AT 9,300 FEET, Taos Ski Valley draws winter enthusiasts to its world-renowned ski resort. But spring and summer can be equally spectacular, with thrills ranging from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and rafting—or just relaxing in the cool mountain air. “There are adventures at every turn,” says Daniel Vaughan, executive director of the Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Hikers of every level can find a path in the 1.5-million-acre Carson National Forest, whether it’s a day hike to the high-alpine Williams Lake or the 2,961-foot vertical ascent to the summit of Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet). Experienced mountain bikers can tackle the alpine trails, while the Taos Bike Park, accessible off Lift 4, provides downhill flow trails with great views.

The Río Grande attracts rafters from Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and beyond for the “wild and scenic aspects of the Taos Box,” says Sydney Dunton, a river-rafting guide with Far Flung Adventures. The 16-mile stretch includes Class 3 and 4 rapids, as well as the opportunity to spot bighorn sheep, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles.

In the upper- and lower-gorge sections of the Río Grande, anglers catch large cutthroat, brown, and rainbow trout, as well as smallmouth bass and northern pike.

Before heading into the wild, locals fuel up on burgers and hand-thrown pizza at Taos Ale House, on the banks of the Río Hondo. Après adventure, they gather at the Lounge by Rolling Still Distillery for craft cocktails. Live music fills the air Wednesday through Sunday at the KTAOS Solar Center event space.

For the ultimate outdoor experience, the Río Grande del Norte National Monument offers a multitude of ways to play, such as camping, rock climbing, kayaking, horseback riding, and petroglyph viewing. “Taos Ski Valley sits at a crossroads of epic topography, easy access, and beautiful landscapes,” says Vaughan.


In August, Taos Ski Valley hosts the Up & Over Trail Run Weekend, which includes the Up & Over 10K’s daunting 2,612-foot climb on Saturday and the VerticAL’s Vert-K, a ridiculous 1,497-foot ascent of the resort’s black diamond Al’s Run, on Sunday. “There’s a whole subculture of runners that do this,” says Daniel Vaughan, the race director. “This year, we’re going to have a kid’s race, which makes the weekend more family friendly.”