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Taos Sans Skiing

People come to Taos from all over the world to explore our gorgeous area with specific interests in mind. During the winter months, many are here for the sights and the great skiing. But, if you’re not keen on the sport, don’t fret! Taos provides a variety of other ways to enjoy our winter wonderland without the need for a chair lift. Below are the top 5 Taos winter activities for the non-skiers.

Find a Rink
Lace-up and get on that rink! Open 2 pm to 8 pm daily (pending weather) The Eis Haus Skating Rink is located in the lower plaza at Taos Ski Valley. Whether you’re carving figure eights or just trying to stay upright, ice skating in Taos makes for a magical winter adventure.

Jump on the Trails
Sometimes there’s no better way to get the lay of the land than to jump on a snowmobile and go explore. Our friends at Big Al’s Snowmobile offer a guided snowmobile tour through the beautiful Taos Ski Valley. A little background – Big Al has lived here for over 37 years, he knows the Taos Ski Valley inside and out. He will guide you through some of the most beautiful, snow-filled trails you have ever seen.

Wander a Museum
If you’re looking to sprinkle in a little culture while still staying warm, pop into one of Taos’ many museums. Step back into the 1850s by touring Taos’ Oldest Museum featuring many items from the Kit Carson Estate or spend a few hours exploring the extensive showcasing of Hispanic artists at the Millicent Rogers Museum.

Belly Up
You’d probably never know it, but the microbrewery revolution is alive and active in Taos. If you’re looking to keep those feet warm but don’t mind a frosty glass of beer, consider popping over to Taos Mesa Brewing’s Taproom where you can enjoy a delicious bite and a local brew. If you can’t decide on just one selection, go ahead and ask for their beer flight.

Take a soak
If your travel companions are hitting the slopes for the day, treat yourself to a relaxing day at the lodge. You can start by throwing on your swimsuit and taking a long soak in a 104-degree outdoor hot tub! Enjoy a nice book and a cup of hot chocolate while taking in the scenery of our property.

Taos for the Holidays

While Taos has proven to be a magical place all year long, it truly sparkles during the holiday season. And to give that “home away from home” feeling, we at El Pueblo Lodge love to set a cozy holiday scene for guests to enjoy.

In addition to spreading holiday cheer through our decorations around the grounds and inside our lobby, we also have a few traditions. Keeping with classic Christmas tradition, we leave out fresh baked cookies for all guests to enjoy – not just Santa. On Christmas Eve and Day, overnight guests are treated to our signature green chile stew, home-made tamales and pumpkin pie.

For those looking to get out and enjoy the festivities, check in with our front desk and learn about the fun things planned for Yuletide in Taos during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and through the New Year. Stay warm and Happy Holidays!


You’ll Love Yuletide in Taos

If you haven’t heard by now, Taos does things differently than most other places. And one of our proudest traditions is our month-long holiday celebration known as Yuletide in Taos. Yuletide is the entire holiday season that includes every unique New Mexico tradition you have and haven’t heard of.

They say Yuletide begins each year on Thanksgiving, but Taoseños feel the holiday season spirit when Taos Folk pops up at Stables Art Gallery on November 18. Taos Folk is all things festive in classic Taos fashion, including local handmade goods from jewelry to candles.

The festivities officially ramp up for the 36th Annual Yuletide Tree Lighting in Taos Plaza on December 2. Mayor Maestas will flip the lights on with the entire Taos community and celebrate December in northern New Mexico.

While the entire month is an experience unlike any other, the most magical holiday event is on the holiday itself. The Christmas Eve Procession at Taos Pueblo features large bonfires and countless farolitos to light up the parade in a spiritual event of heritage and community. On Christmas Day, the ancient ceremonial Taos Pueblo Deer or Matachinas Dance honors the depths of winter. But sorry, no cameras or phones are allowed. Perfect to experience this ceremony with your own two eyes in the moment.

Yuletide in Taos wraps up with the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Watch skiers glide down Taos Ski Valley holding torches under the starry skies while fireworks illuminate the brightness and joy another Yuletide brought to our community. But don’t just read it from us! See Yuletide in Taos for yourself this holiday season.

Wake Up, Up and Away

One of the most captivating human spectacles Taos has to offer is back this weekend! The 39th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is back this year for three dawns in October. Each morning after dawn from Friday, October 28 to Sunday October 30, hot air balloons will light up the colorful desert sky. This event, repeated every year since 1983, is enjoyed by Taoseños and travelers from far and wide.

