Questa Things to Do Tips by AlbuqRay
Questa Things to Do: 14 reviews and 56 photos
Chiflo ("chief-low") was once rated an "easy" trail at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, i.e., 0.5 miles and 320 feet down. It is now called "moderate." I don't even want to think about the hard trails.
Directions: East of the village of Cerro off NM-522 on SR-378
Beautifully Decorated in Remembrance
It was obvious that people cared and remembered when you saw this cemetery in the village of Cerro on the road to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. If one must rest in peace, this is certainly a fine place to do so.
Santuario de Chimayo
Chimayo is the first town on the "High Road" from Santa Fe to Taos over the Sangre de Christo Mountains. It is 8 miles east of Espanola on NM-76, then a short jog south. It was founded in 1740 and is the "Lourdes of America." Even before the Spanish, the San Juan Pueblo Indians considered the mud from a hot spring in the area to have healing powers. Today visitors take "Holy Dirt" from a small hole in the floor in a side chapel (the dirt is replaced regularly).
There are two signs when you arrive. The larger sign says Santuario; skip that turn. It has shops and paid parking except for handicapped. Continue on to the Santuario Parking, which is free and is the back way into the chapel. Don't forget to notice all the homemade wooden crosses that pilgrims have attached to the fence. I recommend you read Kymbanm's truly wonderful tips on Chimayo.
Three Photo Merged Picture
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is 650 feet above the river, making it the second highest bridge in the national highway system. The best views are from the west side rest area but be sure to walk across the bridge and look down. Or better yet, take a ride on a hot air balloon and get these views.
Directions: Seven miles west of Taos on US-64
John Dunn House Shops
Taos (from Don Fernando de Taos) was established between 1780 and 1800. It was originally constructed as a Spanish fortified plaza ringed by low adobe buildings. To say the least, this must have made for an interesting dynamic with the long established Taos Pueblo, which is just 2.5 miles away. Even so, it was certainly different from the Jemez Pueblo, where the Spanish made the Jemez Indians move down the valley and took the best spot (now Jemez Springs) for themselves. Also vastly different from Cusco, where they conquered the Incas, tore down their structures and built on their foundations.
The town grew and became an important center for trade on the Santa Fe Trail. Taos became noted as an artists' colony in the late 19th century and retains that influence and charm to this day. Parking can be a problem but you may use the walking map to find your way around. Don't miss the John Dunn House Shops, a quaint area just northeast of the Plaza.
Directions: Getting There
Two Pools Right on the Rio Grande
There are two rocky pools; each will hold 5-6 people. The upper pool temperature is usually around 97-98 F and I believe the water has lithium salts. Your skin may begin to tingle after a few minutes. Both pools can flood if the river is high. This hot spring is close to Taos and relatively easy to reach, so don't expect to be alone. Clothing seems to be optional.
Directions: North of the John Dunn Bridge at the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Hondo about 1/4 mile from the first hairpin turn in the road (park there).
Approaching the Stupa
There is a wonderful Tibetan Buddhist stupa just a couple of miles south of the Takoja Retreat Center. It is a quiet, peaceful place for meditation. You may also camp there for $10 per day. Construction of the Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa began in 1992 under the direction of Lama Karma Dorje, resident lama at Kagyu Shenpen Kunchab Center in Santa Fe. Land, money and labor for the stupa came primarily from students of the meditation teacher, Herman Rednick (1902-1985), whose teachings blended Eastern and Western meditation concepts. It was completed in 1995. The 35 foot high stupa contains a small shrine room which has traditionally elaborate images of Chenrezig, Tara, and the Masters of the Kagyu lineage painted on its walls, primarily by Cynthia Moku.
Red River State Trout Hatchery is also a state park. It is a working hatchery but also has a visitors center and a fishing pond for under 12, over 65 and handicapped (limit is 3 trout). There is also access to the special trout waters on the lower Red River. The visitors center is open 8 AM to 5 PM and you can buy fish food to feed the trout there.
Directions: Between Questa and Taos off NM-522
Artists at Taos Pueblo
This is probably the most famous and certainly the most photographed of the 19 pueblos. They say that it is the oldest continously inhabited community in the USA (built between 1000-1450 A.D.), but Acoma's Sky City may be a contender. A river runs through it...actually it is Red Willow Creek, which provides their drinking water. About 150 (of over 1900) Taos Indians live in adobe homes inside the walls and their traditions dictate that no electricity or running water are allowed there. Taos Pueblo gets LOTS of tourists, so they have to have many rules to preserve their privacy and heritage (see the website or brochure). Regular admission is $10 for adults and $5 per camera. You can get a $2 discount if you are with a group of 3 or more adults. Guided tours start at the St. Geronimo Church but there is also a walking tour map. The Taos Mountain Casino is nearby.
Directions: 2.5 miles north of Taos Plaza off US-64/NM-522
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