Pueblos, Chimayó and TruchasWind your way through roads that lead you to authentic Northen New Mexico places and people.
Drive east from Los Alamos on SR 502. Cross the Rio Grande; one mile on your left is the entrance to San Ildefonso Pueblo (505-455-3549). Visitors are welcome but are required to register at the visitor center. Next, continue east on SR 502 to Pojoaque (Poe-WAH-kee); exit north onto US 285/84 and drive 0.8 mile and turn right onto SR 503. Drive 4 miles to the entrance of Nambé (Nam-BAY) Pueblo on SR 101 (505-455-2036). Go to the Governor’s Office for self-guided tours. Or, if you prefer, take a short hike to Nambé Falls (open April–Oct.). Back on SR 503, drive about 10 minutes to SR 98 to Chimayó (Chee-my-OH). Watch for signs to the famous Santuario de Chimayó where thousands of people make the annual pilgrimage to this church on Good Friday. Chimayó is also home to several famous weaving families, shops and galleries. Continue on SR 98 and turn right on SR 76 for a rambling, scenic drive.
Truchas (TRUE-chas) is a breathtaking location where Robert Redford filmed “The Milagro Beanfield War.” Notice in Las Trampas a magnificent adobe church made famous by a Georgia O’Keeffe painting. Continue on SR 76 to SR 75 at an elevation of 9,324 feet where Picuris (pick-your-REESE) Pueblo is located. There’s a bison herd and guided or self-guided tours are offered. Visit or call the visitor center (575-587-2519) for permits. Continue west on SR 75 for charming vineyards and quaint towns.
At SR 68 turn left. Pass through Velarde where autumn offers delicious apples and bright red strings of chili ristras (REE-stras). Approaching Española, turn right onto Fairview Lane (SR 584), cross the Rio Grande again, then take a left on US 285/84 to SR 30 back to Los Alamos. On the way, stop at Santa Clara Pueblo, famous for its polished black and red pottery and the Puyé (Poo-YAY) Cliff Dwellings (www.legendsofamerica.com or 505-753-7326)
Photo (bottom): Turquoise chips | Courtesy