J Term


About SMU-in-Taos

For the first time ever, SMU-in-Taos is excited to offer several J Term courses, including Wellness/PRW II Mountain Sports with skiing and snowboard instruction at the famous Taos Ski Valley!

Since 1973, SMU-in-Taos at Fort Burgwin has been an educational center of Southern Methodist University. Our beautiful setting in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains — surrounded by the Carson National Forest — provides a unique backdrop for the enrichment of body, mind and spirit. The campus is located approximately eight miles south of Taos on New Mexico Highway 518.

Fort Burgwin supports a unique environment for learning. Though isolated in the ruggedly beautiful terrain of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the fort facilities accommodate a wide range of educational and recreational pursuits. Located at an elevation of 7,400 feet within the Carson National Forest, Fort Burgwin lies near the juncture of two streams and is home to more than six different life zones supporting varied populations of plants and animals.

Our program is designed to provide SMU students with an amazing living and learning experience in the beautiful state of New Mexico. You will take classes with some of SMU's most accomplished faculty members and be cared for by a wonderful SMU-in-Taos staff.

Getting to Taos

The physical address is:
Fort Burgwin
6580 Highway 518
Ranchos de Taos, NM. 87557

By Air (Note: Please do not purchase your airline ticket to NM until you have received a confirming email after Thanksgiving that your J Term application has been accepted and you have course permission to officially enrolled through Access.SMU)

Several airlines have non-stop daily flights from Dallas to Albuquerque. If you are flying from anywhere other than Dallas, you will also need to fly into Albuquerque or Santa Fe (American Airline service to Santa Fe is limited) as they are the closest airports.

There are shuttle services providing transportation from both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque airports.  The Cottam Walker Shuttle/Taxi Service provides one-way and round-trip service from both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque airports directly to the SMU-in-Taos campus. 

Cottam Walker Shuttle/Taxi Service can be reached by calling Charley Rael at 575-770-8759 or by email at charleyrael_cwf@live.com.  Twin Heart Express (800-654-9456) also provides one-way and round-trip service between the Albuquerque airport and the SMU-in-Taos campus.

We suggest that you verify the shuttle service before making your airline reservations as the shuttle has limited pick-up times at Albuquerque and flight plans should be arranged to coincide with shuttle pick-up times. Keep in mind that the trip from Albuquerque to Taos is approximately three (3) hours; travel time from Santa Fe to Taos is approximately 1 hour.

By Road

From Taos

From the Taos Plaza, travel south on Paseo del Pueblo Sur, toward Ranchos de Taos. After traveling through town, turn left onto New Mexico Highway 518 (at the Ranchos Trading Post). Drive through Talpa and enterthe Carson National Forest.

Fort Burgwin is located south of the Pot Creek Residence area, after Mile Marker 67, roughly eight miles from the 518 turnoff. The fort entrance is on the RIGHT and is marked with low adobe walls. Use caution if arriving at Fort Burgwin after sunset, as it is difficult to see the signage after nightfall.

The fort compound is on the right as you enter campus; a circular drive curves around the historic area of campus, including the restored Fort, Commander's Quarters, Officer's Quarters, and the Archaeology Lab (formerly the Hospital and Surgeon'sQuarters). Informational brochures can be obtained at the main entrance to the Fort.

Please observe and use the designated parking areas. Inquiries should be directed to the Fort Office. Visitors are asked to check-in at the Fort office prior to touring the campus.

If needed, you can download and print a campus map [PDF]

From Dallas

Fort Burgwin is approximately 700 miles from Dallas. To get there, follow the directions given below.
Pay particular attention to the speed limits in the towns between Amarillo and the New Mexico border.

Starting at SMU, travel north on Central Expressway (US 75), toward Sherman. Exit onto Westbound LBJ Freeway (I-635), toward DFW Airport. Just north of the airport entrance, I-635 will end, merging you onto Highway 121. Immediately exit right (Northwest), onto Highway 114. Stay on 114 until it intersects with US 81/287. Exit North onto 287, toward Decatur/Wichita Falls. Stay on US 287 through Wichita Falls, and head toward Amarillo. US 287 will end east of Amarillo, where it will intersect I-40. Take I-40 West through Amarillo into New Mexico.

In Tucumcari, exit North onto Highway 104 toward Las Vegas, NM. (Note: There are no gasoline stations between Tucumcari and Las Vegas on this route.) As you near Las Vegas, NM 104 becomes NM 65. Stay on NM 65 as it crosses I-25, Commerce Street, and Grand. Turn Right (North) onto 7th Street. 7th will turn into highway NM 518 outside the Las Vegas city limits.

Head North on NM 518 toward Mora. Pass through Mora, Angostura, Tres Ritos and Sipapu. Just past the intersection of NM 518 and NM 75 is US Hill. Fort Burgwin is over the hill, just past Mile Marker 66. The fort entrance is on the LEFT, marked with low adobe walls. Use caution if arriving at Fort Burgwin after sunset, as it is difficult to see the signage after dark.
there are TWO gates. Arriving from the south, the first gate will be closed. Proceed to the second (main) entrance on the north side of campus.

The fort office building will be on the right as you enter campus. If you are visiting, please notify the fort office before touring campus. If you are a student arriving for check-in, proceed to the Dining Hall. To get to the Dining Hall from the campus entrance: At the fork in the gravel road, veer left. Continue on the gravel road, crossing a small wooden bridge, and proceeding up a short hill. Near the top of the hill, take the second right. The large adobe structure to the right is the Dining Hall, where check-in is held.

Should you have car trouble or need additional assistance, call either the Fort Office, 575-758-8322 or the Dining Hall, 575-758-7180.

One additional note: if using an Internet mapping program, Fort Burgwin's physical address does not register as a valid destination. Pot Creek or Talpa will most likely return valid directions. Keep in mind, however, that both are further North on NM 518 than Fort Burgwin.

Driving directions are also available for download. [PDF]