’s no shortage of things to do in this thriving, high desert haven that has a special place in our hearts.