Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is a short drive from our Forest Service campground, so it only made sense to check it out. We had a fun day exploring and hiking.

La Junta Canyon Trail We had a gorgeous hike into the Rio Grande gorge to where the Red River flows into the Rio Grande River. It was a quick 1.2 miles down with a thunderstorm downpour and a honkin' 1.2 miles back UP. Absolutely gorgeous views and some great BLM campgrounds are noted for future trips to the area.

Red River (left) meets the Rio Grande (right) and the obligatory selfie.

More to follow — this site has been updated for the last week with an iPhone, which, needless to say, can be quite tedious. We can't wait to get coverage again for our MiFi.

The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is a breathtaking natural wonder in northern New Mexico. It was established in 2013 by President Barack Obama and covers about 242,555 acres (98,159 hectares) in Taos County.

A Spectacular Landscape

The main attraction of the monument is the Rio Grande River, which has carved an 800-foot (244-meter) deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. This creates a stunning sight to behold. The area is also dotted with volcanic cones, including Ute Mountain, which stands as the highest point in the monument.

Rich Biodiversity

The Rio Grande del Norte is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. The river corridor supports a riparian ecosystem, while the surrounding high desert and volcanic features provide habitat for animals like bighorn sheep, black bears, and golden eagles. It's truly a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Cultural Significance

Apart from its natural beauty, the monument also holds great cultural importance. It contains archaeological sites and rock art created by the indigenous Puebloan and Ute peoples, showcasing their rich history and heritage.

Recreational Opportunities

Visitors to the Rio Grande del Norte can partake in numerous outdoor activities:

  • The Wild Rivers Recreation Area at the confluence of the Rio Grande and Red River offers campgrounds, scenic viewpoints, and hiking trails.
  • Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy casting their lines into the river's abundant waters.
  • Adventurers seeking thrills can go rafting along the rushing currents.
  • Wildlife lovers will have plenty of opportunities for spotting various creatures in their natural habitats.

Positive Impact on Local Economy

Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument has become a vital economic force for nearby communities. Since its establishment, it has attracted more visitors and supported local businesses and jobs associated with tourism and outdoor recreation.

The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is truly a remarkable gem that showcases the best of nature and culture. Its preservation ensures that future generations can continue to marvel at its splendor.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

Previous Post Next Post