This is part of a series on Taos, NM. This is part one of Things to do in Taos, read part one. Read the other posts in the series, Off the beaten path in Taos, Taos restaurant round-up and Where to stay on your Taos NM getaway.
Taos offers outdoor activities every season of the year. Whether you’re a nature lover, an athlete or even mostly sedentary, the great outdoors beckons. No matter your level of physical fitness, there’s something here for you.
Rafting: If you want a little adventure, head for the Rio Grande. There are several options for various skill levels and levels of daring.
- The Taos Box, (minimum age twelve) a sixteen-mile course, offers class-four rapids to the intrepid. During high-water they can go up to class-five. The season here is shorter as it is very dependent on run-off conditions.
- The Race Course, (minimum age six) is for families with young children or those who are not ready for the Box. It offers class-two and three rapids.
- Float trips go through peaceful waters with a few class-two rapids to navigate. The float trip is not recommended for children under four and youngsters must be able to sit still and listen to directions. Companies reserve the right to change the ages during high water conditions.
- Kayaking is another option on the river.
Companies offering rafting in the area include: Far Flung Adventures, Kokopelli Rafting Adventures, Los Rios River Runners and New Wave Rafting. These companies all offer descriptions of the raft trips on their websites.
Hot-air ballooning, another activity popular in Taos will take you up, up and away. This is not for late-risers; launch is always at dawn because that’s when air currents are best for ballooning. When you touch down you are treated to a Champagne toast as they fold up the balloon. If this is on your bucket list, here’s a chance to cross it off. If it’s not, you can add it.
There is horseback riding, biking, llama trekking, hiking, rock-climbing and natural hot springs for visitors to enjoy. The National Forests and Rio Grande Gorge offer many hiking options for all levels of experience.
Taos is a winter wonderland. The snow-covered mountains are beautiful, the air is crisp and the slopes at Taos Ski Valley about 45 minutes from town await skiers and snow-boarders. Snow permitting, they open for skiing on Thanksgiving Day each year.
In 2009, Travel and Leisure Magazine called Taos one of the ten best places to spend Christmas. The season starts with the annual Lighting of Ledoux, when they light this tiny historic street home to the Harwood Museum, the Blumenschein Home and Museum and some of the town’s galleries. Other Christmas activities include Los Posadas (the traditional northern New Mexican reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a room at the inn) and of course the holiday itself with Mid-night Mass, holiday traditions at the Taos Pueblo and the wonderful Christmas food traditions of the different cultures who settled here.
For a full listing of events during the year, the Taos Vacation Guide website is the place to go.
The Town of Taos has a tourism theme to entice visitors each year. The 2011 theme is Be Transformed by Our Light, Land, Legends. Whether you are looking for an activity-packed vacation or a beautiful place to relax, think Taos. You will have a memorable time.
Some of the activities mentioned in this article can be dangerous and you may be asked to sign a waiver. Check the safety records of these companies and make sure they meet your standards. The writer does not endorse these businesses in any way. The information here is intended solely for your reading enjoyment.
As we don’t know Taos as well as we know Santa Fe, some of the places we have recommended are resources recommended by hospitality pros in Taos. We haven’t used this companies except as noted below and do not personally recommend or endorse any of them.
The Santa Fe Travelers were guests on float trip with Kokopelli Rafting Adventures in 2008. We had a great time. We enjoyed it so much we took a float trip on the Colorado River in 2010. We appreciate their hospitality; it has not influenced this article in any way.