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Taos County, New Mexico

Looking for skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, turquoise and silver crafts, world-renowned art museums, literary history, and a thousand-year old Native American adobe pueblo? Not just anywhere. But near Georgia O’Keeffe landscapes, the Enchanted Circle, and the rivers, gorges, rolling mesas, and Sangre de Cristo...

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Looking for skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, turquoise and silver crafts, world-renowned art museums, literary history, and a thousand-year old Native American adobe pueblo? Not just anywhere. But near Georgia O’Keeffe landscapes, the Enchanted Circle, and the rivers, gorges, rolling mesas, and Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico? Choose a Taos area vacation.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site devoid of electric power lines and running water, 99,000-acre Taos Pueblo and its two adobe apartment structures have been continuously occupied for over 1,000 years. Likely one of the famed Seven Cities of Gold glimpsed by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s, Taos Pueblo is open to the public (closed 10 weeks, Feb.-March). Plan your Taos vacation stay ahead to attend a Pueblo event like September’s San Geronimo Day, a June corn dance, a July POW WOW, or a January buffalo, deer or turtle dance.

A highway loop with fantastic Wheeler Peak vistas, the Enchanted Circle embraces Carson National Forest and ski areas like Angel Fire, Red River and Sipapu. Plus Taos, Eagle Nest Lake, Questa, and several smaller towns. The Carson National Forest’s many mountain streams and lakes teem with rainbow, eastern brook, German brown, and cutthroat trout. Summers, the cross-country ski, snowshoeing and snowmobile trails make for good hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildflower viewing. Big game animals include antelope, elk, deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep. Rock climbers might want to locate nearer the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

Not as developed as Utah and Colorado’s top ski areas, Taos Ski Valley is savored by expert skiers who like hike-to terrain and ungroomed moguls. The Taos ski school is highly regarded, though Angel Fire has more green trails for beginners to practice. Taos Mountain Casino, operated by the Taos Pueblo Tribe, is near the ski slopes.

If San Francisco de Asis Church looks familiar, it has appeared in Georgia O’Keeffe's art and Ansel Adams' photographs. O’Keeffe often stayed at Mabel Dodge Luhan's house, along with writer D.H. Lawrence. Visit the Harwood Museum of Art to learn how the Taos art colony was founded. The fusion architecture of the Taos Art Museum in artist Nicolai Fechin’s home is also notable.

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Taos
Taos (MichaelP2, Aug 2009)

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