Submitted August 30 by John Bailey, manager of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Here are the last free hikes of the 2015 season and a spectacular art event on September 12. These BLM hikes are led by experts in the field of archeology, geology, or biology. To prepare for your adventure, read the recently-produced guide, “Rio Grande del Norte National Monument: A Guide to Over 300,000 Acres of Natural Wonders in Taos, New Mexico.”
Janet Webb, BeyondTaos editor
September and October 2015 guided hike schedule:
Saturday, September 5 – 9 am 2 hours
LITTLE ARSENIC SPRING TRAIL, Wild Rivers – Meet at Little Arsenic Springs trailhead for a moderate 2 mile round trip to the beach at the bottom. Learn about the effects of water and temperature on the plants and wildlife in the Monument with park intern Erin Freiboth.
Sunday, September 6 – 9 am 1 hour
PETACA POINT TRAIL, Orilla Verde – Meet at the trailhead on NM 567, near the intersection with the West Rim Road. An easy 2½ mile round trip hike with ranger Randy Roch will provide some panoramic views of the Lower Gorge and insight into the Native American use of this landscape.
Saturday, September 12 – 9 am 2 hours
PICURIS TRAIL/SLIDE TRAIL CONNECTOR, Orilla Verde – Meet at the Picuris trailhead just south of the Taos Junction Bridge on NM 570 for this moderate 2 mile roundtrip hike. Led by park ranger Barry Weinstock, who’ll talk about local history and the geological story behind the impressive scenery of the Rio Grande and Rio Pueblo gorges.
Saturday, September 12 – 3:30 pm – 9 pm
NEORIO 2015: Luz es Vida – Light is Life, Wild Rivers, Montoso Campground
NeoRio is an annual outdoor contemporary art event, designed to explore the Monument through new works about local, natural world themes by innovative artists.
3:30 pm to Sunset, “Camera Obscura” Art Installation
5:00 pm, Luz es Vida Local Feast by Kathy Morsell
6:00 pm, Artist Talk by NeoRio Featured Artist, Ethan Jackson
7 – 9:00 pm “Anamorphic Video” Art Installation + Music + Campfire
Details about event + bus from Taos: www.leapsite.org
Saturday, September 19 – 8 am 2 hours
COFFEE WITH THE RANGER, LAS VISTAS DE QUESTA TRAIL, Guadalupe Mountains – Meet at the trailhead off of Don Martinez Road (turnoff is signed on NM 522), to learn and enjoy the art of cowboy coffee , ask questions, and take an easy to moderate hike to the Punto de Coyote Overlook. Coffee will be served from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.
Sunday, September 20 – 9 am 2 hours
LA VISTA VERDE TRAIL, Orilla Verde – Meet at the trailhead on NM 567, about ½ mile west of Taos Junction Bridge for this easy 2½ mile round trip hike with ranger Randy Roch. You’ll see impressive views from within the gorge and a compelling series of petroglyphs which have been the focus of recent research that we will share with you.
Saturday, September 26 – 9am 4 hours
PIÑON PICKING FIESTA, Wild Rivers
Meet at the Visitor Center at 9 for coffee and rolls, and learn some ‘tricks of the trade’ from local Questa residents on how to harvest piñon. After you’ve gone off to collect your fill of piñon nuts, join us at noon at the visitor center for lunch (we’ll provide the main dish of chicken and chili —bring a side dish or appetizer if you wish) along with storytelling and local music. Bring a can or small bucket and knee pads or a cushion for collecting. Please, no dogs at this event.
Sunday, September 27 – 9 am 2hours
LA SENDA DEL MEDIO TRAIL, Orilla Verde – Meet at the trailhead in Pilar campground on NM 570 for this easy 2 mile roundtrip hike with park ranger Robert Fernandez. The trail wanders along a shelf one or two hundred feet above the river, giving a good appreciation for the geological features of the lower gorge.
Saturday, October 3 – 9 am 4 hours
NATIONAL PUBLIC LAND DAY – Eagle Rock Lake, NM 38
Restoration work by the Forest Service has improved trout habitat on the Red River on Forest Service and National Monument lands near Questa. The lake (on NM 38) is adjacent to a section of this, and has also been re-made as part of the Chevron Mine cleanup. A celebration from 9am-1pm will include a chance for families to put their mark on the new Angler park by helping to plant trees, and finish the final laying of trails. Food, fun, music, and environmental education in a beautiful new park.
Please bring water, a snack, hat, sunscreen and sturdy footwear!
www.blm.gov/nm/riograndedelnorte Visitor Centers (Pilar) 575-751-4899 (Wild Rivers) 575-586-1150