The Hi Road

You can easily get between Taos and Sante Fe via the freeway, but there is something special about the leisurely and scenic hi- road.  You will find yourself winding through small quaint little towns, some with some history and some with little art galleries.  And of course, the views!

The Hi Road to Taos by

Our first stop was Santuario de Chimayo.  This holy place that many believe holds a miracle associated with a crucifixion and possesses curative powers.  Two chapels, built in 1816 and 1857, are part of a yearly Easter pilgrimage site.  It was started by U.S. soldiers as part of the Bataan Death March and is continued today by thousands.

The Hi Road to Taos by

The Hi Road to Taos by

The Hi Road to Taos by

Going to Taos?? Take the scenic Hi- road. Click To Tweet

As we continued onward, we were welcomed with the view of Trucha Peaks.  In June, you can still see snow in the mountains.

Side note:  I purposely left the wires in the corner of this photo.  This was a “drive by shooting”, meaning I take pictures while my husband is driving.  If we pulled over for every photo I wanted to take, we would never get to where we are going. 😆

The Hi Road to Taos by

The Town of Taos

Unlike many ski towns, the town of Taos and the ski resorts are not next to each other.  The town is located in the valley and is easy to get around.  Taos reminded me of Sedona, Arizona with its artsy vibe and good eats.  Everywhere you look, there is an art gallery and restaurant.  So, what do you do when you are hungry and there are 100 different choices for food?  You ask a local, of course.  When we asked one of the owners of a shop where to go, he said The Gorge Bar and Grill.

This place has something for everyone and did not disappoint.  I’m a sucker for a good club sandwich so I passed on having a salad and went all out for their Club.  As you can see, the portions are plenty and the looks do not lie.  We were fortunate enough to sit outside on their balcony which overlooks the Historic Plaza.  Check out their website to make reservations.

The Hi Road to Taos by

Just Outside of Taos

After leaving Taos, we drove a short distance to the Rio Grande Gorge.  Water coming straight from Colorado sweeps under this amazing bridge.  Coming from Taos, drive across the bridge to the other side to park.  You can walk back to the bridge to look down from it or you can park on the left-hand side of the road in the rest area and walk a short distance to get this view.  There is a lot less people with this option and it is a get chance to use the clean bathrooms.  If you like geology, this is an excellent stop. You can read about the geology here, by Linda Thompson.

The Hi Road to Taos by

After leaving the picnic area and getting back onto the road, we were welcomed by this flock of Big Horn sheep.  I had never seen wild ones before so it made for a fun surprise, especially seeing how easily they could jump right over the fence. I probably could have taken better pictures had it not been for the one tourist that started walking toward them.  Please, don’t be that tourist. They are wild animals and you end up ruining it for everyone. Plus, you look dumb.

The Hi Road to Taos by

Not too far from the gorge is an interesting group of homes within the Earthship Biotecture.  I had never heard of these types of houses before visiting this place.  They are a group of private homes and nightly rental homes.  Apparently, these types of houses exist all over the world.  They are highly sustainable and use recycled materials such as bottles and cans to build.   They also provide electricity, potable water, contained sewage treatment and sustainable food production. Truly amazing!  We passed on the tour because of timing but the visitor center taught us so much about the whole process.

The Hi Road to Taos by

Ojo Caliente

On our way back on the 285, we stopped off at Ojo Caliente, a resort and hot springs.  I really wish we had done some planning and brought our suits because this place looks amazing.  They have many different types of pools and the resort looks very nice.  I could easily see making this place a separate weekend vacation spot.  Girls trip anyone??

The Hi Road to Taos by

The last stop on our trip was Gabriel’s.  Again, this place was recommended by a local.  Just on the outskirts of  Sante Fe, this lovely place offers wonderful Southwestern cuisine.  Again, we were happy with our meal, especially the tableside guacamole.  Be sure to make reservations because as big as it was, it was packed.  Which is always a good sign, right?  The only thing I was not impressed with was the tortilla soup.  I admit I am used to Mexican tortilla soup which is more creamy resembling enchilada sauce.  This soup was like actual broth soup and tasted nothing like what I am used to.  Other than that,  we left with full bellies and happy with our first tasting of sopapillas.

The Hi Road to Taos by

The Hi Road to Taos by

The Hi Road to Taos by

Day trip to Taos?? This is a map of our stops. Click To Tweet

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Reader Interactions


  1. Oh my goodness I love the picture of the sheep jumping over the fence! Who knew! I’m getting the inspiration to come up with some local short road-trips for myself after reading this. We’ll definitely have to do this one if we’re ever in the area.

  2. Looks like you had an amazing time and the food photos look delicious. I’ve never seen wild Big Horn sheep, so that photo you captured of them jumping over the fence was awesome!

  3. I laugh out loud with the sheep photo! haha Great post – I love taking day trips to nearby towns/cities from where I’m originally exploring at the time. Thank you for sharing ! 🙂

  4. Day trips are always the best! Its really nice to see pink tint in those rocks and almost in the entire landscape. The food photos are awesome.

  5. We are going to Santa Fe next month and would love to follow your map!!! How many hours round trip did you spend? I’m trying to plan reservation times for the restaurants. We would probably leave our hotel around 9a-9:30am. What a great adventure!!


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