Taos, New Mexico, a community in northern New Mexico, consisting of three settlements. The main settlement is the village of Taos (also known as Don Fernando de Taos), the seat of Taos County. It is 55 miles (89 km) northeast of Santa Fe. Taos is well known as an artists' colony and also as a winter sports center. Houses once occupied by the frontiersman Kit Carson and by the British writer D. H. Lawrence are located in Taos. Four miles (6 km) south of the village of Taos is an Indian farming community, Ranches of Taos. Three miles (5 km) to the north of Taos is Taos pueblo, which has been inhabited for centuries by Taos (or Tiwa) Indians.
Spaniards discovered Taos pueblo in 1540 and founded Taos and Ranches of Taos in the 17th century. In 1680 Taos pueblo was the center of a revolt against the Spanish. After 1822 an alternate route of the Santa Fe Trail passed through Taos, which became an American fur-trading center.
By 1900 Taos had begun to attract artists and writers. In 1970 federal legislation gave Taos pueblo title to 48,000 acres of adjoining national forest, the site of Blue Lake, long sacred to the Indians.
The population of the main settlement of Taos is 4,700.