Orilla Verde Recreation Area is nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande, within the steep-walled Rio Grande Gorge. The local terrain is comprised of rugged, wide open mesas and chiseled steep canyons. The elevation along the river is 6,100 feet and rises 800 feet at the gorge rim. The Taos Valley Overlook offers stunning and breathtaking views of the Rio Grande Gorge and Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the mesa top above the river. Gentle waters with occasional small rapids flow through Orilla Verde, providing an ideal setting for many recreational activities. Because of the dramatic changes in elevation and the diversity of plant life, Orilla Verde draws many species of animals, including raptors (such as eagles and hawks), songbirds, waterfowl, beaver, cougar, ringtail, mule deer, and many more. The Rio Grande also has attracted humans since prehistoric times. Evidence of ancient peoples is found throughout the recreation area in the form of petroglyphs on the rocks and many other types of archaeological sites. The climate at Orilla Verde is semi-arid, with summer thunderstorms common in July and August, and snow possible from October through March. Summer temperatures range from 45 to 90 degrees, and winter temperatures range from -15 to 45 degrees.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice easy trail! Just be aware of your footing- big ants and dog poop here and there! Only a few skinny rocky spots to traverse. Good first hike for our vacation from FL!

hiking
11 days ago

Mostly wide, easy dirt road for a trail. There's a short rocky segment near the bottom that is easy enough to navigate. We started from the lower trailhead in the Orilla Verde Recreation area and hiked up to the top and back down. We passed several groups of people heading down who had started from the upper trailhead. We saw several bighorn sheep across the gorge. There are amazing views the entire time. There's no real protection from the summer sun, but would be shaded in the morning. After the hike, we cooled off in the river near the Taos Junction Bridge where there is a small beach, parking, and campground.

hiking
8 months ago

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

hiking
Friday, July 01, 2016