rio grande del norte
national monument


Rio Grande del Norte MapThe monument includes approximately 310,500 acres of public land, most of which is managed by the  Bureau of Land Management. The landscape is comprised of rugged, wide open plains at an average elevation of 7,000 feet, dotted by volcanic cones, and cut by steep canyons with rivers tucked away in their depths. The Río Grande carves an 800 foot deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. Among the volcanic cones in the Monument, Ute Mountain is the highest, reaching to 10,093 feet. Click here to download map.

Read the presidential proclamation.


The unique setting of the Monument provides a wealth of recreational opportunities. Whitewater rafting, hunting, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking are some of the more outstanding activities that can be enjoyed in the Monument. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area at the confluence of the Río Grande and Red River includes campgrounds, scenic viewpoints, and hiking trails. La Junta Point, at Wild Rivers, provides a dramatic vista of the confluence of the two rivers, and is wheelchair accessible. The Orilla Verde Recreation Area includes campgrounds near the river’s edge, as well as boat launches. The Taos Valley overlook provides stunning views and trails for hiking and mountain biking.

The renowned trout fishing in the Río Grande and its tributaries draws anglers from across the country. Abundant wildlife, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, pronghorn, Rio Grande del Norteand antelope, attract hunters and wildlife watchers. The river also provides habitat for the recently‐reintroduced North American river otter. The area provides habitat for Gunnison’s prairie dog, ringtail, black bear, coyote, red fox, cougars, and bobcats.

The Río Grande Wild and Scenic River, which flows through the breathtaking Río Grande Gorge, provides world‐class whitewater rafting and kayaking opportunities.

Free guided hikes in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument are given by the Bureau of Land Management Taos Field office all through the summer. For more information about the monument visit Bureau of Land Management or Rio Grande del

Print a 32 page guide (PDF file; 2.33 MB) to visiting the national monument, or pick one up when you get to Taos. They are available at Taos Visitor Center and the BLM welcome centers in Pilar and at Wild Rivers Area. The guides were published by MARKETAOS and the Town of Taos.


Mountain Biking & Road Cycling in and around Taos

Get ready to roll on a multitude of trails and road in northern New Mexico. See amazing scenery from atop two wheels.

Water Activities

Whether it’s a paddle or a fishing line you’re looking to spend time with, Taos offers a diverse selection of lakes, river stretches and holes to ride, wade and angle in.

Bike, Hike, Trek, Climb

On two feet, on two wheels, on four feet, however you prefer, there’s a dizzying range of ways and places to make tracks on trails in Taos.

Download, order, or print your visitors guide here.
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