Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway

According to the website, .The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is an 85 mile drive with valleys, mesa, mountains, and national forest...all unique to north central New Mexico.  Today, we wanted to check it out.  We began in Taos driving 40 miles to get there.  Just before getting to Taos, the scenery began to change.  There were more mountains and a river running beside the highway.

We stopped at the Visitor Center to check out anything we may have missed and then headed into Taos.  The downtown streets and stores reminded us of downtown Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  We kept driving until we reached the Taos Pueblo.  It is the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States.

We walked around looking at all the structures.  There are shops inside most of the first story rooms, so we meandered through the shops.  It looks like many of the people working inside live here in the Pueblo.  There are also houses behind it.

It was now lunchtime and we decided to drive to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and hoped there were some picnic tables to eat our lunch we had brought with us.

The bridge is about 10 miles northwest of Taos and you have to veer off the circle tour about 7 miles.  It is definitely worth the side trip!

The gorge is about 800 feet deep carved out throughout the years by the Rio Grande River.

We crossed over the bridge and were in luck, there is a large picnic area right beside the gorge.

After lunch, we walked over to the bridge and were able to walk along each side of the bridge on an oversized sidewalk.  What spectacular views!!!

It was time to continue our circle drive.  We were heading towards the mountains we saw in the background at the Rio Grande Gorge.  We drove to Questa veering to the the east and began climbing into the mountains.

We passed the Molycorp molybdenum mine in the mountain.

There were lots of signs warning about bighorn sheep, but we didn't see any.  We arrived in Red River.   This is a really cute town.

I know it's a popular ski resort, I think it stays pretty busy in the summer as well.

We continued on towards Angel Fire passing these snow capped mountains.

The last 20 miles between Angel Fire and Taos was a winding road going uphill and downhill.  We were really glad we were in the car and not the fifth wheel.

We made it back to Taos.  It took us about 3 hours to make the 85 miles with lots of stops.  It is a beautiful drive and we highly recommend it.

We enjoyed the temperatures that were in the 70's.  We are really loving New Mexico!

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