Taos NM

Taos, NM Welcomes You!

Taos, New Mexico - The Biggest Little Town

Taos, NM is one of the smallest towns the state, population-wise, at around just 5,000. However, this small town nestled in the Sangre de Cristo mountains is a very quiet and outdoorsy place to live.

But it terms of history, spirituality, art, and mystery, well, this little town becomes huge.

You will find Taos, New Mexico to be more than a little town you pass through on your way to Taos Ski Valley, "the ski/snowboard capital of the Southern Rockies". Taos has devoted fans on both the athletic and artistic fronts. And while every year it seems to become a little more popular, a little more well-known, true aficionados remain committed to keeping Taos a refuge for those seeing seclusion, artistic inspiration, and off the grid living.

It is a highly endearing town and has become a mecca for artists and mystics, as well as outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

Taos, NM History
Taos, New Mexico is full of history just like the rest of the state. Originally, Taos Pueblo was settled some time between 1000 to 1450 A.D. It has been steadily occupied up to the present day, making it one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the United States. Currently, Taos Pueblo abuts Taos, NM and while the two share the same first name they are distinctly different places. The native community still inhabits Taos Pueblo, of which the majority is closed to visitors.

taos nm, francisco de asis church
San Francisco de Asis. Courtesy Jim O'Donnell.
Taos, NM got its name from the native Taos language, which means "place of red willows". It was founded by the Spanish in 1615 with the name Fernandez de Taos. The Spanish Conquistadors were conquering many pueblo communities and Taos was no different. Once a settlement was commandeered in the name of a monarchy the current residents were expected to adapt.

Interestingly, Taos natives and the Spaniards had several decades of amicable relations, but over time resentment grew within the tribe at the missionaries and the expectation to pay tribute to the king of Spain.

In 1640 the Taos Indians revolted and killed not only resident Spaniards, but also the town's priest. They then fled their pueblo and did not return for twenty-one years. Their return was uneventful and life was quiet until 1680, when the Taos Indians joined the Pueblo Revolt, led by Po'Pay.

The Spanish Reconquest occurred in 1682, but the Taos Pueblo continued to resist Spanish forces until 1696 when they were defeated by Governor Diego de Vargas and they existed under Spanish rule until 1847.

1846 came around and Mexico, long under Spanish rule, gained their independence. Shortly thereafter, the United States claimed the Territory of New Mexico from Mexico during the Mexican-American War. After this, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was issued in 1848 and Mexico formally ceded the New Mexico Territory to the United States. In 1850, New Mexico became a territory of the United States finally gained statehood in 1912.

pueblo revolt, pope', popay
Pueblo Revolt Leader Po'Pay
Through all this, Taos, NM and the Taos Pueblo were passed from one captor to another. After years of constant upheaval in 1847 residents staged the Taos Revolt, killing then governor Charles Bent.

Ultimately, the massive changes both the town and pueblo underwent due to cultural assimilation and oppression formed the structure for Taos to become of the most colorful cities in the United States.

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Taos Art Colony

Taos art culture began way back in 1899 when artists began settling in the area. Six of those artists founded the Taos Society of Artists in 1915.

These artists were Joseph Henry Sharp, Bert Geer Phillips, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Oscar E. Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse and W. Herbert Dunton.

Over time, many artists realized the artistic value of the people, the landscape, and the environment and have been attracted to Taos, NM ever since. The art community continues to thrive to this day. It is an especially vibrant community and welcomes artists and spectators alike.
Taos Tourist Destinations

Due to the great historical value of Taos, New Mexico its historic sites are maintained and publicized in order to attract tourists. In fact, Taos is home to 20 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places! Quite a lot for such a small community.

One of the most popular historical buildings is La Morada de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. This church is just west of another historic site, the Taos Plaza, which is located in the center of downtown Taos. If you visit one, it's just a short distance to visit the other.

Museums are extremely popular in Taos, NM and a vital part of the community. There are three (3) museums in Taos: the Harwood Museum of Art, the Millicent Rogers Museum, and the city’s art museum.

Head north a few minutes and you'll find yourself at Taos Pueblo, a site you know is full of history and legend.

Homes and studios of artists are also a big draw for tourists. You can visit the Harwood House, the Ernest L. Blumenschein House, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and the Nicolai Fechin House in addition to several others.
Outdoor Fun In Taos NM

Do you love playing outdoors?

Taos, New Mexico is the ideal place for you!

taos new mexico, wheeler mountain
Wheeler Mountain. Courtesy Jim O'Donnell.

Warm summers are ideal for fishing, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, llama trekking, hot air ballooning, and more. Make it a family trip or a romantic getaway and you won't be disappointed. The summers have long days, lots of fresh air, and stunning views.

More into winter activities? Well, welcome to Taos Ski Valley!

Taos is known for its prime location in the valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Head 15 minutes north and you'll hit the town of Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. Settled over 100 years ago by the adventurous and rugged miners of the era it has become a premier ski destination. Not only are the trails powder covered in the winter, but they also provide great escapes from the summer heat.
And if you're not much of a skier or inner-tuber, you can always try your hand at ice fishing, show shoeing, and snowmobiling.

There's something for everyone!

taos new mexico, taos mountain
Taos Mountain. Courtesy Jim O'Donnell.

Taos Welcomes You

If you're looking for a unique, fun, off-the-beaten-path destination consider Taos. With its historic values, pleasant temperature and weather, cozy quaintness, and more importantly, plenty to see and do, this town should be on your list.