Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
Explore the Enchanted Circle scenic byway through valleys, mesa, mountains, and national forest... all unique to north central New Mexico.
Follow the signs as you enjoy an 85 mile US Forest Scenic Byway connecting Taos and Questa with the resort communities of Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire. This beautiful countryside offers dramatic mountain vistas of aspen and pine in the shadow of 13,161 foot Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest point.
Drive north on NM 522 out of Taos to begin your Enchanted Circle Weekend. You may wish to detour at El Prado for the short drive west to the Taos Gorge Bridge, one of the highest spans in North America. A detour to the east will bring you to the tiny, artistic town of Arroyo Seco on the way to the Taos Ski Valley.
Continuing north; travel past scenic Arroyo Hondo. At San Cristobal, look for signs to the D. H. Lawrence Ranch and Shrine. The famous writer is buried here, though his ranch is no longer open for visitors. The mountain range to the east is the Sangre de Cristo. The state's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet), is visible at this point of your trip.
Continue north to Questa and the dramatic scenery with rare river access of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument 2.6m north of town. Return to Questa to turn east on NM 38. You are now following what the locals call "The Enchanted Circle."
The steep ascent into Red River is unusually scenic, offering stirring vistas of spruce and aspen. The town itself offers more than two dozen lodges and resorts and of course plenty of restaurants and gift shops. Ski runs rise steeply just off the single main street.
Return to Taos via the balance of “The Enchanted Circle” (NM 38 to NM 64), through Eagle Nest and see the beautiful Eagle Nest Lake State Park. This beautiful 2,400 acre lake offers trout and kokanee salmon fishing. The fun continues with boating, hiking and cross country skiing. A beautiful location to see an abundance of birds and wildlife to include elk, deer bear and eagles!
Continue west on NM 64 towards Angel Fire, an excellent family resort with skiing, golf, tennis, hiking, biking, and fishing. Be sure to stop at the DAV Vietnam Memorial near Angel Fire. Built by one family as a shrine to their fallen son, the site is one of unusual emotion and presence. This is the only state park dedicated as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.