On Friday, the initial “Mini-Ascension” will commence at 8am, followed by tether rides for the kids a few minutes later. From 5pm to 9pm, we’ll have a Meet & Greet with the pilots and sponsors. While New Mexico is famous for its sprawling hot air balloon spectacles, the Taos Rally is a more intimate event, with 35-50 crews invited each year.

On Saturday is the first Mass Ascension launch, where all the crews take off and dot the skies for nearly an hour and a half. Taos is out and about all day, with “Balloomenshine” capping off the day’s festivities around 5:30pm. Because the Rally happens each year on the last weekend of October, every Saturday, the kids come around and “basket or treat” at each balloon.

To finish a memorable weekend strong, one last Mass Ascension takes flight around 7:45am on Sunday. Closing Ceremonies thank everyone for coming out to the TMBRA field on Albright Street behind the Taos County Court House. We hope you plan on stopping by and burning the ignition on both ends this weekend from dawn til dusk. You can’t miss it. Just look up.

It’s Chile Season

Chiles are an essential food to Taos and New Mexico as a state. Technically a fruit, the chile is the official state vegetable of the Land of Enchantment. So much so, that New Mexico has been dubbed the “Chile Capital of the World.” And the state’s number one cash crop is in season right now, through the end of the month.

Chiles are indigenous to North America. New Mexico Pueblo tribes have been cultivating chile for thousands of years, and the Spanish immediately added the versatile ingredient to their meals upon their arrival in 1540.

But the most important fact you need to know about New Mexico chiles is your answer to the all-important question: red or green? It’s quite literally the “official state question” here. But psst – we’ll let you in on a little secret–red chiles are just ripened green chiles. But they have two very different tastes and uses. And answering the question may be more complicated than you assume. You can also answer “Christmas,” which means equal parts red and green chile.

Chiles are present in almost every iteration of a meal you can imagine in New Mexico. From the expected classics like chiles rellenos to the inventive mouth-waterers like green chile cheeseburgers, every food spot from Taos to Las Cruces will have plenty of chiles in both colors to try.

Here at El Pueblo, we get in on chile season as well. Our fan favorite breakfast option is no doubt the green chile and tamales. And on Saturday nights, our kitchen serves green chile stew for any guests of the hotel. If you’re thinking about stopping by Taos this chile season, we have plenty to prepare your palate. But trust us, you can’t go wrong anywhere in the Chile Capital of the World.

The Most Important Meal in Taos

There are so many reasons to choose El Pueblo Lodge for your Taos adventure. A central location on Paseo del Pueblo Norte helps, but it’s also what goes on within our walls that enhances the Land of Enchantment–breakfast.

Our El Pueblo Lodge breakfast has been a guest favorite for as long as we’ve been open. Our secret? Generous and complimentary self-service. While that may not sound too different than a standard hotel breakfast, ours is truly rooted in that southwest style.

Locally sourced green chiles, tamales, burritos and beans headline the hot options every day of the week. Fresh fruit bowls and juices complement the complimentary options as well. Also, fresh breakfast sandwiches have become a hit and are here to stay.

The meals are exclusive to hotel guests only, creating a unique El Pueblo stamp on your Taos stay. Whether you’re exploring Taos for multiple days or just stopping by on your Southwest road trip, make sure you refuel with us in the mornings. Your hunger will thank you.

Best Dessert in the Desert

We’re getting to the dog days of summer in Taos, New Mexico. If you live here, or just have visited before, you know it gets hot and hotter. But, if you live here or have been before, you probably know of something a little more comfortable – and delicious.

Taos Cow, about a 10-minute drive north of El Pueblo in Arroyo Seco, is the best place to find ice cream on a hot July day. All their flavors are completely all-natural and rGBH-free. And with over 30 of them, there’s a refreshing option you’ll enjoy on a day-to-day basis. That’s helpful if you’re staying a few days with us.

A true New Mexican staple, Taos Cow sources all their ingredients in state. The cream and milk is from Albuquerque’s South Valley. The pistachios are from Alamagordo, pecans from Las Cruces and even lavender from Albuquerque. For anyone who travels by taste, Taos Cow is the best ice cream in New Mexico.

It’s so good, we’ve heard stories of people traveling from California and Nevada to take some pints and quarts home with them. If you’re on a road trip, pack a cooler, because you’ll want to take some Taos Cow with you through the dessert.

Taos Wine & Beer Tour

The magic of Taos has always been what its people can create from the land around them. And if you are an inquisitive nomad who loves to sample the local beverages from each stop on your travels, the people and resources of Taos have a lot to offer.

