A beautiful, meandering road following the scenic Rio Grande River Valley connects the iconic towns of Taos and Santa Fe. This leisurely drive is rich in food, art & culture, and outdoor activities. A must for any New Mexico vacation. Driving Taos to Santa Fe can take as little as an hour and a half, but we recommend taking a full day (or more) to enjoy all the amazing sites!
Driving Taos To Santa Fe - Day Trip Itinerary
Driving From Taos To Santa Fe:
- Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Get Directions
- Stops Include scenic driving, historical sites, river activities & rafting, art, culture, food & beverage.
Breakfast to Power Your Trip
No day can properly begin without a good breakfast, and Taos has some amazing spots. Gutiz is a wonderful French Latin fusion featuring decadent French toast, Egg’s Benedict, and so much more. If you’re hoping for a quick bite, grab a coffee and pastry from either Wild Leaven Bakery or Bearclaw Bakery and Café.
With baked goods in hand, make a short drive north of town to the Rio Grande Gorge Suspension Bridge. Enjoy sweeping views, a staggering 800 feet above the river, and a glimpse at the famous Taos Box. Watch as New Mexico River Adventures’ exciting Rio Grande whitewater rafting adventures float below. Vendors are often stationed at the Gorge Bridge visitor center offering souvenirs for sale.
Pit Stops to Swim, Fish, or Hike
Expansive vistas continue as you make your way via NM-567 past the Bridge further into the Rio Grande National Monument. This road is generally passable as long as the weather has been clear recently. If it’s been dry, make your way down some switchbacks overlooking the Rio Grande and cross it via the Taos Junction Bridge.
With plenty of spots to swim, fish, or even hiking trails lining the road you can tailor your own adventure. Keep a close eye for pictographs hidden throughout the rocks. Always practice leave no trace when out and about, packing all trash out and admire the pictographs from a distance.
Cool Off in the Rio Grande River
20 minutes past Taos Junction Bridge brings you to the small artist community of Pilar to link up with Hwy 68. Enjoy a cup of coffee or cold drink at the Pilar Yacht Club and Café located at the intersection. Take a right onto Hwy 68 and begin your drive right along the Rio Grande! You might see our red rafts navigating the Class II-III rapids of the racecourse in the summertime. Our outpost is about 10 minutes from Pilar.
Feel free to swing in and ask about our trips or check out our awesome t-shirt selection for a souvenir. If you’re feeling hungry you can pop across the street to the Blue Heron Brewery for a pizza and a beer. Otherwise, continue down the meandering road for a glass of wine at Vivac, or Black Mesa a few minutes away. The small community of Dixon is a short detour from Hwy 68 and offers a deli and local produce selection.
Experience Art and Culture
Continue south towards Santa Fe, keeping a close eye out for farmers’ market stands in the summertime. Eventually, you’ll continue on Hwy 68 further south leaving the Rio Grande Valley. Santa Fe offers an assortment of food, museums, and local artists to complete your New Mexican vacation. For more information on Santa Fe history & culture, one of our favorite resources is History in Santa Fe.
New Mexico River Adventures is your premier New Mexico whitewater rafting outfitter. Our trips range from family-friendly to extreme adventure. Our guides are having a blast on the rivers in Santa Fe each and every day. Won’t you join us? Book your trip online today!
Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day
Rio Grande Gorge Rafting Full Day