the wandering chick
...the Enchanted Circle
84 miles surrounding Taos

The Enchanted Circle is a scenic byway that travels close to 85 miles around Taos. Its center point is Wheeler Peak, a mountain in the Sangre de Cristo Range and New Mexico's highest peak.

Heading west, one travels Highway 64 toward the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. (Although the bridge is not actually part of the scenic byway system, it's only another seven miles west to it. However, there's enough of interest along 64 to make it a separate day trip from Taos.)

From 64, Highway 522 heads north to the Taos Ski Valley and the town of Questa. At Questa, Highway 38 covers the northern section of the byway through Red River before hooking up again with Highway 64 on the east side of Taos at Eagle Nest. Highway 64 will then take you right back into Taos past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Ranchos de Taos.

buildings in Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco is a small town leading up to the Taos Ski Valley. Its quirky boutiques bring in tourism, which is the town's major source of income.
Taos Ski Valley
arroyo seco boutique
along the Enchanted Circle
Taos Ski Valley
Taos Ski Valley
Eagle Nest Lake
Eagle Nest Lake is a New Mexico State Park. At elevations over 8,000 feet, it's a popular summer destination for water activities.
looking upward at circle of trees
helicopter at Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
Huey helicopter at Vietnam Veterans Memorial
In Angel Fire, New Mexico, on Highway 64 in the southeast corner of the Enchanted Circle, is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park. It's small and can be toured in less than an hour, but it's a must-see for those in the area. A significant part of the memorial is the Huey helicopter that played such an important role in the Vietnam War. This particular Huey is the Viking Surprise, a name given to it in March of 1967 when an experiment led to the creation of smokeships. The smokeships were outfitted to provide smoke ground cover in landing zones. Under the cover of the smoke, protection to the troups was provided for up to five minutes. The Huey is a permanent fixture on the grounds of the memorial and is maintained by local New Mexico National Guardsmen.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial chapel, outside
A veterans cemetery is scheduled to be built in 2016 on ten acres of land (seen in this photo) to the south of the chapel. The land was donated by two Vietnam veterans, and the cemetery will be open to all veterans and their families from all 50 states.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial chapel, outside
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial chapel, interior
The chapel at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built by parents of a Marine who, along with fifteen other men, lost their lives in a May, 1968 battle in Vietnam. The chapel was dedicated on the third anniversary of the death of the Marine. It was the first major memorial created to honor Vietnam veterans. It was also the inspiration for the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
chapel, outside
circle of trees straight up
If you care to visit more destinations in the Enchanted State, please return to the New Mexico home page.

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