Whether whitewater rafting down the mighty Río Grande, riding a vintage steam train through the mountains, golfing at high altitude or floating over Taos is on your bucket list, get ready to cross it off.
Rocking and rolling through the storied waters of the Río Grande is a thrill to be experienced. And because Mother Nature blessed us with abundant snowfall this past winter, the water is expected to be lively. Taos has a number of experienced and reputable whitewater rafting outfitters who will provide a family-friendly excursion you’ll never forget.
Big River Raft Trips
Far Flung Adventures
Los Rios River Runners
New Mexico Adventure Co.-Bighorn Sports & Rentals (Red River)
New Mexico River Adventures
New Wave Rafting
Several fly shops do business within the Enchanted Circle. There is a reason for this: the Taos area offers some of the finest trout fishing waters in the country. The cutthroat is the official state of New Mexico fish.
Sipapú Ski and Summer Resort (sipapunm.com) offers free fly-fishing casting lessons beginning in May. Sipapú is just 20 miles southeast of Taos on State Road 518.
Nonresidents age 12 and up will need to obtain a fishing license, which can be purchased in Taos at Big 5 Sporting Goods, Super Save Discount Foods, Taos Fly Shop and Walmart.
All of the area fly shops offer guided trips.
Blue Yonder Fly Fishing
Cutthroat Fly Fishing
303 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos Fly Shop
Nick and Taylor Streit
338 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Fagan’s Guided Fly Fishing
500 W. Main St.
Red River Angler and Sport
320 E. Main St.
Eagle Nest Fly Shack & Lodge
Doc Thompson’s High Country Anglers
Land of Enchantment Guides
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES
Yes, a ride in a hot air balloon is as cool as it looks.
Eske’s Paradise Balloons
Taos Hot Air Balloon Rides
Area horseback rides are suitable for riders of every experience level, including first-time cowboys and cowgirls.
A.A. Taos Ski Valley Wilderness Adventures
Bobcat Pass Trail Rides (Red River)
Cieneguilla Stables (Pilar)
Call Melissa, (575) 751-2815
Nancy Burch’s Roadrunner Tours (Angel Fire)
New Mexico Adventure Co.-Big Horn Sports & Rentals (Red River)
Red River Stables
Río Grande Stables (San Cristobal)
Taos Indian Horse Ranch
The phrase “off the beaten path” is exemplified where the pavement literally ends. Take a ride through aspen groves, abandoned gold mines and ghost towns. For Red River trail information and maps, visit redriver.org.
Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures
New Mexico Adventure Co.-Bighorn Sports & Rentals
Red River Mountain Adventures
Red River Offroad
Weezie’s Wild Rides
Find them on Facebook
Expect your drives to travel farther than ever before, thanks to a little help from the altitude.
Taos Country Club
Taos Country Club sits at 7,000 feet in elevation and holes range from 5,336 to 7,300 in yardage. This par-72 layout’s Bermuda fairways route their way through low sagebrush. Frequent sand traps guard the undulating Bent grass greens. The course, designed by Jep Wille, was awarded a four-star rating by Golf Digest. The Terrace serves drinks, craft beers, snacks and gourmet dishes. Taos Country Club is located south of town. Take State Road 68 and turn right on County Road 110. For green fees, tee times and more information, go online to taoscountryclub.com or call (575) 758-7300.
Angel Fire Resort
The meeting of mountain and meadow at 8,500 feet produces 18 holes as varied as any. With yardage from 4,868 to 6,645, the bluegrass fairways wind through tall stands of Ponderosa pine and across rich, wet bottomland. Plenty of elevated tee boxes, blind shots and leave-the-driver-in-the-bag shots. Hole No. 18 climbs up a hill to the clubhouse, where two eateries, bar, pro shop and locker rooms await. Opening Day is May 16. For more information, go online to angelfireresort.com or call (575) 377-4488.
This golf course at about 8,500 feet — whose name means “hidden valley” in Spanish — is a throwback (no carts). This nine-holer sprawls across mountain pastures and cat-tailed wetlands, and around inconveniently situated ponderosa pines to postage-stamp greens. Fairways tend toward the “natural state,” so clean-and-place is acceptable at all times. The clubhouse serves as a community hangout with cold beer, cocktails and bar food. To get there, take U.S. Highway 64 from Kit Carson Road or Paseo del Cañon toward Angel Fire. Take a right on County Road past the Enchanted Moon RV Park and Campground. For green fees, tee times and more information, go online to taosgolf.org or call (575) 758-3475.
“USA Today 10 Best” readers say the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is the best train ride in North America, as well as the top attraction in both New Mexico and Colorado.
The railroad traverses 64-miles between Chama, New Mexico, and Antonito, Colorado. It crosses the borders of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times as it chugs its way along canyon walls through Toltec Gorge, burrows through two tunnels, steams over Cascade Trestle 137 feet above a roaring river and climbs up and over the 10,015-ft. high Cumbres Pass, the highest point reached by any steam railroad in North America.
The railroad’s scenic steam train trips begin a 49th season May 25 with a celebration starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Antonito and Chama depots. The season runs through Oct. 20. A train leaves each depot at 10 a.m. daily. Antonito is 62 miles north from Taos and Chama is 95 miles northwest.
For special trains, details and pricing, visit cumbrestoltec.com or call (888) 286-2737.
What a rush! Angel Fire Resort features one of the highest-altitude, six-line, adrenaline-educing outdoor adventures in the state that take you from the top of the mountain, soaring over the Moreno Valley from 120 to 1,600 feet long during the Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure Tour. New this year, the the Family Flyer unveils, which is made up of two ziplines offering younger kids — who don’t weigh enough for the full adventure tour — a chance to experience mountain-top ziplining. The tours take on average of two to three hours and start between 9:30 a.m. to noon. Call 844-218-4107 for availability. Ziplines open mid-May, weather permitting. For details on what to wear and weight restrictions, go online to angelfireresort.com.
Down the road a piece, the Pioneer Flyer zipline awaits at Red River. Aboard this double-seated zipline, you and a family member or friend sit side-by-side in padded seats with dual seat belts. Together, your seats ride up the line to the towers situated at the Red River Ski and Summer Area. The zipline begins running early June. For more information, visit the summer activities page at redriverskiarea.com.
Special golf event
The Taos Lions Club invites you to the 10th annual Toast of Taos Wine Festival & Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 22, at Taos Country Club. Tee off begins at 9 a.m. Prizes awarded to golfers for the longest drive, closest to pin and $1,000 cash prize for first hole in one.
Following the golf tournament at 2 p.m., enjoy a leisurely afternoon sipping a wide selection of wines from around the world. Meet wine makers, sommeliers and distillers of small batch heirloom spirits. This unique experience pairs wine and spirits with culinary appetizers from local restaurants. During the festivities, there will be a silent auction featuring an eclectic array of art, outdoor experiences, wine, live music and more.
Golf tournament: $157/person (includes entry into Wine Festival). Wine festival: $50 advance, $55 at the door.