High Desert Sun

Experiencing New Mexico in and around Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos
  |  Gorp.com
Taos pueblo.

"I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever."

— D.H. LawrenceSanta Fe and Taos might be best known for their tricultural art, literature and music scenes. But the high desert sun casts a magic glow on these northern New Mexico towns that captivate al fresco adventurers as much as it enchants indoor esthetes.

Both Santa Fe (7100 feet) and Taos (6600 feet) are framed by the soaring Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains, an extension of the southern Rockies. Both are situated in an area inhabited continuously for thousands of years. The first occupants were the prehistoric pueblo peoples called the Anasazi, who mysteriously disappeared after the 14th century, leaving fabulous stone cities behind. In the 16th century northern New Mexico became part of the Hispanic empire conquered by Spanish conquistadors. Anglos, as Caucasians are referred to here, are recent arrivals, most coming after the United States annexed the area in 1848 following the war with Mexico.

But the differences between Santa Fe and Taos are as stark as their similarities.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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