Taos Walking Tours

with Sam Richardson

By Haven Lindsey
Walking Map

People are drawn to Taos for a variety of reasons: Outdoor recreation options offer year-round appeal; many are drawn by the sacred and spiritual authenticity of the area, which is surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountain range; others are drawn to the small-town community, the easy-going vibe, and the cultural richness of its world-renowned arts scene. Regardless of the reason, unless one is a history major or spends time researching archives, it is easy to miss out on some of the fascinating (and haunting) history of the town, originally founded in 1615.

Sam Richardson helps to make sure everyone learns more about Taos than may meet the eye. Richardson, who has loved history since childhood, enjoys reading the archives and turning those facts into interesting and entertaining stories. He has worked in the tour industry for decades and, as an artist, writer, and storyteller, brings a wealth of knowledge to his business, Taos Walking Tours.

Eva Mirabal
Mabel Dodge Lujan

Taos Walking Tours provides distinct opportunities for locals and tourists alike to learn more about the town they love. Richardson, who is bi-lingual, takes groups as small as two participants up to 10, on walking tours throughout town. Expanding on the area’s tri-cultural history, Richardson offers tours that highlight Taos’ historical district, stories behind the names of the streets, and some of the area’s “haunted” happenings. Richardson offers an art tour for those interested in learning more about the arts and the plethora of galleries on Kit Carson Road and Ledoux Street. Richardson provides information on the historical figures of Taos and why we see certain statues and not others.

Dennis Hopper
Kit Carson

Additionally, Richardson also works with groups who are interested in destinations outside town. In those cases, he will help the group arrive at their destination of choice and, if needed — for example, with the Taos Pueblo — make sure they are met with a tour guide on site.

Dawn Gilfillan and Murray Robertson, along with their dog, Diego, recently stop​ped in Taos. The couple were driving an RV across the country and back again from their home base in Vancouver, British Columbia. Meeting up with Richardson at his pre-scheduled meeting place on the Plaza, in a two-hour tour, the couple likely walked away knowing tidbits of Taos history that many locals are unaware of.

Taos Walking Tours Sam Richardson

Throughout the historical tour, Richardson, using photos, drawings, and other relevant handouts not only explained the history but also provided insight behind the stories. Insight that only a historian would know delivered in a way that only a storyteller could. Richardson’s levity comes naturally – he is also the local Taos News cartoonist and is the beloved, ‘Father Christmas’ in the annual Lighting Ledoux celebration.

Whether you have lived in Taos your entire life, recently relocated, or travel to the area, a walking tour is a way to “see” the town through the eyes of a seasoned guide and tour operator. Most tours are two hours long but vary depending on the group’s interest. Walking tours cost $30 per person with discounted pricing for larger groups. Dogs, however, enjoy the tour at no charge.

Richardson typically departs from the Taos Plaza and offers three to four tours a week, depending on demand.

Sam Richardson