It’s a little bit European. It’s a little bit New Mexico. It’s a lot steep and beautiful.
The majestic mountain that is home to Taos skiing in the winter, is just as alluring in the summer. The vast, rugged terrain and generous, free-spirited community call out to a different kind of adventurer — a mountain lover with a passion for outdoor thrills and a taste for cultural discovery. Here hiking and bicycling are king once the snow has melted away.
There are many hiking trails to chose from. The hike to Williams Lake Trail is a popular trek accessed at the parking lot in which 1,000 feet are gained in altitude (start at about 10,000 feet) in just under 2 miles. Englemann spruce stands dominate the beginning of the trail. As you get closer to the upper end, it opens up into meadow land and scattered rock fields. Another reward for reaching the natural lake is the opportunity to continue on up to Wheeler Peak along the Wheeler Peak Trail, the highest point in New Mexico at 13,131 feet. Other trails include Long Canyon/Bull of the Woods at 3.6 miles; Gavilan at 2.4 miles; Italianos Canyon at 3.5 miles; Manzanita Canyon at 4.2 miles; and Yerba Canyon at 4.0 miles. For more details on the trails and maps, go online to skitaos.com.
The popular Northside Trail (ridenorthside.com) is a self-guided, fee-based mountain biking area on 1,200 acres of private recreational development. As a mapped and signed trail system designed especially for mountain biking, Northside is a looped trail network with spectacular overlooks, single and double track routes through blue spruce and aspen stands, and meadows. The terrain is best suited for the intermediate and higher level rider. Singletracks.com selected Northside as one of the 20 most scenic mountain bike trails in the Western U.S.
For the even more adventurous, one can pedal to the top of Frazer Mountain, 12,163 feet, the highest point on the property at an average grade of less than 10 percent.
Northside is open dawn to dusk from late June through October, weather permitting. Access permits are for sale at many locations in Taos Ski Valley or at the trailhead kiosk. Permits are also sold in Taos at Taos Cyclery and Gearing Up Bike Shop.
And just because will flowers have replaced snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t ride a chairlift to the top of the Taos Ski Valley world.
All of that exploration and adventure is sure to need fuel. The popular Bavarian Restaurant has reopened, with renovations that include a larger deck. The Resort Center has a rejuvenated look and feel as well. Other restaurants are creating new menus in a commitment to providing more choices for healthier and selective diets with food coming from New Mexico sources, including organic produce and sustainable fisheries. Taos Ski Valley eateries include Northern New Mexican cuisine at Stray Dog Cantina; The Blonde Bear Tavern, featuring refined European alpine cuisine; and the 192 restaurant at The Blake, which specializes in wood-fired pizza and eclectic tapas.
While you’re out there, keep in mind that the mornings and evenings are chilly. It’s wise to dress in layers.
If relieving stress and a little bit of pampering is what you seek, head to The Blake where you’ll find an excellent spa, outdoor pool and a very impressive art collection awaiting.
Taos Ski Valley brings ancestry to life. It has become an unexpected cultural center comprised of Native American, Spanish and Anglo tradition. It’s like nowhere else.
— Staff report
Nature, Art & Adventure
Hosted by Field Institute of Taos for kids 3rd-6th grade, experience nature through various art activities while adventuring and exploring in local wild places. fitaos.org
May 31-June 2/Aug. 12-14/Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Journey Within: 3-Day Taos Glamping Adventure, heritageinpirations.com
June 2-July 7
Five Week Vipassana Retreat, mountainhermitage.org
Nature Adventure Mini
Hosted by Field Institute of Taos for kids 1st-4th grades, active, hands-on, outdoor adventures exploring nature. Day camp specially designed for our younger campers. fitaos.org
Silver Oak & Twomey Wine Dinner
Hosted by Taos Ski Valley in the medley. restaurant (EL Prado) featuring a private coursed meal with wine pairings from Napa Valley vineyard, Silver Oak and Sonoma Valley vineyard, Twomey. Limited availability. Call (575) 776-8787.
Field Institute of Taos hosts for kids grades 1st-3rd grades, active, hands-on, outdoor adventures exploring nature. Day camp specially designed for our younger campers. fitaos.org
Taos Mountain Bike Adventure
Field Institute of Taos hosts kids ages 9 and up for intermediate and above riders only. XC riding, skills development and bike maintenance. fitaos.org
June 24-July 4
Field Institute of Taos hosts active physical adventures and nature investigations. Experience teamwork, growth and fun. Overnight camping trip included. Entering fourth through seventh grades. fitaos.org
Rubber Duck Races
Join the FITaos community in the Taos Ski Valley parade, followed by the Annual Field Institute of Taos July Fourth Rubber Duck Race down the creek. Prizes. Cost $5 per duck/$20 for five. taosskivalley.com
Nature Adventure No. 2
Field Institute of Taos hosts for kids grades 1st-3rd grades, active, hands-on, outdoor adventures exploring nature. Day camp specially designed for our younger campers. fitaos.com
Fok, Farm & Forest
Adventure into the mountains with Field Institute of Taos to explore medicinal plants, participate in permaculture & farming projects, explore food as medicine, folklore, music, art, games, and fun. fitaos.com
Advanced Adventure Leadership
For experienced campers entering 6th grade and up. Three-day/2-night backpacking trip included in this five-day session. Co-ed. fitaos.com
July 29-Aug. 1
For kids entering 4th through 7th grades. Explore the outdoors with Field Institute of Taos through active adventures and nature investigations. Experience teamwork, growth and fun. Overnight camping trip included. fitaos.com
August (date to be announced)
Taos Ski Valley Summer Wine Festival, taosskivalley.com
Up & Over 10K Trail Run
Insight Meditation & Loving Kindness Retreat, mountainhermitage.org
Nov. 11 10-Day
Vipassana Retreat, mountainhermitage.org