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Chama to Taos

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
50 posts
7 reviews
Chama to Taos

Debating between route 84 and route 64. Kinda hate to pass up Abiquiu, but I suspect 64 is more scenic. Any thoughts? Thanks!

4 replies to this topic
New Mexico
Level Contributor
13,970 posts
110 reviews
1. Re: Chama to Taos

What time of year?

64 is often closed in the winter.

Personally I think 84 is more scenic, but a longer trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
8,464 posts
86 reviews
2. Re: Chama to Taos

Drive the 84 South to the Abiquiu visit ... Then turn East, on the secondary 554 into Ajo Caliente. There,the 285 North to the 64 East into Taos ... Happy trails ... carracar

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for New Mexico, Albuquerque
Level Contributor
2,447 posts
135 reviews
3. Re: Chama to Taos

I agree that 84 is much more scenic than 64. The cliffs near Ghost Ranch are beautiful, and a fun stop is Echo Ampitheater. It is quite a bit longer drive, but well worth it.

In Espanola, you can cut off before getting into the really heavy traffic. The first traffic signal you come to is Farview Lane. There is a large convenience store/gas station on the corner. Turn left and continue east to the intersection of NM68, which is what you would take to Taos. Again, the scenery is pretty great. You drive through the Rio Grande Gorge for a good portion of the way, and when you top out just south of Taos, the wide open view is spectacular.

As indicated 64 can be closed in the winter months. It is a pretty drive, but not much great scenery.

Los Alamos, New...
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Los Alamos
Level Contributor
970 posts
216 reviews
4. Re: Chama to Taos

I do both routes frequently, and my choice would depend on several factors. First and foremost is weather: if there's a chance of snow, get thee to Abiquiu and Espanola via the most direct route and don't even think of doing 64. Second, time of year matters beyond just snow. 64 is great when the aspens are turning (they are just starting to), particularly if you have a vehicle in which you can get off the highway and into an aspen grove. It is NOT great in spring winds, not to mention that it may still be closed in early spring due to snow.

Maybe the most important consideration (other than not being on 64 in a blizzard) is: what do you want to get out of the trip? Your bio says you're from Seattle. If so, you're probably more used to mountain scenery and driving than to red-rock canyons and mesas, and in fact, might find the mountain scenery on 64 disappointing compared to what you get near home -- although anyone who's "disappointed" at the view of the Brazos Cliffs you get on 64 inhabits a different information universe than mine. I am aware of nothing anywhere near Seattle that remotely approximates the Abiquiu area scenically. On the other hand, if you've traveled extensively in Utah and northern Arizona, and seen the spectacular canyon-and-mesa stuff there, 64 may be more new and interesting to you. We cannot judge that for you.

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