Vivác Winery
35-minute drive from El Pueblo

Vivác is a Spanish term meaning “high-altitude refuge.” Sourcing all their grapes from New Mexico and using the most advanced winemaking tactics and equipment, a Vivác winery tour is not only technically interesting, it was also included in HGTV’s “Top 22 Most Beautiful Wineries Across the USA.” The tasting room is open 7 days a week, and don’t be surprised to walk into a happy hour special or live music at any time.

La Chiripada Winery
40-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Northern New Mexico’s oldest winery, La Chiripada has been producing up to 20 varieties of wine for more than 35 years. Meaning “a stroke of luck,” La Chiripada offers complete tastings from 11am – 5pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm – 5pm on Sundays.

Black Mesa Winery
40-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Black Mesa Winery has been making wine for 30 years with nothing but purely New Mexico grapes. All the wines are bottled and cellared on property, and you can reserve a spot in their Tasting Room by calling 24 hours in advance of preferably a weekday.

Blue Heron Brewing Co.
35-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Blue Heron Brewery, located right on Hwy 68, offers a wide variety of beers, from porters to pilsners. Started by a Northern New Mexico family, Blue Heron’s taproom welcomes any and all visitors to pour a pint, grab a 6-pack to-go, and even get a bite to eat.

Taos Mesa Brewing
Right in town, only a 2-min drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Staff Favorite! This brewpub location features fresh brews and artisan cuisine including wood-fired pizza. The Taos Tap Room welcomes new friends and imparts an understanding of the authentic southwestern vibe.

Red River Brewery
45- min drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Another Staff Favorite! Red River Brewery features 12 beers on tap with one additional tap always reserved for our house-made root beer. Their bartenders whip up specialty cocktails using our own Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Agave Spirit distilled from raw ingredients in-house.

Southwestern Road Trip Pit Stop Shop

Pit Stop Attraction

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Canon City, Colorado is a short drive west of Pueblo, Colorado. Home to America’s highest suspension bridge and zip line, Royal Gorge Bridge hangs nearly a thousand feet above the Arkansas River. The park has turned itself into a bona fide Western attraction, featuring rock climbing, zip lining, a sky coaster, gondola rides and more.

If that piqued your interest, you can take a second detour right near El Pueblo Lodge and view the Taos Gorge Bridge. The second highest bridge on the US Highway System and fifth highest bridge in the country is a sight to behold, especially at sunset.

New Mexico
Pit Stop Attraction

Meow Wolf in Santa Fe is one of the most unique art experiences in the world. Over 70 rooms of immersive art, Santa Fe is the phenomenon’s original location, donning the theme House of Eternal Return. The description “mind-bending” doesn’t do this experience justice.

If you’re traveling the Southwest in search of art, Taos is a destination in and of itself. Taos claims over 70 active art galleries and several museums displaying works from both local artists and pieces from around the globe.

Pit Stop Attraction

Tee Pee Curios in Tucumcari, New Mexico is the last remaining original Route 66 curio shop in the state. What was a gas and grocery store back when the iconic Route 66 was only a two-lane highway, Tee Pee Curios is keeping classic Americana alive in eastern New Mexico.

If you like grabbing a memento at each stop you make to mark your journey, Tee Pee Curios is exactly the place. Downtown and Taos Plaza has more boutiques than you’d know what to do with, making the search for memorable local crafts an exciting challenge.

Pit Stop Attraction

Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona has been called the “world’s best preserved meteorite impact site.” One of the West’s most unexpectedly intriguing natural sites, Meteor Crater is nearly a mile in diameter and more than 550 feet deep. Determined to have collided with Earth approximately 50,000 years ago, Meteor Crater is still blowing the minds of roadtrippers throughout the Southwest.

If you enjoy gawking at the wonders from a time far before you were born, Taos is a sanctuary for history. While not an astrological event, Taos Pueblo is one of our most visited attractions because of its nearly unfathomable impressiveness and age.

Live the Wildlife

While the people of New Mexico have been here for thousands of years, they were not the first. That distinction belongs to the dizzying array of plants and animals found in and around Taos. New Mexico’s size, terrain and climate make it one of the most biologically diverse states in the country. In fact, over 4,500 different species of plants and animals call our man-made state border home.

Several life zones, including the alpine tundra, coniferous forests, woodlands, grasslands, and desert transition to and from each other. And that diverse ecosystem is especially apparent in the north. Drought-resistant plants like Russian Thistle–AKA tumbleweeds–and Prickly Pear cactus can be found south of Taos. To the north of Taos, hearty trees like Douglas fir and Juniper surround the landscape. Plants and trees make up over three quarters of the biological diversity in the state.

But the other quarter does not lack excitement, either. New Mexico features elk, deer, antelope, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats (yes, there is a difference). The state animal is the black bear, native to the mountains of northern New Mexico.

