Explore july 2018 NM - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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The views were spectacular very little shade the sun was brutally hot if you have any issues with Heights this can be a pretty scary trail we only did about .3 miles down sat on the ledge enjoyed the view and then scramble back up again we briefly went back down to sit on that same ledge but since it wasVery hot that day we elected to not go any further still it was worth it to at least come out to this trail it’s about a good 30 minutes be on Questa it’s a very remote road there is a campsite there a water fountain and restrooms which was awesome

hiking
1 month ago

The Big Arsenic Springs trail takes you from the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge down a cliff face via multiple switchbacks which have been created with masonry, mortar and rock, making access through nearly vertical terrain possible. The park service has placed informational placards about certain flora and fauna along the trail which add interest and a chance for a brief break at certain points on the trail. After the steep descent, there is a central section which flattens out a bit before reaching an area of gradual descent to the Rio Grande river itself. At the bottom of the trail a beautiful spring creek's crystal clear water flows between large boulders into the river. I assume the water isn't palatable, given the name Arsenic Spring. There is a bit of poison ivy in this area so be on guard. I agree with another reviewer that the lean to shade pavilions at the bottom of the trail detract from the beauty of the area. The petroglyphs of bighorn sheep on a large boulder about 300 yards north of the Arsenic Spring are definitely worth a quick side trip. I've got to say, the ascent back up to the gorge rim was pretty rough on me, and I had a lot of knee and hip pain over a two week period. There were many stone lips on the vertical part of the trail, built to keep the water from washing out the trail, which meant a high step over them while climbing out. Overall the memory of this hike was great, and the scenery was excellent. I felt that the difficulty was under-rated and that it exceeded a moderate classification, mainly due to the condition of the trail.

First 1.1 miles no shade whatsoever and slight uphill. After that a bit more shAde trail is quite rocky for most of it be sure to wear hiking boots. In parts quite steep . at the overlook you can see very far nice view. We did not encounter a single person on this trail in either direction if you want to avoid crowds

hiking
1 month ago

By noon, direct sunlight got pretty hot with not much shade. My mom in her 60's got a bit winded, but great trail!

Nice gradual uphill climb, with some pretty views periodically. Well marked with not too many people even on a Saturday. Just watch for mountain bike riders on the way down. We just did a 3 mile out and back so was pretty easy.

camping
1 month ago

Great spot camping at the dispersed sites by the river. Beautiful views at the bottom of the canyon and fun time swimming in the river. August 2018.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views going down and up. You pretty much are going down or up, very little flat. The springs and the river are well worth the altitude change. The petroglyphs just past the camping area are very nice as well. 85 degrees, we needed more than the 2 bottles of water we brought.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. In from Ohio and was just the right distance. We did the loop trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike in the gorge, kind of boring topside. But it is really a good one all around otherwise.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s not long and it’s not difficult. And, the manufactured pavilion coverings really detract from the natural beauty. However! The first look out over the canyon is AMAZING!

We have a family house in Taos, and do hikes here every time we go. It’s great by itself, I only give it 3 stars because I know what the larger Sangre De Cristos hold just 45 minutes away. Don’t let that deter you from this hike though. Good little starter. Don’t go too late in the day during rainy season though...one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

I hiked this trail earlier today. Rain was forecasted for the afternoon, so I decided to go as far up as I could and hoping to make it to the 4-mile mark before turning around. That is what I did. Rain did come with two miles left to go, but it wasn't a bad storm. The cool winds refreshed my dogs and me. The trail is well-marked at all intersections, and mile markers are posted for every mile.

This is part of a longer trail. Once you reach the 3-mile marker, the grade eases. By the 4-mile marker, you are on a ridge and it's easy sailing then, among the aspen and Ponderosa pine. The trail also narrows here to a single track. There were no stream crossings anywhere.

Trail head parking is to three trails and the parking lot can fill up fast. Get here early!

Trails are open again!

I got into town as the clouds were ready to burst. I waited out the storm but took off two hours before sunset. The loop took me 2:20 hours. I did it clockwise. Great vistas all around. The rock slab chairs have been restored at the peak. My dogs were able to drink water from a few shallow pools in the rocks along the way. The trailhead parking lot was still crowded when I returned to my truck.

Beautiful trail, shady in the morning - the river is gorgeous at the bottom. It is a pull coming out of the canyon but worth it.

Picked up the El Nogal trailhead just outside Taos. This trail extends about 20 miles, and has other connectors. You can do a loop by combining the 166 trail. It can be picked up from 164 at mile number 1 at the bottom or at mile 3.5 at a higher level. If you complete the loop is about 10.3 miles total. This trail has about 2000 ft of elevation gain to get to the 166 connector at the top. It’s a steady up. A few great viewing points along the way. Enjoy!

This trail can be a bit of a grind. If you go clean clockwise it’s about 5 miles to your first view of the gorge. If you are looking for a little shorter, go counterclockwise and you can enjoy the gorge views after about 3 miles or so. You need a bunch of water if the suns out.

This was a great trail and hike for our family of 5! Even our 3 year old was able to complete part of Big Arsenic and all of Little Arsenic Trail! Weather was great at 71 F and the gorge was an amazing sight! Recommend this trail to all!

Nice trail. Well maintained and marked. They removed the “thrones” at the peak which was sad.

pretty new mexico views in the valley and it takes you down to the rim of Rio Grande Gorge. Flat most of the way. It says a little over 10 miles, but there are actually trails around the area that you can connect to that probably can cut it down to 8 miles if you plan it. A great place to mountain bike. I was jealous of everyone with a bike

Perfect little workout. About three hours if you stop a little. Take water.

This is one of my favorite hikes in Taos. It is a wonderful morning hike, challenging but reasonable. It offers scenic views, diverse terrain including beautiful alpine woods at higher elevations and open panoramic sagebrush and cactus in lower areas. There are gorgeous flowers and plants in abundance.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike - fun, little challenge for our 6 yr old.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved it! Took us about 3 hours to do the loop! We stopped to enjoy the scenery and there is a nice, relaxing surprise at the top. The trail seems frequented by mostly locals-all very friendly!

hiking
5 months ago

A wonderful taste of this area at this elevation. Beautiful trail with many overlooks.

hiking
6 months ago

Super easy stroll through shrubby land, direct to the canyon valley, with snow-capped mountains as walk-by background. Wonderful payoff for such a lowkey stretch-your-limbs kinda mosey!

trail running
7 months ago

Awesome winter trail. Great views and a smooth mellow run.

trail running
7 months ago

This Trail is great for hiking, and the views are amazing. But I would not consider it a good trail for running on. There was too much large loose rock, ice, and many many switchbacks to make it comfortable for running. I was able to maintain a light jog through most of it.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful views. Took us about 4 hours with random rest stops.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail! Really sunny day and only had snow in the shade. Dogs also love it!

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