Sunday Activities—Optional

If you’re in no rush to head home on Sunday, choose an activity from our suggestion list of self-guided field trips and area attractions provided by clicking the Self-Guided Touring Options link.

Or, choose from one of the group offerings listed below. There is no limit on these five activities, but we need head-counts on these to plan logistics and leaders. Please choose only one optional activity on the registration form if you are interested in a group activity on Sunday.

We will also have some Silent Auction gift certificates that you might want to redeem on the spot, so stay around Taos for the day…or two!


Sun-1   Bird Walk in the Rio Fernando Wetlands
This popular birding hotspot of the wetlands in Rio Fernando/Baca Park has 2/3 of all bird species recorded in Taos County. This is the same area where our chapter greenhouse is located. Early morning start to catch the most early birds!

Sun-2   Roadside Botanizing in the Tusas Mountains
We’ll caravan along US 64 NW from Taos for 65 miles, into the Tusas Mountains.  After we pass Tres Piedras we’ll start to climb and will make several stops along the way, from about 8500’ to 10,000’ elevation.  Our route will end at the Brazos Cliff Overlook which offers a spectacular view of those cliffs. Bring snacks and water to enjoy at the Overlook. The return drive to the Sagebrush Inn will take 1hr 15 min. Distance on foot: less than a mile;  Difficulty:  Easy.  Carpooling is strongly advised to keep the caravan to a reasonable number of cars.

Sun-3   Couse-Sharp historic garden and studio
Tour the Couse-Sharp Historic Site and take in Mrs.Virginia Couse’s restored, historic (not necessarily native) garden. Eanger Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp were two of the six founding members of the Taos Society of Artists and had neighboring properties in the heart of Old Spanish Taos. Join this private, two-hour tour to get an exclusive look at the gardens and the Couse/Sharp studios.






Photo by Mary Adams


Sun-4   Gold Hill Alpine Hike
If you remember the Hayden’s Paintbrush photo on the cover of last quarter’s newsletter, that is the view from the approach to the top of Gold Hill, which rises to its peak at 12,703’. Get your alpine flower fix on this long, difficult and spectacular hike. Hiking up Bull of the Woods trail, along Rio Hondo and a boggy area filled with riparian, sub-alpine flowers, you will turn onto Long Canyon Trail then break out into tundra where the Gold Hill Trail is usually covered with alpine flowers. We will only go as far as the final approach to the peak to shorten the hike time and maximize wildflower viewing. Leaves early Sunday morning. Distance: 8.5 mi. RT Difficulty: Challenging Elevation gain: ~2,600’

Sun-5  Field trip to a restored spring and wetland area in a sandstone canyon near Dixon  

Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone Landscape Planning, LLC will guide a field trip to show the results of several years of ecological restoration work near Dixon. The area south of Dixon features more than 40 springs and wetlands with unique cultural and ecological values. Stabilization of sediment and water sources in the area have revitalized the wetlands and retained sediment so that it can newly absorb water and regenerate vegetation, while providing flood control and sediment pollution reduction downstream.


Photo credit Dean Swift