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“A little known treasure.”

Wild Rivers Recreation Area
Ranked #15 of 100 things to do in Taos
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 26, 2013

You can camp right on the very rim of the Rio Grande Gorge so be cautious about wandering around in the dark. Lovely views with nice campsites. Vault toilets only and no utilities but fun.

Thank FrednLinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 - 133 of 144 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2013

I just returned from a hiking vacation in New Mexico. I was anxious to hike in the new National Monument, the Rio Grande Del Norte. It included the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. I first went into the Wild Rivers visitor center and was met by a very enthusiastic ranger who gushed about how pleased everyone was that President Obama had elevated the area to National Monument status so that much more wilderness was protected and the protections were more stringent. He said they were hoping next for National Park status. He gave me a map and suggested some trails. I chose the Big Arsenic Springs Trail which switch-backed all the way from the top of the canyon down to the river where there were campsites. It had lots of signs along the way describing the vegetation as this was an interpretive trail. It is one mile to the bottom but not too strenuous. Great views all the way down and then you are rewarded with a nice place to have lunch or a snack along the river. There is also a visitor center at the south end near the Orilla Verde Recreation Area. The only fee is the $3 per vehicle day use fee unless you have a Senior or Golden Eagle Pass. Then it is free.

4  Thank ginaceee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

My husband and I stumbled upon the Wild Rivers Recreation area northwest of Taos, which has just been given National Monument status, and decided to camp there "just for a night." We ended up staying 6 nights in the area, because it was just so phenomenal and peaceful. It is on National Forest Service land, overlooking the confluence of the Rio Grande and Red Rivers. The campgrounds were very clean and the sites were private and many with wonderful views of the canyon sunsets. In addition to numerous well-groomed hiking trails down the canyon, there are wonderful flat walking paths throughout the park, which would be really great places to bicycle. It is a 6 mile circumference around the park, weaving through the desert plateau, cattle grazing lands, the 5 or 6 small campgrounds in the area, and the lovely little Visitor's Center. We took a few hours one afternoon and walked the whole thing. The trails were very well marked and well groomed. There area no motorized vehicles allowed on the paths, which is nice, making it a really pleasant and safe place to ride or walk. The campgrounds are small and without hookups, but there is common water and very clean vault toilets. The fees were really cheap - I think $7 to camp. Each campsite had a fire ring for cooking and campfires, as well as a cement patio with awning and picnic table. We had a lovely view of the canyon right from our campsite. The skies were clear and we were able to see a meteor shower for 2 nights while we were there. Just an unexpectedly lovely campground. I believe one of the campgrounds has a site with full RV hook-up, which can be reserved in advance for around $15, if you need a hookup. We have a small self-contained truck camper and saw a combination of small RVs and tent campers throughout the park. It took us approximately an hour to drive there from Taos. A great place to stock up on supplies is the Questa market in the town of Questa, which is about 20 or 30 minutes outside the park. A nice little grocery with a natural foods aisle as well - gluten free pasta! Who knew we could find it there?! If you prefer boondocking to formal campgrounds, another lovely place is the Cebolla Mesa, which is adjacent to the park. The roads are rough, but there are also some campsites, a vault toilet, and it is extremely remote and quiet. Same great views of the canyon, minus the well-groomed bike path. Both are great places to camp. Have fun!

8  Thank Toots22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway is a 13 mile closed-loop road providing access to BLM's Wild Rivers Recreation Area within the Río Grande National Monument. Just driving the loop is gorgeous, but there are numerous places to stop and enjoy the view, have a picnic, or take a hike. There are hikes for all levels, and we chose La Junta. It was an exciting, challenging climb down into the canyon and then back up! But it was so peaceful and beautiful to be at the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River.

4  Thank MicheleFrisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We've been to New Mexico several times but had never visited Wild Rivers. Now that it's a national park, we decided to go. We weren't disappointed. The views are amazing. Gorgeous and jaw-dropping. We saw eagles and red-tailed hawks soaring overhead almost constantly. The trails here are well-marked and fairly rated. And the gift shop/information station is lovely -- the rangers are friendly, knowledgable and seem to really love their jobs. You won't regret even a short visit to this amazing place!

2  Thank Malea-n-Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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