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Taos BLM’s October Offerings

2018’s last free hikes in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are announced by BLM

John Bailey speaks at an art event in Wild Rivers Area.

By John Bailey – September 28, 2018
BLM Manager of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

This will be the last monthly event calendar this year – I hope you have had a chance to enjoy some of our offerings! For October, we are starting off with a rather special celebration on October 2, which is the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers and the National Trails Acts. It will also be the day that Governor Susana Martinez will dedicate the new Rio Grande Trail, which now includes nearly 55 miles of trail in the Monument.

I’m hoping that we can schedule an occasional hike or lecture during the winter months, in which case I will send out a special email. Thank you for your continued interest in the Rio Grande del Norte.


Tuesday, October 2 – 11 am, 1 hour
Rio Grande Trail Dedication at Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Rest Area
Be a part of history as Governor Susana Martinez, Secretary Rebecca Latham, and representatives from the Rio Grande Trail Commission and U.S. Department of the Interior cut the ribbon for a segment of the new Rio Grande Trail. This historic event and news conference coincides with the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Local musicians and a locally baked cake will add to the festivities.

Friday, October 5 – 6 to 7 pm
First Friday Lectures: The Old Spanish Trail, Mark Henderson
Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center, Pilar
This lecture is part of our celebration of the National Trails Act’s 50th anniversary. Archaeologist Mark Henderson will provide an overview of the Trail’s history, and its impact on what is now northern New Mexico.

Petaca Point in Orilla Verde by Del Dubois

Saturday, October 6 – 9 am, 2 hours
Petaca Point Trail hike, Orilla Verde
Meet at the trailhead on NM 567 on the west rim, about 1 ¾miles from Taos Junction Bridge. This is an easy 2 ½mile round trip hike. Led by park ranger Barry Weinstock, this hike takes you to the well-known ‘Kissing Fish’ petroglyph site, which requires moderate agility to fully explore.

Saturday, October 13 – 9 am, 3 hours
Big Arsenic Trail hike, Wild Rivers
Guided hike beginning at the Big Arsenic Trailhead with park ranger Tim Long. He’ll provide an overview of the geology, and natural and cultural history of this unique area, including a stop at some petroglyphs located near the Rio Grande. This hike is moderately difficult.

Saturday, October 13 – 9 am, 2 hours
La Vista Verde Trail hike, Orilla Verde
The Monument’s most popular trail, this easy 3-mile round-trip 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 Barry Weinstock. Meet at the trailhead ½ mile east of Taos Junction Bridge on State Road 567.

Saturday, October 20 – 9 am, 2 hours
Las Minas Trail hike, Pilar
Meet at the Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center in Pilar for this moderately difficult hike that will explore an old mica mining operation. Led by park ranger Kim Henkel, this hike will provide some great views of the Rio Grande Gorge and village of Pilar.

Sunday, October 28 – 9 am, 2 hours
The Slide Trail hike, Taos Valley Overlook
Meet park ranger Kim Henkel at the Slide Trailhead at the end of County Road C-110 for this relatively easy descent into the Gorge on the now-closed part of NM 570. Once at the bottom, Kim will give an overview of the history of the bridges that have been here, and some of the activities that have left their mark on the landscape over the last several centuries. The hike is 3 miles round-trip.

Please bring a snack, hat, sunscreen, water and sturdy footwear.
Visitor Centers: Rio Grande Gorge, Pilar 575-751-4899 | Wild Rivers, Cerro 575-586-1150


Download 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. Or purchase a copy for $2 at Taos Visitor Center or Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center in Pilar.

Find outfitters to help with your Rio Grande adventures on BeyondTaos:
Big River Raft Trips
Cottam’s Rio Grande Rafting
Far Flung Adventures
Los Rios River Runners
New Mexico River Adventures
Rio Grande Stables
Wild Earth Llama Adventures

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