Plan your own pilgrimage

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“Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place. It provides the opportunity to step out of the non-stop busyness of our lives, to seek a time of quiet and reflection. It gives us the chance to ‘walk through’ those issues that we have on our minds, whatever they might be. It is a time of simply ‘being’ rather than always ‘doing’.” Pilgrim’s Way

The pilgrimage to the sanctuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico goes through sleepy villages, historic churches, a perseverant culture and a rich history spanning several centuries. This page serves as a small guide to help you make your pilgrimage through northern New Mexico. Below you can find resources on pilgrim routes, transportation, places to stay, what to pack, some advice on being a pilgrim, and much more.
The Chimayo pilgrimage has humble beginnings. Some long time ago, locals began a tradition of doing pilgrimage from their homes to the sanctuario during Holy Week to prepare for Good Friday. Every year, a growing number of people desire to make the pilgrimage throughout the year to the place where Bernardo Abeyeta discovered the cross set in the holy dirt. As you prepare to make a walking pilgrimage to the sanctuario, there are many things to consider and prepare for –  it is very important that your preparations are done well. Don’t feel up to doing all the preparations? Go to our Walk With Us page to learn more about having guides on your pilgrimage!

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Click map for more details – link is to Google Map
Observe all posted signs/markers when going through National Forest/BLM lands. 

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Many people go on pilgrimage to Chimayó. Some go for the religious experience of walking as pilgrims on earth towards our heavenly homeland. Still others walk for simply an outdoor experience. Other walk to become close to nature. Whatever your reason for making the pilgrimage to Chimayó, we encourage you on your spiritual journey. One of the most well-known pilgrim route to Chimayo is from Taos, NM. From here, this is around a 50 mile pilgrimage to the sanctuario de Chimayó. Click the tabs to learn more about doing it.

While we endeavor to ensure that the information on this website is correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. 

We do not recommended walking the pilgrimage unless you are very knowledgable of outdoor wilderness, desert terrain, and of rural northern New Mexico. Many towns along the way to Chimayo do not have amenities and accommodations and you must prepare before.

A large portion of the pilgrimage is done walking on highways, and proper precaution must be done to avoid injury/death. It is recommended to walk on the left side of the road in most cases. Many areas of the Chimayo area do not have cellular phone service. Click here to learn more about walking with us.

Day 1 - Ranchos de Taos, NM to Peñasco, NM [17.4 miles through mountain pass, 21.7 miles by road]
  • Overview:
    • Start: San Francisco de Asis church in Ranchos de Taos, NM
    • End: San Antonio de Padua church in Peñasco, NM

By Road - 21.7 miles San Francisco de Asis (Ranchos de Taos, NM) to San Antonio de Padua (Vadito, NM)
Ranchos de Taos - Peñasco on Road

By Mountain Pass (availability depends on weather - NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL DURING THE WINTER) -  always follow path/follow posted signs. Mountain Pass: 17.4 miles Minimum Elevation: 6909 feet Maximum Elevation: 9227 feet Total climb: 2755 feet Total descent: 1985 feet GPS file: work in progress
Day 2 - Penasco, NM to Truchas, NM [15.5 miles walking by road]
  • Details
    • One of most beautiful days on the pilgrimage. After starting from Penasco early in the morning, one walks 7.8 until reaching the historic village of Las Trampas, NM. Settled by 12 families in 1751, the religious people there quickly built the church San José de Gracia through hard-work in the year circa 1760. This church is one of the oldest buildings in the state of New Mexico. After taking a nice break at Las Trampas, there remains 7.7 miles left to walk to the next village, Truchas.
  • Overview
    • Start: San Antonio de Padua church in Penasco, NM
    • End: Our Lady of the Rosary church in Truchas, NM
    • Go to map section for more details
Day 3 - Truchas, NM to Chimayo, NM [9.1 miles by road, 11.1 miles by desert pass]
  • Details: After resting in Truchas (literally, trouts in español), you are hopefully ready to finish strong to the Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, NM. After walking 1.5 miles south-west on highway 76, you can either continue on the highway, or turn right on Rd 1301 to go through a marvelous pass through the desert of northern New-Mexico.
  • Go to the official sanctuario de Chimayo website for details of when Mass is offered. Currently, the schedule is as follows:
    • Sanctuario hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (October-April) 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (May-September)
    • Mass: Monday-Saturday at 11AM, Sunday: 10:30 and noon
    • Confession: 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM and by appointment
  • By road: After leaving Truchas, continue on NM 76-south for 8.1 miles, then you will turn left on Juan Medina Road in Chimayo, then continue for 1.0 miles until you see the Sanctuario de Chimayo on your left. Look on map for details
  • By desert pass: After leaving Truchas, continue on NM 76-south for 1.5 miles and take a left on Rd 1301. At this point, you will need to have a GPS device with the route already downloaded, otherwise you are definitely going to get lost. Remember you do not have phone service. The desert pass drops you off in north Chimayo, where you walk on Rd 1449 until taking a left on Rd 101 for 600 feet. Go south on NM-76 for about 900 feet until taking a left on Juan Medina Road then continue for 1.0 miles until you see the Sanctuario de Chimayo on your left.
    • Note: This pass goes through BLM land - stay on the trails as you walk through the area. While being a beautiful area, one should not walk on this route if there is a chance of rain, as you are walking through arroyos which flood during rainy times in the desert, which make it dangerous to walk through. In addition, while walking on this route, there is no cellular phone service and goes through remote areas.
    • GPS File for desert pass from Truchas-Chimayo. Goes through BLM land. Always follow path/follow posted signs

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[1] Ranchos de Taos, NM

[2] Peñasco, NM / Rodarte, NM

[3] Trampas, NM

    • None

[4] Ojo Sarco, NM

[5] Truchas, NM

[6] Chimayo, NM

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