Persevering bastion of culture and tradition
Taos Pueblo has been closed to visitors due to coronavirus precautions since March 11, 2020. For more information, check the website at taospueblo.com or call (575) 758-1028.
COVID-19 Update: Pueblo and other business operations are affected.
Due to ongoing precautionary measures, please contact offices directly for updated hours and availability.
On Dec. 15, 2020, Taos Pueblo will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the return of Blue Lake, a 48,000-acre watershed of the Taos Pueblo Nation that the United States government appropriated in 1906 upon creating the Carson National Forest for grazing, recreation and resource extraction.
This extraordinary feat marked a fundamental shift in government policy toward American Indian people throughout the United States. In signing HR471, President Richard Nixon called for federal policies to begin to “recognize and build upon the capacities and insights of the Indian people,” calling it a “solemn obligation” of the U.S. government.
According to a memorandum prepared by the pueblo’s former special attorney William Schaab in consultation with the tribal council, the return of Blue Lake was necessary for the preservation of religious privacy and natural ecology. It states that Blue Lake, as the source of the Río Pueblo, is “symbolically the source of all life” and the “retreat also of souls after death.”
Celebrations of faith
Feast Days are an integral part of the Pueblo culture. They were introduced with Spanish colonization and represent the celebration of the patron saints of the Catholic religion.
Feast Days also coincide with the traditional Pueblo spiritual beliefs, which allows the Pueblo community to practice both the Catholic and Pueblo religions. A typical Feast Day is a day of eating, visiting with family and friends and enjoying the traditional dances that are allowed to be witnessed by public spectators.
Although Feast Days are open to the public, one must be invited into a home to visit and/or share a Feast Day meal. After a dance is over, do not applaud for these are not performances. Native dances are part of a ceremony and it is an honor to see them.
Refrain from talking to community members regarding what is the significance of the dance and don’t speak with the dancers. Cameras and cellphones are not allowed during religious ceremonies; they could be confiscated and won’t be returned. Feast Day hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Once no longer closed to the public for COVID-19 precautions, call for ceremony times, (575) 758-1028.
Entrance fees: When not on lockdown, call for current fees for adults, students (11 and older, includes college ID), groups of six or more; children 10 and under, free.
Hours when not locked down: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (except for tribal ritual closures).
Pueblo rules and regulations once the Pueblo reopens to visitors:
• The Red Willow River that flows from sacred Blue Lake to the Río Grande is the pueblo’s main source of drinking water. So please don’t walk in it. Blue Lake mountain areas and lands outside Pueblo walls are off-limits to visitors.
• Photography at non-Feast Day events are for personal use only. Any other commercial, documentary, educational use or artist renderings must have prior approval (inquire with the tourism office).
• No photography, cellphone use or recording devices permitted during Feast Days out of respect and to prevent exploitation.
• On non-Feast Days, ask permission before taking a picture of any Taos pueblo member.
• Because families still reside in the original structure, there are privacy issues. Only doors clearly marked as a business may be entered. The pueblo has been a major place of trade for centuries, which is still evident by the various businesses on and around the main pueblo plaza. Most shops accept credit cards and all goods are tax-free.
• Any areas and pathways that are off-limits to visitors are clearly marked.
• Other rules state pets must be leashed, and climbing on ladders or buildings is strictly prohibited.
Average annual snowfall: 74 inches
Average days of sunshine: 283 +
Base elevation: 7,461 feet
Summit elevation: 12,310 feet
Acreage: +/- 111,378.99 acres
Pueblo distance to town of Taos: 3 miles
RV parks: 0
Information: taospueblo.com; (575) 758-1028.