We still can’t believe the beauty in Northern New Mexico. Taos has been our homebase for the last week, more specifically the Rio Bravo BLM Campground. This is one of two campgrounds with RV spots inside the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument ($15 per night for water + electric hookups + BEAUTIFUL views + hiking trails and fishing spots right outside our front door…but no cell or data service). This is by far one of the best BLMs we have been too, highly recommended if staying in the area! And if you are tent camping… the National Monument has at least five other campgrounds with no RV spots (the farther North you drive into the Monument the less crowded campgrounds become).
Taos is a small, super funky western town… think new age geodomes + vibrant cultural history + ski slopes + deep passion for the arts. The town is strategically placed right at the edge of the Rockies making it one of Outside Magazine’s top places to live in 2016.
A few top hits:
Picuris Trail in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument – located at the Taos Junction Bridge, head straight up (.8 miles one way) for spectacular views of the Rio Grande and surrounding area.
Williams Lake in Taos Ski Valley – great 4 mi round trip hike this time of year. The hike is at about 11,000′ but if you have more to give, take the trail to Wheeler Peak (highest mountain in NM) which is a 1-2 mi trail one way climbing 2,000′ in elevation. Stop for a beer/lunch at The Bavarian, this funky German ski lodge right at the end of the hike. If you have even more time, take this 19 mile trail in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and climb two 13,000′ peaks with unbeatable views of the area. This trek is listed as one of the best hiking trails in NM.
Manby Hot Springs – Unreal natural hot springs right on the edge of the Rio Grande River. The road out to the springs is dirt and unkept (4wd and/or high clearance cars can easily handle). This can be a popular spot for locals on weekends/nice days… we ran into about 10 other folks in the few hours we were there. If you are not feeling the hot springs, hang out at the small beach area right next to the springs (still right on the river).
Shree Yoga – Stunning medium size studio with a wood beam ceiling and lots of light. Class schedule here. 9:30am Saturday class with one of the founders, Genevieve was my favorite session since leaving SF. She is an empowering teacher. I also took a weekday noon class and it was packed! Very inspiring to see men and women alike committed to their practice at lunch time on a Monday 🙂
Taos Mesa Brewing – their brewery is about 10 minutes from town or you can check out their tap room right in the heart of Taos. Visiting the brewery is a must, great beers, large outdoor space with cornhole/horseshoes etc, live music almost every evening and delicious food! The tap room in town is also a great spot, we watched one of the presidential debates at their bar. The have a pool and foosball table anddd delicious pizza on the menu.
Saturday Farmers Market in the Plaza – this takes place in the middle of the town from 8am-12:30pm from May to October – great produce, music and crafts.
Wired Cafe and Taos Java (internet/coffee shops) -Wired is much larger, quirkier and dirtier but has a great food menu. Taos Java is run by two sisters. The place is small and clean with good coffee. Both had good wifi.
Vivac Winery – our first wine tasting experience since leaving SF and it was surprisingly tasty for NM 🙂 Yes, Dylan bought a bottle…
Blue Heron Brewing Company – nice and small brewery south of town (and south of the BLM). They had six beers on tap and ALL of them were delicious. They have a nice outdoor seating area and a few snacks if you get hungry. Their logo reminded us of our friends at Ravenswood back in Sonoma, CA.