And that’s not even mentioning the most diverse landscape in the state: the Rio Grande Valley. Making its way from the southern border to the north, the Rio Grande Valley is home to three turtle species, nine lizard species, 13 snake species and more than 60 mammal species. The valley features over 200 species of birds that use it as a home or mating grounds every year.

Now knowing the wealth of biological diversity in northern New Mexico specifically, you can understand why Taos was such coveted land since the beginning. Thanks to conservation and environmental efforts, most of these species have remained in their original environments, cohabitating with us at El Pueblo Lodge. Whatever reason it is you travel, keep an eye out for our wild neighbors. As you’ve read, we have quite a few of them.

Hot Springs in Hot Summer Near Taos

New Mexico is host to some of the most unusual natural phenomenon in North America. From the White Sands to the Carlsbad Caverns, this state is unlike any other when it comes to its natural features. And we have a feeling if you’re coming through New Mexico, you’re itching for some of those experiences.

Taos and Northern New Mexico is home to a couple natural hot springs that are a must see if you want to combine outdoor adventure with a bit of found luxury. Take a look at our two favorites only a short drive from Taos.

Black Rock Hot Springs

If you like to feel like you’ve earned your leisure, Black Rock Hot Springs is right up your alley–or should we say valley. Located northwest of Taos off Arroyo Hondo, Black Rock is only a modest hike down to the Rio Grande and its complementary and complimentary hot springs.

The few small hot springs are open year-round as is the Rio Grande for swimming, although you’d prefer a dip in a spring over a river come fall. The springs, warmed by the heat under the surface, sit at around 90 degrees all year, so there’s no bad time to go. In fact, a hot spring experience in the fall and winter is regarded very highly among people who’ve done it. We’d recommend it as well.

Ojo Caliente

If you’re looking for a more upscale natural hot spring experience, Ojo Caliente to the southwest of Taos is a must-soak. These hot springs, the only in the world with sulfur free mineral water, are deemed sacred by Native Americans for their soothing body, mind and spirit qualities.

The springs are a resort experience, so hiking right up to the pools is not an option. But visitors are welcome every day for very reasonable entry tickets. The spa resort features plenty of extra services, such as massages and face treatments.

Update: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa reopened Aug. 2 at limited capacity — nearly one year after an Aug. 6, 2020, fire destroyed the Northern New Mexico resort’s historic bathhouse. Day guests won’t be able to soak at Ojo Caliente until the resort opens at full capacity, expected in late October.

There’s no better or worse option when looking for hot springs in Northern New Mexico. Both experiences are renowned in the area for their natural healing powers and relaxing environments. If you’ve come to Taos to experience New Mexico, you have to feel the hottest our land has to offer.

Earth’s First Earthships

Regardless of if you first heard of Taos or its neighboring Greater World Earthship Community, the two have become synonymous. And if you’re traveling via the roads with no straight path to follow, the Earthships are an absolute must visit for road trips.

The Earthships are, in a way, the most appropriate manifestation of Taos one can find. Its combination of Pueblo adobe plaster, artistic building techniques and overarching bohemian values all play a role in the world’s first completely sustainable Earthship community.

Earthships were created in the 1970s by architect Michael Reynolds, who still works and resides in the Taos Earthship community. Earthships are built with entirely recycled and natural materials designed to produce all the water, electricity and food for the entire year. Today, more than 80 structures house over 130 people full-time.

While the Earthship way of life has gained minimal traction in the U.S., it has erected entirely sustainable structures in Canada, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Argentina, Uruguay, Haiti and even Easter Island. In a world where more energy- and cost-efficient housing is increasingly important, Michael Reynolds’ Earthship vision brought to Taos over 50 years ago remains relevant.

The best part? The Earthship Visitor Center is open every day of the year (minus Christmas and Thanksgiving) for self-guided tours from 10am-3pm. To plan a more immersive, multi-facility experience, simply call ahead a book a time on the Earthship Community website.

The Greater World Earthship Community is still a private community, so please respect all rules and signage. Within these infinitely fascinating and inviting homes, you’ll find equally interesting and welcoming people with stories of how they built it and–more importantly–why.

Visiting Taos? Stay with our affordable Taos hotel, El Pueblo Lodge

Our friendly staff can recommend many more exciting attractions to discover in Taos and we located near the historic Taos Plaza. You can also browse our Taos blog for more information on local tours, events, attractions and landmarks. El Pueblo Lodge is perfect for family holidays, romantic getaways and business vacations. We are the number one reviewed Taos hotel on TripAdvisor and our amenities include free wifi, cable with HD flatscreens, fitness room, pool and free breakfast.