ActivitiesAt the Cottonwood B and B we can find an activity to interest everyone. Our goal at the Cottonwood Inn is to give our guests the inside track on what to do and see in Taos. We often have guests who spend an entire week in Taos, and leave with a list of undone things that they want to do or see on their next visit. The list of possibilities is endless and the following suggests just a few.
• Ballooning - the Cottonwood Inn is only seven miles from the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge, where you can experience premier ballooning and ride the currents above Taos and into the Gorge with Pueblo Balloon Company www.puebloballoon.com, 575-751-9877.
• Hiking - The Cottonwood Inn is surrounded by the both state and national federal forest land. Whether strolling a country lane near the Inn or hiking alpine trails in the Kit Carson National Forest or descending into the Rio Grande Gorge at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, you will enjoy the grand vistas and solitude of northern New Mexico. Shantal and Brantly are both avid hikers and have the Taos maps and trail guides to keep you on track. If you want some four-legged assistance on your hike, consider a guided llama pack or day trip www.LlamaAdventures.com, 1-800-758-LAMA.
• Biking - The area around the Cottonwood Inn also boasts great mountain and road biking. Here at the Cottonwood Inn we can tell you about the area's bike riding possibilities. If you need equipment or a bike rental, see the bicycle experts at Gearing Up Bicycling www.gearingupbikes.com, 575-751-0365.
• Whitewater rafting - Many guests who come to the Cottonwood Inn are here exclusively to shoot the Rio Grande rapids through the Taos Box or on the "Racecourse". Contact the Taos based rafting specialists at Native Sons Adventures www.NativeSonsAdventures.com, 800-753-7559 or Los Rios River Runners www.LosRiosRiverRunners.com, 800-544-1181.
• Fishing - Fish private waters for native trout or fish remote public waters, including day hikes into the Rio Grande Gorge in search of giant brown and rainbows. For guided trips, we recommend our friends at the Solitary Angler, www.TheSolitaryAngler.com, 866-502-1700. If you are not in need of a guide, we can give you directions and the latest in hatch information and fishing reports on nearby trout streams. The trout season in New Mexico is year-round and the area is justly famous for its Winter trout fishing. Try a half-day of skiing at Taos Ski Valley and catch the late afternoon midge hatch on the Rio Grande River.
• Rock Climbing - The Rio Grande Gorge and the Kit Carson National Forest offer some challenging rock climbing. If you want to climb the rocks, but need some support, we here at the Cottonwood B and B are pleased to refer you the rock-climbing experts at Mountain Skills for guidance or for a rock climbing school www.climbingschoolusa.com, 575-776-2222.
• Birdwatching - At the Cottonwood Inn there is nothing we enjoy as much as watching our local feathered friends. Taos and the area surrounding the b and b offer opportunities to observe a variety of colorful and interesting birds. For the serious birder there are nearby opportunities to observe the Brown-capped Rosy Finch (winter is best) and Lewis' Woodpecker. Here at the Inn, we have two pairs of nesting Bullock's Oriole (summer) and at various times during the summer, four varieties of hummingbird
(Black Chinned, Calliope (smallest hummingbird in North America), Rufous and Broad-tailed hummingbird). The gardens at the b and b are a magnet for many other bird species throughout the year.
• Horseback Riding - During the summer and early fall, nothing beats the alpine scenery of the Sangre de Cristo mountains above the Taos Ski Valley. Let "Big Al" be your host for rides above timberline. 505-751-6051. During late fall through early summer, we recommend lower elevation rides in the beautiful Rio Grande Canyon country guided by Melissa at Cieneguilla Stables. 575-751-2815.
• Golfing - The championship golf course at Taos is as good as it gets. You will experience great vistas on a challenging links type layout. www.golfersweb.com/taos.htm 800-758-7375.
• Downhill Skiing - Taos Ski Valley offers world-class skiing with short lift lines and the Cottonwood Inn is only 12 miles from the lifts! Shantal and Brantly are frequent visitors to the Taos Ski Valley slopes and they can give you tips on the best runs and current snow conditions.
