DestinationsTaos, New Mexico
Travel west on US Hwy 64 to reach the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. The bridge is a three-span steel continuous-deck-truss structure with a concrete-filled steel-grid deck. It was called the “bridge to nowhere” while it was being built because the funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side.
At 650 feet (200 m) above the Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States. The span is 1,280 feet; two 300-foot-long approach spans with a 600-foot-long main center span. The bridge was dedicated on September 10, 1965 and is a part of U.S. Route 64, a major east-west road.
In 1966 the American Institute of Steel Construction awarded the bridge “Most Beautiful Steel Bridge” in the “Long Span” category. The bridge has appeared in several films, including Paul, Terminator Salvation, Natural Born Killers, Wild Hogs, and White Sands.
Celebrating over 200 years, the historic “Ranchos Church” was built in the early 1800’s, and is the only original church which remains intact in the Taos area. It has been artistically recorded by 20th Century artists, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and others who were fascinated by its adobe contours and sculptural buttresses. Their artful depictions of the rustic architecture of San Francisco de Asis have made the church nationally famous.