Truchas is an old Hispanic settlement in a location where you know you're on the High Road to Taos. If you take the right indicated in the photo above, you enter into the old village. The road there is narrow with houses and other buildings right up against the pavement. Passing all the way through town will take you onto a Forest Service road that goes several miles into Santa Fe National Forest and then dead ends. If you are intent on climbing the Truchas Peaks, this looks like an ideal spot to begin your hike. However, the Forest Service has recommended for many years that you don't leave any vehicle you value in here while you climb the peaks.
Truchas was founded in 1754 to occupy a Spanish Land Grant. Because of its location, the town really hasn't changed much over the years. And the town still operates under the original land grant bylaws, except one modification allows cars to use the same roads as livestock but the livestock have priority.
If you take the left in the photo, you stay on the Scenic Byway and head north out of town and over the hill towards Ojo Sarco and Las Trampas. A couple of miles up the road you'll come to a scenic overlook.
I first came through Truchas back in 1988, when I was living in Santa Fe and getting to know the surrounding area. Those were the days when Robert Redford was filming "The Milagro Beanfield War" in Truchas. These photos were all taken in 2007 and I'm seeing some significant changes from before. The biggest change is in the number of artist studios in town: there's a lot more than there used to be.