Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway

The most popular tour in our area, this National Forest Scenic Byway circles Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico at 13,161 feet. Throughout the drive, you'll see some of the oldest rocks in the southwest - quartz and feldspar that date back two billion years. Look for special Enchanted Circle markers to help guide your way.

Head to Questa from Red River. Once in Questa, you will want to visit Artesanos de Questa. Local woodworkers, tinsmiths, painters, stained glass workers and sculptors show their work at this cooperative.

Stop at the Red River Fish Hatchery which has free self-guiding tours of a show pond and several trout raceways. Children especially enjoy the show pool of the large rainbow trout, but fishermen downstream benefit from the harvest, too! Every year volunteers carry containers of trout fry down to the Rio Grande to help propagate the trout population.

Continuing south, the scar on the mountains was left by the Hondo Fire of 1996, which destroyed almost 8,000 acres of national forest. Reforestation projects continue today.

Travel through the lush Hondo Valley and watch for the sign to the D.H. Lawrence Memorial. The English author spent much of his time from 1922 to 1925 writing in the solitude of a ranch on this property. After his death, Lawrence's ashes were brought here and placed in a chapel built by his widow, Frieda.

In Taos there are scores of shops and places to eat. Visit the many museums and gallery and see why Taos is considered one of the most vital art colonies in the United States.

Drive the twisting Taos Canyon road over the mountains to Angel Fire and Eagle Nest. Many of our artists live and work in this canyon. If you would like to visit their studios, more information is available in the little village of Shady Brook.

Take a break in Angel Fire, a four season resort with skiing, golfing, shopping and restaurants.

Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, built by Dr. Victor Westphall and family in memory of the death of his son and others in Vietnam.

The old gold mining town of Elizabethtown is on the way. Established in 1870 after gold was found, this was the first incorporated town in New Mexico, with at least seven saloons and three dance halls.

As you return to Red River, begin looking for elk and other wildlife between Eagle Nest Lake (one of the finest trout and landlocked salmon waters in the United States) and Bob Cat Pass.

Learn more at enchantedcircle.org

  • Taos Plaza with Azteca Dancers (Janet Burns)