South Fork of the Rio Bonito Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews
#9 of 31 trails in

South Fork of the Rio Bonito Trail is a 11.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Nogal, NM that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.

11.5 miles 3524 feet Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

hiking
5 months ago

My wife and I hiked this trail 6/25/16 it was really nice lots of burnt trees but still pretty with the creek flowing and a couple water falls and beautiful cliffs despite getting rained on and hailed on we really enjoyed it but the trails do need to be cleared off

hiking
5 months ago

I grew up hiking this beautiful trail. I haven't been back once the fire. Not sure I'll ever go back. Prefer to keep my memories as it was. I gave it a 3, used to be 5. Don't know what it is now

hiking
8 months ago

The hike is great for people that hike often because it is not easy. The trail isn't really marked so I used my Gaia GPS app to keep me on the right path. The hike starts 1/2 mile north of the camp site since it is closed. I did the 15 mile loop (Trail 19 to 33) in 8 hours including water/food breaks. I brought 4 liters of water. The first 5-6 miles on Trail 19 are boring hiking along the creek which is really rocky and a ton of fallen trees due to the fire. I don't recommend sneakers because of the rocks and water. Then you reach the open meadow and hike straight up to the top for about a mile. It's a mentally challenging climb but the views are amazing. Then you take Trail 33 along the ridge where the great views continue. Trail 33 then meets up with Trail 19 which you can just follow the creek to where they join. I was on a "trail" for maybe 20% of the time. You kind of get the general idea where to go but you need a GPS device for a handful of turns. I really recommend this hike for the adventurous hiker. Be sure to check the weather and would avoid going on a windy day. There was some snow at the end of March at the top which was helpful to hike on.
http://www.lincoln-nf-trails.org/Trails/Smokey_Bear/SB-Trail-Maps/WMW6c2mn.jpg
http://www.lincoln-nf-trails.org/Trails/Smokey_Bear/SB-Topo-Maps/332210537_Angus_FSTopo.jpg
http://www.ruidoso.net/visitors/outdoors/trailheads/southfork.html

hiking
1 year ago

Not maintained due to the fire a few years ago. Sign on the closed gate warns people of that. Due to that the trail was hard to follow at times. Ran into a few groups of people on the trail.

hiking
4 years ago

One of the finest in the White Mountain Wilderness but it will never be the same in my lifetime after the Little Bear Fire. The area was devastated.

hiking
4 years ago

This area (and a big chunk of the White Mountain Wilderness) burned in the Little Bear fire of 2012. It is currently closed. Not sure when it will reopen.

hiking
4 years ago

This is a beautiful trail with many small falls and pools perfect for cooling off. There were also many open areas for picnics and a few small rock out croppings for the kids to climb. The hike is easy with little altitude climb till you hit the other beaching trails.