Guided Hikes from the BLM in August
Free things to do and see in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos throughout August 2018
By John Bailey, BLM, Manager of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Although BLM-managed lands remain open to public access and use, we do have some fire restrictions in place – no open fires are allowed anywhere, including developed campgrounds, and smoking is limited to your vehicle or in areas that are clear of vegetation for at least five feet around you.
Learn more about your National Monument in a Visitors Guide to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, published in 2015 by MARKETAOS, in collaboration with Taos BLM. It includes a helpful map of the entire monument area, over 300,000 acres.
When you join us for one of these hikes, please bring a snack, hat, sunscreen, water and sturdy footwear. More information available from Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center (Pilar) 575-751-4899 Taos Field Office 575-758-8851.
Friday, August 3, 6 to 7pm First Friday Lecture
The Rio Grande, Dr. Paul Bauer
Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center, Pilar – Author of the award-winning Rio Grande: A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes of Northern New Mexico, Dr. Bauer will be giving an overview of why the Rio Grande is located where it is, and where it might be going.
Saturday, August 11, 7 pm
Campfire Talk, Wild Rivers Amphitheater ‒ Mark Henderson has been an active volunteer with, and was the chairman of the Old Spanish Trail Association’s Stewardship Committee. He will be showing images to help you read the landscape of the trail, which was in use through this area in the 1830s and 1840s. Along with a description of Native American prehistoric land uses, he will show you how to identify abandoned historic trails such as this.
Sunday, August 12, 9am / 2 hours
La Senda del Medio Trail, Orilla Verde ‒ Led by park ranger Randy Roch, this is an easy to moderate 2. mile roundtrip walk on an escarpment a couple hundred feet above the Rio Grande, and a great trail to experience being in the Gorge. Meet at the trailhead at the north end of Pilar Campground along NM 570, at the southern entrance to the Monument.
Saturday, August 18, 9am / 3 hours
Guadalupe Mountain Trail, Wild Rivers ‒ Find out what a forester knows about the Guadalupe Mountains and the other volcanos in the Monument. Elyssa Duran, forester for the Taos Field Office, will be joined by park ranger Teddy Lucero to explore the woodland and discuss fire’s role in this ecosystem. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. Meet Elyssa and Teddy at the Wild Rivers Visitor Center.
Sunday, August 19, 9am / 2 hours
Petaca Point Trail, Orilla Verde ‒ Meet at the trailhead on NM 567 on the west rim, about 1 mile from Taos Junction Bridge. This is an easy 2 mile round trip hike. Led by park ranger Kim Henkel, this hike takes you to the well-known ‘Kissing Fish’ petroglyph site, which requires moderate agility to fully explore.
Saturday, August 25, 9am / 2 hours
La Vista Verde Trail, Orilla Verde ‒ The Monument’s most popular trail, this easy 3-mile roundtrip hike offers beautiful views of the gorge, some of the more studied petroglyphs in the Monument, and often, sightings of bighorn. Led by park ranger Kim Henkel.
Saturday, August 25, 9am / 3 to 4 hours
Punto de Coyote Loop on Las Vistas de Questa Trail ‒In memory of Aron Rael, born and raised in Questa, and a superlative naturalist and park ranger at Wild Rivers for several years, this moderately difficult hike will end at a bench which now serves as his memorial. Teddy Lucero and Tim Long will lead the hike, and will invite you to help in some annual maintenance of the bench. If you would like to help please bring gloves, and plan on about a four-hour trip. Meet at the Philips 66 station on NM 522 about 3 miles north of the stoplight in Questa. The roundtrip hike alone should take about three hours and cover 3.7 miles. Bring a lunch!
Please bring a snack, hat, sunscreen, water and sturdy footwear
Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center (Pilar) 575-751-4899 Taos Field Office 575-758-8851