By the time July 4th rolls around, summer is an actuality, along with higher temperatures (and hotter tempers), but we have a little secret to share with you.
If it feels like it’s burning up out there and you are bracing for a long, hot summer, perhaps it’s time to experience a high altitude, Alpine Independence Day at Taos Ski Valley, on the Mountain, where the air is fresh and clean, cooled by fragrant evergreen breezes. It’s several degrees cooler up there than it is in town, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret.
The newest addition to Taos Ski Valley, the acclaimed Blake Hotel, is a great place to book your stay if modern amenities in a luxe yet low-key understated style is your cup of tea, but if a more traditional Alpine chalet vibe is what you are after, try the Bavarian or The Edelweiss for the amazing views. From beautifully appointed condos to rustic cabins, you can find plenty of places to stay at great summer rates at Taos Ski Valley.
Start your July 4th Celebrations with a hearty (traditional in these parts), breakfast of Huevos Rancheros with Christmas (red and green chili), or a more standard American style repast, if chili in the morning sounds too hot to handle. If you happen to be staying at the The Columbine Inn they are renowned for their amazing breakfasts! Once fed and fueled, it’s time to make your way down to the nearby, charming village of Arroyo Seco,
Be sure to arrive around 11.am to find a place to park. The annual Arroyo Seco Fourth of July parade is a popular event with locals and visitors alike, and it is always jam-packed by high noon, when it begins, ending around 1pm.
You’ll be starving by the time it’s over, so make the short drive back up to the Ski Valley for the July 4th Festivities, beginning with a bite to eat and freshly made margarita at Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina, or head to the Bavarian Restaurant where you can grab a Brat & a Beer. If lighter fare is your preference, you can also venture over to the new 192, at The Blake for a brick-oven fired pizza and arugula salad.
Enjoy the live music with local favorites, Out of Nowhere, learn (or relearn), how to Hula Hoop with the experts on hand, or join in on the FIT Rubber Duck Races down the Arroyo Hondo stream, a full on family event! In fact if you are traveling with kids, there is plenty for them to do both on the Mountain and in town,.
The “Mountain”, as we refer to it, is not exclusively a skier’s paradise, in fact, during the warmer months it’s a great place to hike, go mushroom hunting (during monsoon season, chanterelles, morels and porcini’s are abundant), and after the heavy winter snows, everything is lush and green, Make the climb or ride the chairlift to Kachina Peak for the ultimate Independence Day High!
If you are feeling ambitious, hike (or go horseback riding), up to Wheeler Peak or take a picnic up to Williams Lake for a truly cool (in every way) experience.
The mountain meadows are ablaze with blooming wild flowers and if you are a bird watcher, all the big birds of prey are out of their nests and eeries ready to swoop down on the rabbits and marmots that come out to scavenge and play. You might even catch a glimpse of the big horn sheep that live among the rocky outcroppings. Bring binoculars and enjoy the show!
Speaking of binoculars, you’ll appreciate having them to get a closer look at the breathtaking vistas you will have from Taos Ski Valley’s vantage point; drop dead gorgeous views for hundreds of miles. Don’t forget your camera either.
After a short siesta and hot shower you might enjoy cocktails on the deck, while watching the sunset, before heading down into town for Ozomatli in Kit Carson park followed by 9pm fireworks and perhaps a late supper at one of Taos’ many fabulous restaurants, before driving back to your mountain retreat.
For more information about the July 4th Celebrations in Taos Ski Valley, and the myriad activities available on the Mountain during the July 4th Weekend, please visit their site linked below this post.
All images c/o Taos Ski Valley