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Taos Pueblo

A living Pueblo!! For me, this was one of the most fascinating places on our latest trip to the Southwest! I felt so honored to be on this sacred land where we literally stepped back into a simpler time to one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US!! In the mid-’90s, the Pueblo was designated a Unesco UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ancient ruins indicate that the Taos people lived on this land nearly 1000 years ago and that the main parts of the reservation were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D!!

How amazing is it that we can walk in such a special place here in the States and take it all in? That we can step inside these buildings, which were made by these people’s ancestors simply from earth mixed with water and straw, and they have been preserved in their original state all these years later.

The Pueblo sits on 99,000 acres with an elevation of 7,200 feet! As if the Pueblos themselves weren’t gorgeous enough, they have the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo & Taos Mountains as their backdrop. These stunning mountains are not only beautiful but serve as the primary headwaters of the community. The water flows directly from the ranges into the reservation through a small creek that runs through the middle of the land known as Red Willow Creek. It is said that the Taos people originally fled here during a drought in the Four Corners Region in search of a more reliable water source. They ask when you visit the Pueblo not to touch the river as it remains their source of drinking water.

Taos Pueblos, the northernmost of the nineteen New Mexico Pueblos, is said to be some of the most private, secretive, and conservative of the pueblos. One hundred fifty people live on the Pueblo full-time. Others have homes both outside and inside the pueblo. The pueblo stays true to its roots and works without electricity and running water. The Pueblo is open to the public during posted hours but can close without notice for spiritual community events and funerals, so call before you head over. It would be best to remember that this isn’t mainly a tourist attraction but an invitation into these people’s homes and a glimpse into their daily lives. It’s absolutely incredible. I recently found out a biological grandfather of mine was 100% Native American, so learning about the culture firsthand was so appreciated.

Most (90%) of the Taos Pueblo community are baptized as Roman Catholics. San Geronimo is Pueblo's patron saint, and their

gorgeous white church is named after him. You can enter and light a candle for $1, but they kindly ask no photos be taken inside the church. Don’t miss a shot outside, especially with the mountains in the background.

Many in the pueblo sell their artwork and wares....dream catchers, beaded jewelry, paintings, and drawings. We spoke with all of them, and they were all super sweet and willing to share their family’s story, so don’t be afraid to ask.

There are also a few cafes that are not to be missed. You must try traditional fry bread, with the option to add honey, cinnamon, and powdered sugar, or eat it plain. We tried it both ways, and it’s delicious either way you choose! Also, grab a cup of piñon coffee that is indigenous to the area. It’s made from the piñon nut and is unique. Rich and smooth. Different than your average cup of coffee. I had mine iced on a hot day and looked for it elsewhere for the remainder of our time in NM.

It’s so good!! They offer 20-30 minute tours every 20 minutes starting at 9 am, which comes with the price of admission. The tour guides, many college students, do not earn an hourly wage and depend on tips, so bring some cash. You can do it self-guided with the brochure if time doesn’t allow or you have kiddos in tow. My children, admitted free entry because they are under 10, enjoyed roaming the property, climbing the ladder, petting the dogs, watching the bead workers, and shopping a bit.

When we were here, we ran into folks from The New Mexico Tourism Board who were giving a tour to and taking photos of an honorable chief that played a massive role in the protest against the Dakota pipeline. This cause became very near and dear to our hearts after we visited that region on a trip last summer. It was great meeting and speaking with him. He sang traditional songs and gave an inspiring speech while standing on the bridge over the river. This run-in was an unexpected bonus to our visit, one I am very grateful for.

I couldn’t recommend a trip here enough!! It was spiritual, educational, and incredible! I would visit again in a heartbeat when I’m in the area, and I plan on it!


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