Rio Grande Gorge

Questa, New Mexico 87556

Rio Grande Gorge

Rio Grande Gorge Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The rugged canyon of the Rio Grande, from the Colorado border south for 48 miles, was protected by Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River. The protected area includes the Red River from its confluence to a point 4.0 miles upstream. In 2013 242,500 acres of the river and surrounding country was designated as Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

From the trailhead on the rim, the Big Arsenic Trail drops steeply down well-built switchbacks into the canyon. The rim is wooded with piñon pine and juniper. As you descend into the canyon, you encounter ponderosa pine on the slopes and along the river. Usually ponderosa pine grows at higher elevations than piñon and juniper, but apparently the canyon walls provide enough extra protection for ponderosa pine to grow.

Dogs are not allowed."

Rio Grande Gorge Trip Reports

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7/29/2008
Tough trail if you take the entire loop. VERY steep ascent back to the rim. Take plenty of water or a way to treat water. I would rate this as strenuous.
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Trail Information

Questa
Nearby City
7
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
3–4 hours
Duration
All year
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Bureau of Land Management, 226 Cruz Alta Rd., Taos, NM 87571; (575) 758-8851; www.blm.gov/publish/content/nm/en/prog/NLCS/RGDN_NM.html
Local Contacts
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument map; Guadalupe Mountain 7.5-minute USGS quad
Local Maps

Trail Log