We planned it this way but an emergency meant we only did the low road. We were disappointed that Embudo station was closed down last week on the low road. Do a quick search here for high road and all the posts with the stops etc will come right up.
In my experience, I would recommend the High Road going up to Taos, and the Low Road back. Not a "big deal," but there are a couple of turn-offs on the High Road that are easier to catch going northbound. You will see some Spanish-era villages on the High Road, and beautiful old adobe churches. Stop at the Santuario de Chimayo (a small, but famous chapel in NM) at the south end of Chimayo. This small town also has some famous weavers. The High Road is a little longer time wise than the Low Road along the Rio Grande. I prefer to come back on the Low Road sometimes because if you are running late, you can make better time. The scenery is different on both routes, but very enjoyable none the less. As I said elsewhere, the "side trip" north from Taos to the US64 bridge is certainly worth the effort.
State Highway 68 -- the Low Road -- follows the Rio Grande River north and slightly east along the beginnings of what we know as the Gorge. Near the little town of Pilar the road begins to climb up and out of the gorge into the valley where Taos is nestled up against the mountains. Almost as soon as you finish the climb up you are greeted (some say "astounded") with a view of a gigantic crack in the earth that is the true Rio Grande Gorge. Around a turn and a big "U" in the road and then back up you'll come to a second vista of the gorge.
PULL OVER HERE!
You completely miss this spectacular view of one of the largest volcanic rifts in the world if you take the High Road North and the Low Road South. Primarily because the view is in your rear view mirror going south. Boo!
A second reason: your mountain vistas going south on the High Road are more scenic. Spend some time in Truchas and other little communities, stop at the Sanctuaryo de Chimayo and then go toward NM 503 south where you finish your drive up and down through multiple micro-climates. This last little stretch satisfies with amazing views south toward the Jemez Mountains and beyond.
One final word of advice: let yourself be transported into this place not only physically, but in your imagination or in your spirit. It's magical. Slow down a little and give yourself time to grasp why people have chosen to live in this remote and fairly isolated part of our great nation.
TaosBandBLover said it far better than anyone else could have!
We just did it today take the hi road up stop at chimayo church it's beautiful and have tamales at leonias..in Taos go to the pueblo which is past the old town and it's very interesting..the bridge gorge was eh eh not worth extra drive,.15 minutes past the pueblo..then take low road back..
For someone who is not familiar with what High Road Low Road is, can you clarify?
Can someone explain to me what the high road route is and the low road? How long should expect these routes to take?
thanks a million!
The hi road goes to higher altitude. And you,re on that side of the road...And takes longer there are a few sights to see and the low road is less time..I guess it depends on when you leave alberq. And if you will have enuf time to make the stops... if you have to go the other way it's not that big a deal..
thanks, but do these roads actually have names other than High Road/Low Road? IE - If I look at a map, how do i know what the low road or high road is?
We are leaving ABQ around 3 to Taos. Also, if anyone knows of any groc stores with a organic section near ABQ on the way to Taos please let me know. I would suspect cheaper in ABQ, so looking for that type of store there.
Yes they are main roads I don't remember the numbers but they,re on the maps,,not hard to find..it takes a few hours going up if you stop at the chimayo church and another few stops coming back it's about 2 hours., make rue you go to the Taos pueblo a little past the gown and take the little tour ..
The High Road back is State Highway 68 south out of Taos to State Highway 518 east from Ranchos de Taos. This road goes up into the mountains in a southeasterly direction. Turn right onto State Highway 75 about 20 miles out of town. Follow the signage indicating "High Road to Taos." At this point, you're in the high country following SH 75, then SH 76.
We recommend that you take State Highway 503 off of 76 in order to continue in the rural setting of the High Road.
A great tour map can be found at: