Taos, NM & The Enchanted Circle Named a Top Destination in U.S. for Fall Foliage
The foliage along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway loop near Taos, New Mexico is just weeks away from transitioning to a brilliant fall display of oranges, reds, and yellows, making it one of the most visually stunning drives in the United States. In fact, national media outlets including Travel and Leisure and Forbes Magazine have called Taos and the Enchanted Circle one of the country's top destinations to enjoy fall foliage.
In late September and early October, the 85-mile Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is ablaze with shades of gold, orange and red thanks to the changing leaves of cottonwoods, aspens, and other tree varieties.
The Byway loop begins in the original art colony of Taos, NM and meanders through the Hondo Valley, rich with history - famous author D.H. Lawrence once lived here. Leaf peepers will notice New Mexico's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak (13,167 feet) in the background along the windy road to Questa, NM and onto Red River. Elk and other wildlife may be visible in between Bob Cat Pass and Eagle Nest, NM. Finally, drivers will continue to Angel Fire, NM - home of Vietnam Veteran Memorial State Park and Angel Fire Ski Resort. Angel Fire also offers the State's first and only zipline tours. Depending on stops, the drive can take anywhere from two-and-a-half hours to a half-day.
Though just a short drive off the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, Taos Ski Valley (TSV) is breathtaking in fall and is covered with Aspens, Englemann and Blue Spruce, White Fir and rarely seen Red Fire and Bristlecone Pines. Wildlife including Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Elk and Mule Deer can often be spotted in the area along with thousands of wildflower varieties. TSV has several hiking/biking trails ranging from two to eight miles in length. Visit skitaos.org for details.
With the dramatic scenery comes several spectacular fall events in Taos Ski Valley and Taos, including those of Taos Grand Fall Arts (Aug. 30-Oct. 27), the Enchanted Circle Festival (Aug. 30-Sept.3), Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance Music Festival (Sept. 5-7), Oktoberfest (Sept.14), and more.
Taos, New Mexico's annual Grand Fall Arts features many colorful events and workshops, one of which is the High Road Art Tour on the weekends of Sept. 21 and 22; and Sept. 28 and 29. Take the beautiful drive between Santa Fe and Taos along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where artists will open their studios for the public to see and purchase one-a-kind items. Visit highroadnewmexico.com or call 888-866-3643 for details.