Un poquito de todo – A little of everything
The area near the foot of El Salto Mountain is a small village called Arroyo Seco, just 8 miles north of Taos along State Road 150, the main road to Taos Ski Valley.
Don’t let its tiny size fool you. This small community packs an impressive number of dining and shopping options onto just a short stretch of State Road 150 heading toward the ski valley.
This 200-year-old village was first settled by two brothers who cultivated the land. The galleries and boutiques are a stone’s throw from each other. You’ll find everything from pottery, photography, contemporary and folk art to women’s fashions, ornaments, Pendleton blankets, antiques and unique gifts – it’s all there and more in ‘Seco,’ as the locals call it.
Two new installations in the village are “Dark Angel,” a new 7-foot sculpture by Claire Hay, a tall multimedia sculpture she said will remain on view in front of her Claire Works gallery until it disintegrates on its own.
The second installation, titled “Capsule,” is a steel and glass sculpture by internationally known artists Christina Sporrong and Christian Ristow, well-known for robotics, fire and interactive elements. At an undetermined date, the piece will be activated for a community-wide celebration, in a conflagration of wood fire and paper community wishes, hoping to bring meaning and catharsis to the town and country about the coronavirus pandemic. All invited to add their own wishes.
While you’re there, Seco offers easy food fixes, too, with physically distanced patio dining and takeout, such as at Taos Cow’s legendary ice cream and food truck (Bon Appétit magazine named it one of the top 10 ice cream makers in America!); or the green chile gurus of Abe’s Cantina and Cocina; the organic market and café at Sol Food Market & Café; exquisite farm-to-table dining at ACEQ; and fine dining options with live music in the 150-year-old adobe that is Sabroso Restaurant and Bar.
For lodging check out the SnowMansion, a quirky downtown hostel in an over 70-year-old classic adobe lodge with its six large rooms off a large common area; and rental teepees on the hostel’s grounds from May to October. With a pool table and plenty of toys, boredom is not an issue. There are also a number of vacation home rentals in the area and bed-and-breakfasts, such as Adobe and Stars and Cottonwood Inn.
On a historical note, Arroyo Seco’s Church of the Holy Trinity dates back to 1834. It is built of adobe with heavy vigas and corbels and an altar where an original bulto – a three-dimensional sacred sculpture, which represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – is still revered.
For more information, see Village of Arroyo Seco | Shops, Restaurants, Galleries, Accomodations.
Average annual snowfall: 44 inches
Average days of sunshine: 284 +
Base elevation: 7,634 feet
Summit elevation: El Salto Mountain, 12,643 feet
Acreage: 53.63 square miles
Village distance to Taos: 8.9 miles
Grocery/package stores: 2