What to do when you're here.



Thinking about what we’d want to do if we had just a precious few days here, we came up with some ideas for you to think about — places we love and things we love to do that you might love, too. Consider these suggestions you can pick from if you need inspiration. You’ll find more ideas on Explore Our Land and What’s Nearby.


A word to the wise…beware the urge to over-do. Try to set aside time to rest and play every day. Rest and play – they’re two of the most rewarding activities of all.

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Day 1

Orient yourself to the surroundings. Stroll out to “The Longest Bench” overlooking the valley and walk around both ponds. Head up for the views on the High “U” walk then cool off with a swim.

After lunch, drive northwest across the Carson Mesa, stopping at the Poco Loco store for a treat. Continue down the dirt switchbacks to the Low Bridge over the Rio Grande. Drive south, close on the river’s bank, toward Pilar. Return the way you came.

Return to grill up dinner on the breezeway and watch the sun set. You’re home!

Day 2

Pack a picnic lunch and go down to our river, the Rio Ojo Caliente, by crossing under Highway 111 through the culvert. Cross the river on our bridge and head up the mesa for some beautiful views.

In the afternoon, drive 45 minutes just beyond Española to the Puye Cliffs Scenic Byway and visit Puye Cliff Dwelling, a National Historic Landmark on the Santa Clara Pueblo.

On your return, stop at the historic Ojo Caliente Minerals Springs for a soak and dinner.

Day 3

Get an early start because a full day in town awaits. Head to Taos over the spectacular High Bridge (the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge) – or south to Santa Fe – for a day of museums, shopping and people watching.

Check out Taos’ calendars and the many Santa Fe calendars (here, here and here) to get a sense of what’s happening before you go. We post notices on the breezeway bulletin board so be sure to look there for info on events in the area, too.

Unwind with an evening swim when you get home.

Day 4

Spend your morning getting acquainted with a hammock in the forest then head north on 111 to the village of Vallecitos. You’ll connect with good dirt roads (great for bicycling) that take you deep into Carson National Forest’s mixed conifers and stands of aspen. Consult maps in the breezeway and ask us for detailed directions. Count on a 10 degree drop in temperature up in the mountains, a lovely respite on a hot summer’s day.

Returning by way of County Road 44 to the village of El Rito, stop for dinner at El Farolito for some unforgetable New Mexican cooking. Cash or check only!

Day 5

The wonders of history, nature and ancient culture near Los Alamos are less than an hour away. A visit to the Bradbury Science Museum will orient you to the events that put Los Alamos on the map — WWII’s Manhattan Project and the invention of the atom bomb.

Continue 18 miles beyond Los Alamos on Highway 4 toward Jemez Springs for a look at the extraordinary Valles Caldera National Preserve  – the scope of which is almost impossible to drink in.

Finally, enter the world of Ancestral Pueblo people going back over 11,000 years with a visit to Bandelier National Monument.


A less frequented section of Bandelier that we love is Tsankawi where you’ll walk in deeply grooved paths worn by the ancestors of modern-day Pueblo people.

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