This is an adjacent community to Taos, and really an extension of the area sites. The main attraction in the community is San Francisco de Asis Mission church. It is a monument built by Franciscan clergy in 1772 and the church got completed 1816. Georgia O'Keefe paintings are of this church. The adobe walls are very thick for preservation of the structure and defend possible attack by Indians
This is a 9 mile one way hike along the Rio Grand river.The trailhead begins at the Rio Grand Gorge bridge and goes south. I went in for about 4 miles and returned due to exhaustion for the day on hiking . The trail is sandy and in some places rocky. It is all flat and the views of the river canyon are great.
This is a hike; one of many along Hwy 68. A lot appear to be hiking on flat sandy surfaces, making the hike rather mundane. This hike is 9 mile RT if you go all the way in a loop. I went yin about 3 miles, and returned the same way after the scenery all was the same. it mostly is for bikers to take.
This hike is wonderful and somewhat of a challenge, but worth it all. The hike is about 3 miles one way. It goes down an old road called Hwy 570, but due to rock landslides it closed many years ago. You have to traverse over/around some of these rocks. The descent is about 700 feet, so the same back up. The views looking down and back up are great.
This is a fabulous view of the Rio Grand 800 feet below plus the bridge over it. You can walk onto the bridge to look down and around. There is a center nearby that only has restrooms and picnic tables.
This is an original hacienda that operated as a typical family estate that was self sustaining. It has a blacksmith shop, weaving room, grain processing. leather works processing, cloth making and hide tanning, and much more. There are 21 rooms to view these activities on display, plus many bedrooms and eating areas. This hacienda dates back to early 1800's and was operated by the Martinez family, who turned the home into a trading post when the SAnta Fe trail got more goods flowing.
The museum is open 10-5 Monday-Saturday and 12-5 Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, or $25 for 4 museums. The tour takes about one hour to view the sites
This art museum took me about 15 minutes to go through. They have some paintings, sculptures, and wall works through two floors in about 5 rooms. The art museum has been under the university operation since 1936. The works change periodically and feature local artists. A lot of the art was donated by Bob & CAroline Ellis and Brandenburgs. Much of the works became contemporary in nature over the years.
The home was purchased by the Harwoods in 1916 and the heirs willed it to the university.
It is open 10-5PM Monday-SAturday and 12-5 Sunday. Admission is $8 or $25 for 4 state owned museums in town
The museum is located on Bent St which is one short block to the north of the plaza. It has 3 main rooms and it is loaded with artifacts from the Gov Bent life and times, his family and the incident related to his killing in 1847 from a mob of Indians in the Taos Revolt. There are also memorabilia pieces of the museum owner from Bents period through WWII. A lot of reading material describes the era of the Taos and New Mexico growth.
Bent lived in SAnta Fe, and became wealthy from hauling furs back to St. Louis for the prior 20 years. Gen Kearney appointed Bent the first state Governor one year before he was killed.
Bent always tried to help the Indians and thought he could quell the crowd inciting a riot, but instead he and 11 others were killed that one day.
The museum fee is $3 and it is open 10-5 daily
The home is basically unchanged since Kit Carson lived here since 1843. He married Maria Josefa Jarimillo in 1846 and purchased this 3 room house. They had two children over the years to add to his prior daughter that lived; and they later adopted three Navajos. Carson used this as a home base while he went west with John Fremont and continued many more times to head west to explore or lead groups out there. His body and also his wife's are buried in Taos in 1869.
The home has a lot of personal artifacts of Carson family and pictures of the children as well as events of Kit Carson in his years.
The home tour is $8 and open 10-5:30PM daily. A tour could be over one hour to view the many items on display
There are shops that ring the plaza plus a hotel called La Fonda hotel that has had a place here for 190 years. It was a famous place for the settlers and traders that came here. The other shops are a mix variety, and some very nice. Selection of goods is available for your pleasure. The pavilion is a nice touch in the middle of the square park
The river flows nearly 2000 miles and along this section on Hwy 68, there are some rafting companies offering trips downstream. The river is very low for the last few years and the trip in not as adventuresome as previous. For a run of 10-12 miles, the cost is $110 and more.
The river flow is slower that normal, but still a nice view and there are a number of pulloff overlooks between SAnta Fe and Taos.
There are rafting guides, but not as many as in the past. The Rio Grand river is down very low, and the rafts can take a scraping on the bottom of the rocks. it looked as though only 4-5 rafting groups of 3-4 people were on the Rio Grand along the 20+ miles stretch of Hwy 68.
