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TALK TO QUESTA
Twenty-five miles north of Taos on NM Highway 522. Drive time: 30 minutes. Elevation 7,461 ft. Population 1,770.
Signs of permanent settlements have been found in the Questa area dating back to 5000 BC. Settlers arriving with the Spanish conquistadors moved north along the Rio Grande, and those who craved privacy drifted into this rough and remote area in the 1700s. Questa’s founders included several crypto-Jew families, as well as German merchants and French trappers. The area was vulnerable to Ute raids for generations. In the mid-1800s, a walled plaza was built around the San Antonio del Rio Colorado church, which remains the center of this rural community.
Questa has some of the most dramatic hiking trails in Taos County, along with stunning and remote campsites, and river chasms or mountaintop lakes for fishing. Many of these are located in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The adobe church at the center of the historic village has undergone pain-staking reconstruction and will re-open in December 2015.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Questa is the northern gateway to the stunning Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The Wild Rivers area sits just west of the village, with the rugged Ute Mountain volcano commanding the eye as one travels toward Colorado.
Cabresto Lake, in the mountains north-east of the village is a great spot for fishing, picnics, or canoeing. Creek-side trails lead to the very top of the Sangre de Cristos with hidden lakes and fabulous views.
Pictured below: Questa Church and La Junta Trail at Wild Rivers Area, both by Geraint Smith.
Visit the Questa website