Enchanted Circle

EASY 4 reviews

Enchanted Circle is a 84 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Taos, NM that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and is accessible year-round.

84.0 miles Loop

kid friendly

scenic driving

forest

lake

river

views

US Forest Scenic Byway connecting Taos and Questa with the resort communities of Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire. This offers dramatic mountain vistas of aspen and pine in the shadow of 13,161 foot Wheeler Peak, New Mexicos highest point. Drive north on NM 522 out of Taos to begin your Enchanted Circle Weekend. Continuing north; travel past scenic Arroyo Hondo. At San Cristobal, look for signs to the D. H. Lawrence Ranch and Shrine. The mountain range to the east is the Sangre de Cristo. The state's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet), is visible at this point of your trip. Continue north to Questa ato turn east on NM 38. You are now following what the locals call "The Enchanted Circle." The steep ascent into Red River is unusually scenic, offering stirring vistas of spruce and aspen. The town itself offers more than two dozen lodges and resorts and of course plenty of restaurants and gift shops. Ski runs rise steeply just off the single main street. Return to Taos via the balance of The Enchanted Circle (NM 38 to NM 64), through Eagle Nest and see the beautiful Eagle Nest Lake State Park. This beautiful 2,400 acre lake offers trout and kokanee salmon fishing. The fun continues with boating, hiking and cross country skiing. A beautiful location to see an abundance of birds and wildlife to include elk, deer bear and eagles! Continue west on NM 64 towards Angel Fire, an excellent family resort with skiing, golf, tennis, hiking, biking, and fishing. Be sure to stop at the DAV Vietnam Memorial near Angel Fire. Built by one family as a shrine to their fallen son, the site is one of unusual emotion and presence. This is the only state park dedicated as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Beautiful drive outside Taos. Drove this road in the snow one April, made it especially beautiful.

scenic driving
11 months ago

I agree with Doug. I have done it a couple times and still find the beauty thrilling. I came here for the skiing, but there is so much more. Speaking of skiing, there is some incredible skiing. It is hard to imagine all the way down in New Mexico, but there are some great options. And don't forget to spend some time in Taos. Taos is left over from another generation.

scenic driving
2 years ago

This is a beautiful part of NM. Virtually unlimited rec. opportunities. Plan a week in the area. By itself, it is worth taking the scenic hwy loop.

scenic driving
4 years ago

Follow the signs as you enjoy an 85 mile US Forest Scenic Byway connecting Taos and Questa with the resort communities of Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire. This beautiful countryside offers dramatic mountain vistas of aspen and pine in the shadow of 13,161 foot Wheeler Peak, New Mexicos highest point.

Drive north on NM 522 out of Taos to begin your Enchanted Circle Weekend. You may wish to detour at El Prado for the short drive west to the Taos Gorge Bridge, one of the highest spans in North America.

At San Cristobal, look for signs to the D. H. Lawrence Ranch and Shrine. The famous writer is buried here. The mountain range to the east is the Sangre de Cristo. The state's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet), is visible at this point of your trip.

Travel through the scenic Arroyo Hondo and Arroyo Seco. Continue to Questa, where you will turn east on NM 38. You are now following what the locals call "The Enchanted Circle."

The steep ascent into Red River is unusually scenic, offering stirring vistas of spruce and aspen. The town itself offers more than two dozen lodges and resorts and of course plenty of restaurants and gift shops. Ski runs rise steeply just off the single main street.

Return to Taos via the balance of The Enchanted Circle (NM 38 to NM 64), through Eagle Nest and see the beautiful Eagle Nest Lake State Park. This beautiful 2,400 acre lake offers trout and kokanee salmon fishing. The fun continues with boating, hiking and cross country skiing. A beautiful location to see an abundance of birds and wildlife to include elk, deer bear and eagles!

Continue west on NM 64 towards Angel Fire, an excellent family resort with skiing, golf, tennis, hiking, biking, and fishing. Be sure to stop at the DAV Vietnam Memorial near Angel Fire. Built by one family as a shrine to their fallen son, the site is one of unusual emotion and presence. This is the only state park dedicated as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.