I was going to go through here, but the price is way too much for the value. The greeter said the tour of the art gallery may be 15-20 minutes. The price was $9. Not for me. it was an artist's home now converted to a small art museum.
Perhaps surprisingly, it would be easy to drive straight through Taos and miss its Plaza, which is tucked away to the west of the main north-south artery, Paseo Del Pueblo. But to do so would be a real shame. The Plaza was intended by the Spanish settlers who created Taos to be the heart of their community, and such it remains today. We spent quite a bit of time here over the two days we were in town, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
Guadalupe Plaza, to give it its proper name, is surrounded by shops and galleries, with its south side dominated by the historic Hotel la Fonda de Taos. We popped in here briefly hoping to see the collection of D H Lawrence’s so-called “Forbidden Art” – paintings by the author which were considered obscene and banned in England, and under threat of destruction until Lawrence removed them from the country and brought them here to New Mexico. Unfortunately a private function in the room where the paintings are displayed prevented us from seeing them, but it was worth going in to see this Taos landmark.
In the centre of the Plaza is a gazebo which was donated to the town by heiress and long-time resident Mabel Dodge Luhan, a famous patroness of the arts scene here (it was she who encouraged Lawrence to move here). On its south side, in front of La Fonda, is this large bronze statue of local hero Padre Antonio José Martinez. He was a forward-thinking priest and educationalist who argued for Native education, founded the town’s first newspaper, and resisted the attempts of Bishop Lamy to enforce Western European principles on Hispanic New Mexicans.
When we were in town much of the Plaza was taken up by a craft fair – I don’t know if that’s usual at the weekend or if it was a special occasion. We enjoyed browsing the stalls, even though we didn’t buy anything here. We also enjoyed an ice cream from a shop just next to La Fonda (part of the same building, in fact), but I omitted to note its name unfortunately – recommended anyway! There are plenty of benches (photo two) and low walls in the Plaza where you can sit and enjoy it :-)
In the south east corner there is an interesting shop selling Native American crafts, clothing etc – well worth a browse. And if you pop down the little alley to the right of it you’ll have a surprisingly good view of the mountains that surround the town – see photo five.
Photos three and four were taken by Chris
I confess that I didn’t know a lot about Kit Carson before visiting his house, and our motivation for doing so was not so much to learn more about him as to have an opportunity to see inside a historic Taos home – and for that I recommend it. But we also did learn quite a bit, and enjoyed the various displays here.
Your visit starts with a video about Carson’s life, which I thought was well-made and carried just the right amount of information. In fact, this video is described as “award winning” (I don’t know what award!) and was made for the History Channel, so is of broadcast quality. We learned that Carson lived in this house for 25 years, having bought it as a wedding present for his bride, Josefa Jaramillo. His work as an army scout, Indian Agent and army officer kept him away from home a lot of the time – the period of time that Kit he actually lived n this house was during the time he served as Ute Indian Agent from January 1854, to June 1861, when he had his Agency headquarters in Taos. Meanwhile Josefa raised the family here – seven children born to her and Carson, and several more Indian children adopted by them after he had freed them from captors.
Carson was a member of the Masons, and it is they who purchased the by-then dilapidated house in the early part of the twentieth century, restored it and now open it as a public attraction. This gives the presentation of the family history a slight slant perhaps, as naturally they put more emphasis on Carson’s activities as Mason than you might expect, but on the whole it provides an interesting insight into life in a frontier town in the mid nineteenth century. I especially liked seeing the kitchen, which is sparsely furnished with objects of the period. Each room has an informative notice detailing how it would have been used in Kit and Josefa’s time here, and inviting visitors to imagine the activity around them – with so many children, and regular visits from many of the important men of those times (including Generals and Congressmen), it must have been a lively household.
However, there are just three rooms and the collection of artefacts is not huge, so you shouldn’t come here expecting to spend hours studying the exhibits. Twenty minutes for the video, and the same (or less) looking around the remaining two rooms and objects in the display cases (which include clothing, firearms, old photos etc) should be enough. It costs $5 for admission, which is reasonable value for what you get, and it’s an interesting way to spend half an hour or so, but it shouldn’t be the main reason you come to Taos unless you’re a huge admirer of Kit Carson!
The museum is open from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm every day. There is a large shop attached with a comprehensive selection of books, from what I could see, about Carson and his times, and about Freemasonry.