Day 1a – Road Walk: Ranchos de Taos to Peñasco

Description: This is quite a long day, and is entirely on the road walking. But the only other alternative in walking the mountain pass (detailed below), and sometimes the snow blocks the mountain pass, making this the only walkable path. No cell phone for majority of route until you get to Peñasco. 


Route Preparation+Details

GPS FILE (.kmz)

Mileage: 22.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,867 ft

High Point: 8,527 feet

Low Point: 6,923 feet


General Directions:

0.0 – Begin at San Francisco de Asís, head southeast on St. Francis Plaza Rd
420 ft – Turn left on Valerio Rd
0.6 mi – Continue straight on East Camino Abajo De La Loma
1.4 mi – Turn right on NM 518-S
15.6 mi – At the tee, turn right on NM-75 W towards Peñasco
21.1 mi – San Antonio Parish will be on left.



Plenty of Airbnb’s exists in Ranchos de Taos, and Peñasco – so no problem finding a place to sleep at the beginning or end of the route. As I write this, there is not an AirBNB / HomeAway house in the middle of the route. So you are left with two choices: either finish the route in one long day of 22 miles OR camp somewhere in the Carson National Forest along the route. (Map Here). I recommend starting the day early to finish the route in one day. 



No food along the way. Stock up in Taos, or go to one of the little stores in Peñasco! There are great restaurants in Taos and Peñasco. 


Interesting things along route

Smu-in-Taos at Fort Burgwin (private university)

Pot Creek Cultural Site



San Francisco de Asís – you would be missing out on quite a lot if you did not visit the iconic church of San Francisco in Ranchos de Taos. The lively parish always has things going on. A personal note: this is where I have always started pilgrimages I have led on. There is something so special about this holy church. It is a fitting place to begin the pilgrimage.

Mass times: 1st Saturday, 5th Saturday at 5:00PM, Sunday 8AM Spanish Mass, 10AM English Mass

Address: 60 St Francis Plaza, Ranchos De Taos, NM 87557

Phone: (575) 758-2754



Nuestra Senora de San Juan de Los Lagos

This small mission of the mother church of the area (San Francisco de Asís) has a monthly mass. As of writing this, the mass is on the 4th Saturday at 5:00PM. Call San Francisco to verify the mass time / other information.  See map  for exact location, which is just a mile and a half or so south of Ranchos de Taos.  

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Ascension)

This small church is located two miles east of Vadito. I have not been able to confirm any details regarding the church.

Map Location