• Rio Grande del Norte National Monument


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  • Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

    Established on March 25, 2013 by Presidential Proclamation

    The 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. 

    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, and 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, 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 Norte.org