Friday, August 4, 2017

Rio Grande del Norte NM

We were very impressed on our first visit to this national monument two years ago and knew we would be back.  Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico was established in 2013.  The 242,455 acre monument includes two BLM recreation areas, and sections of the Rio Grande and the Red River, each of which are designated as a Wild and Scenic River.  

There are several campgrounds along the rim of the mesa between the two rivers, each with just a few really nice sites.  One day we hiked from our campground to the point of the mesa which overlooks the confluence of the two rivers.

Although it's hard to see even with a zoomed view, the Red River comes in on the lower left to join the Rio Grande on the right.

There are four different trails down to the river including one at this point which drops 800 feet.  Ron and I don't like hikes that end with a big uphill climb, especially at 7500 feet, so we didn't go down very far.

However, after staying a couple of days, we talked ourselves into hiking down to the Rio Grande.  Don’t be too impressed, though.  We went to a part of the mesa that isn’t as high above the river.
Here’s the sign at the trailhead.  As you can see, although steep, it’s a pretty short hike.  I was more worried about those snakes.

My pictures are terrible because it was cloudy, but I’ll post a few anyway.

Getting close.

At the bottom, the trail was not even passable, in my opinion.  After all, they did mention snakes on the sign.  Ron continued on without me and said he only saw one.

No pictures can do justice to this beautiful national monument.  We recommend it highly.


  1. I'm beginning to realize you have an aversion to easy hikes! :cD

  2. We were there before it became a national monument. It's an impressive area. We didn't see a single snake but it was apparently mating season for tarantulas and they were walking all over the roads.

  3. I'm with your on steep returns, is def a deal breaker! Sure looks like an awesome park to stay in. Only one snake....hmmmm. LoL.

  4. How do you find the monument? What town is near?

  5. If I have my druthers, I prefer going up first too. I agree the end of the trail looks impassible to me ... especially if there are snakes in the area.