The High Road to Taos is now listed as a 'Scenic Byway'. It travels through the mountains east of the Rio Grande and visits remnants of Old Spain. It can be seen in the architecture, topography, and history of the people. In Espanola, to east on N.M.503 to the Pueblo of Nambe. Occupied since about 1300, this Tewa pueblo was first described by Casta'o de Sosa in 1591 as a square structure, two stories high with a central plaza.
The route goes north on N.M. 520, through Chimayo (see a separate tip), a community known for its fine Spanish weaving and crafts, good food, and famous church. At Truchas, the byway splits, if you have time, visit this village. The road through the village runs alongside a deep canyon. Buildings may seem to be precariously placed on its rim, but some of them have been there for generations. Looking east, you have the illusion of being on top of the world, but you're brought back to reality when you look west to the Truchas Peaks rising 5,600 feet above the village. This frontier outpost was built in a square with an entrance just wide enough for one cart to pass through, for defensive purposes.
Heading towards the village of Las Trampas, a wide expanse of valley opens out in panoramic beauty, the barren Truchas Peaks punctuating the eastern horizon. Over 13,000 feet in elevation, the Peaks are among the highest in the New Mexico Rockies. Settled in 1751, the village of Las Trampas has one of the finest surviving eighteenth-century churches in New Mexico, San Jose de Gracia, built in 1760 (open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
Continue northward, passing through small villages, ending in Taos.