• Cross-country Skiing/Snowshoeing - No matter which direction you head from the Cottonwood Inn, Taos offers nearby cross-country skiing on established tracks or in un-traveled wilderness areas. For groomed
cross-country skiing, nothing is better than the layout at the Enchanted Forest. www.enchantedforestxc.com. For the truly adventurous, the Taos Winter visitor can ski or snowshoe the back-country wide open spaces of the Carson National Forest.
• Snowmobiling - Taos also provides the perfect opportunity for a snowmobile adventure surrounded by great mountain scenery. Check out the possibilities with Native Sons Adventures. www.NativeSonsAdventures.com, 800-759-7559.
Interested in cultural activities? The area around Taos and the Cottonwood Inn has five wonderful museums that will give you a feel for the art and cultural background of the Spanish who lived in the Taos Valley area in the 17th century and the Taos Pueblo Indians who have lived here for more than 1000 years. Take a morning and visit the Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site. Or ask your hosts to recommend the best of the art Galleries and shopping in small boutiques which abound within only a few miles of the b and b. Don't eat too much for breakfast - there are always the fabulous Taos Restaurants to sample for lunch and dinner! Special events are happening throughout the year, so be sure to check out the Taos Vacation Guide.
Links to various sources of information
If you're wanting to bone-up on Taos or New Mexico History or culture before arriving, here are some sources of information we've found to be useful and enjoyable:
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
Winter in Taos by Mabel Dodge Luhan
Ranchos De Taos: San Francisco De Asis Church
(Note: This book was co-authored by Wolfgang Pogzeba, the principal architect and builder of the Cottonwood Inn. He was a well known painter of southwestern themes and lived in the house until 1986)
Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: A Guide
Here are some other links to help you plan your trip to Taos and the surrounding area. In general, there is something of interest going on almost every week. A good source of information is the local newspaper, specifically the entertainment section, The Tempo:
The Taos News
Frommer's Guide Northern New Mexico
Taos Chamber of Commerce
Taos Vacation Guide
Taos Ski Valley Event Calendar
Spring Arts Festival ~ May
Marathon de Taos ~ June
Taos Pueblo San Antonio Day ~ June
Taos Pueblo San Juan Day ~ June
Taos Solar Music Festival ~ June
Taos Pueblo Pow-Wow ~ July
Las Fiestas de Taos ~ July
High Road to Taos Studio Tour ~ September
Taos Pueblo San Geronimo Day ~ September
Taos Fall Arts Festivals: The Taos Invitational and The Taos Open ~ September/October
Taos Wool Festival ~ October
Taos Mountain Film Festival ~ October
Taos Storytelling Festival ~ October
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally ~ October
Taos Ski Valley opens for season ~ November
Christmas Eve Vespers, Procession of the Virgin and Bonfires at Taos Pueblo ~ December
Christmas Day Corn and Deer Dance at Taos Pueblo ~ December
Taos Historic Museums Exhibition Calendar
Millicent Rogers Museum's Exhibition Calendar
Harwood Museum's Exhibition Calendar
The Art Divas Gallery Exhibition Schedule
Taos Gallery Association & Art Walk Schedule
Michael McCormick Gallery Event Schedule
Weaving Southwest's Tapestry Shows
'Taos Center for The Arts' Calendar
The Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center
Weaving Southwest Classes
Taos Clay Classes
Taos Art School
Taos Cooking Studio
Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce
Taos Plaza Live Music Series (Summertime Thursdays 6-8 pm)
'Taos Center for The Arts' Film Series
The Adobe's Bar Entertainment Calendar
The Alley Cantina's Late Night Music Schedule
Fort Burgwin's Lecture & Concert Schedule
'Taos Center for The Arts' Music Calendar
Taos Chamber Music Group
Taos School of Music Concerts & Seminars
Enchanted Forest X-Country & Snowshoe Area
Taos Ski Valley
Taos Pueblo Ceremonial Calendar
Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow ~ April
Spanish Market ~ July
Santa Fe Opera ~ July/August
Indian Market ~ August
New Mexico State Fair ~ September
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta ~ October