About This Trip
How will you encounter God this Lenten season? After the death of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, two of his disciples walked seven miles to Emmaus. As they walked, reflecting on all that had happened, Jesus drew near to them, and journeyed with them along the way. He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13-35).
We invite you to join Creatio as we imitate these disciples and begin our Lenten season with a long walk: a pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico. You will enjoy prayer and recreation time, unparalleled natural beauty, and fun with your fellow “peregrinos” (pilgrims) as you walk in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (Spanish for “blood of Christ”).
Creatio’s experienced guides will lead you on this pilgrimage both in nature and in spirit. Our guides have been on this route many times; in fact, we helped create it!
This pilgrimage is physically demanding. The terrain is rugged, weather conditions can vary wildly, and if you are not physically active you should start putting some miles underfoot now to prepare. Weather conditions are extremely unpredictable during early March, and pilgrims should expect to encounter snow.
Participants should plan to depart from Denver on March 7th in the early evening/after work. The group will then drive to Taos, in Northern New Mexico. We will begin walking towards Chimayó on the morning of March 8th. If you are not from Denver, you should plan to fly into Denver before the evening of March 7th.
You’ll spend most of your time walking in the Carson National Forest or on roads adjacent to it. Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest point, is located in the forest, as well as a number of ski resorts and trails taking advantage of the forest’s beautiful setting.
Daily distances range from 11 to 17.5 miles for a total of nearly 45 miles on foot.
As a pilgrim with Creatio, all meals, lodgings, and visits to points of interest are prearranged and included in the cost of the trip. We want you to be free to experience God in Nature. As experienced pilgrims ourselves, we find this easiest when day-to-day cares are minimal and we are freely allowed to “Adventure in nature. Journey in spirit.”
The Route (Subject to Modification)
Day 1: Depart Denver for Taos, NM in the evening
Day 2: Walk from Taos to Peñasco, through the Carson National Forest. Approximately 17.5 miles.*
Day 3: Walk from Peñasco through the sleepy New Mexican village of Las Trampas and arrive in Truchas for the night. Approximately 14 miles.*
Day 4: Depart Truchas for Chimayó, walking with breathtaking desert views as we approach the ancient village of Chimayó! Approximately 11 miles. Sunday Mass will be offered at Chimayó. Visit Saint Joseph’s staircase at the Loretto Chapel in Sante Fe. Return to Denver.
*Distances are approximate and subject to revision
Approximate Route - Subject to Modification
A Pilgrimage? But, Why?!
During a walking pilgrimage, each step makes us conscious of the direction of our lives, of where we are going. As we walk we see how our lives are like a voyage filled with joy, effort, beauty, suffering, surprises, goals, adventure, love and expectation. But our life is not only “like” a pilgrimage, it is in fact a pilgrimage from birth to death; in this world we are only “strangers and sojourners” (1 Pe. 2:11). “For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.” (1 Tim 6:7) We are all pilgrims, and this life, this passage, is the time we are given to reach the eternal goal.
Pilgrimages have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, perhaps as a counterbalance to modern-day culture. They offer a mindful escape from the frenetic pace of modern life and promise a space for silence and reflection that a standard “vacation” does not typically have. One of these pilgrimages is the “camino” to El Santuario de Chimayó.
El Santuario de Chimayó is a sacred location in Northern New Mexico. People have made pilgrimages to the site for more than 200 years, even since Bernardo Abeyeta, a local resident, miraculously discovered a holy cross in the hillside of the Chimayó Valley. In time, a chapel was built on the area where the cross was found, and the cross was placed in the sanctuary. Today, thousands of people make pilgrimages to the Santuario de Chimayó every year.