Lower Rio en Medio Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#7 of 70 trails in

Lower Rio en Medio Trail is a 7.8 mile out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.8 miles
2,030 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running



wild flowers



1 month ago

We drove all the way here today and it is closed and has been since June 1st very disappointing

9 months ago

This is a gorgeous trail! However, as many others have said, I don't think it is for beginners. I would say intermediate, due to the steep inclines and having to cross several streams over slippery rocks. My husband and I were fine, but I would imagine an older couple might have trouble.

10 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike!

11 months ago

This hike was very beautiful and scenic! It was an easy hike with little challenging parts here and there, but nothing too hard.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beautiful scenery. Wonderful weather for the end of July. Trails were not clearly marked. As a beginner I would not rate this as an easy trail, especially if you want to go to the end of the trail and see the falls.

Watch out for the dogs! Very few people heed the dogs on leash rule. And of course those that don't are very fanatic about it. So if you have a dog phobia stay clear.

Previous comments about limited parking are very accurate. If you take something bigger than a medium size vehicle plan to wrestle with a parking spot. There is no parking lot; parking is roadside, and it's a one-lane road.

Monday, July 10, 2017

If you are looking for a fun, beautiful trail to spend the day with your kids or dogs this one is perfect.
I am currently training my smallest pup to learn the in and outs of hiking and she did great. I also took my little brother (13) and he really enjoyed it.
The first part of the trail you are basically going through peoples backyards so make sure you keep your dogs on a leash the first 1/3 of the hike. This not only keeps them from running after animals but also keeps them safe since there is barb wire on the first part of the trail.
The rest of the trail is pretty easy and the views are amazing. In some parts it is so green that it feels as if you were in the middle of the jungle. The fall is great! Make sure you take some snacks to enjoy the views while you hear the water falling.
****some tips****
-Parking is extremely limited. If you are going with several friends please carpool if possible
-Try to go early in the morning so that you find parking space
-Respect the leash policy at least for the first 1/3 of the hike

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kids loved it! Beautiful views of several small falls. Plan on getting your feet wet

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Love love love!! Any amazing hike!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Loved it, great views, a running stream, beautiful wild flowers, several waterfalls, lush meadows!!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

snow all the way up. warm sun all the way down. Great waterfalls!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Very cool trail. First leg is pretty easy but increases in difficulty as you go deeper. Looked as though this trail connected with several other trail systems. Several water crossings add to the difficulty, but definitely a fun day hike.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Beautiful trail... about 2 miles in to the first waterfall several more follow then a moderately challenging climb to a pretty view about 3-3.5 miles in.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Great hike, get there early as parking is limited.

mountain biking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Went for a bike ride here. It was beautiful however I probably wouldn't recommend it for biking. The trail wasn't kept up, very difficult incline, and a moderatly difficult decent. There is no way to get bikes to the waterfall however we still went up and it was worth the climb. Definitley would recommend only hiking this.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful hike once you get past the barbed wire private land. Waterfall is a great payoff.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

can tell would be a beautiful hike...start out along creek and trail covered with pine needles and oak leaves....and ice today. made it in about 3/4 mile and turned back...really need skins/traction for your boots...very slippery. we took a side route up a slot draw....werent sure where would take us, figured would dead end. ended up scrambling all the way to top of mountain over granite, shale and rose quartz about a mile straight up. ended up being a great 3 hour total hike!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Slightly challenging but very rewarding. Here's a post that details the entire hike.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Can you camp on this trail?

Monday, September 05, 2016

Great scenic hike and falls. Very little parking though.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Limited parking. Great trail, including a small field of wild roses!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The day after monsoons dropped their life giving waters into this canyon that was glad to shape them into many different cascades, I briskly threw one foot after the other until reaching a spot beyond the well worn. Removing my stained garb and old raggedy boots I placed my steps into the water surprisingly cool but refreshing. Hiking back with soothed ankles was a blessing from nature. Climbing back into my home thoughts of renewal in the purity of the experience flooded my soul.

Monday, August 22, 2016

One of my all-time favorite hikes. Easy with a couple of challenging spots, shaded in the morning and follows a beautiful stream (what we in NM would call a river) and then ends with a gorgeous water fall and pond, perfect to cool off after the hike.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 stars-not 4!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My daughter and I hiked 5.1 miles in and then back out. Felt it was THE most beautiful trail ever! The trail braids its way up on either side of the river so beautifully acvomplished by 9 stream crossings, all doable (just fell in once)! Do go further than the first waterfall since the waterfalls up higher are even more lovely. Really like the one that looks like a 4 story waterslide with dark green moss framing either side. Wild flowers abound! We were basically alone on the trail, making it serene and beautifully quiet. The trail is not well marked as to distance and we felt uncertain about making the entire loop since distances were not posted and we estimated might be longer than 8 miles. We turned around where the trail forks to either continue Rio en medio or Borrego trail.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My wife and I did the hike with a 1, 3, and 5 year old (the day after completing tent rocks slot canyon trail); we nearly made it to the waterfall section (about 2.5 miles in) when a massive thunderstorm came over the ridge and the kids started complaining that they were too tired; the kids absolutely loved the creek crossings and scenery. Parking is very limited, we waited about 15 minutes for someone to return from the hike to get a parking spot. I'd love to come back and complete the entire trail. The only thing I didn't care for was the .5 mile of barbed wire hugging the beginning of the trail.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Nice trail for a warm afternoon hike. Mostly shaded and the stream was nice and cool. The waterfall section is the highlight of the trip.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One of my favorite day hikes. Various options for distance but approximately 2.5 miles in is a spectacular waterfall with a pool below the is great for kids, dogs or just cooling off. Only moderately strenuous. Hike above the falls provides additional great scenery.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Great! Plenty of shade for our dogs. The stream was nice and relaxing.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

This is one of the most beautiful places! Hiked on May 27, 2016. The weather was a bit on the cool side (in the 60's) and we got rained on but it was a nice treat. We met up with a man who lived nearby and he said there had been a bear sighted by several different people. The river runs along the trail the entire way and the waterfall at the end is amazing! We heard there is 5 more waterfalls past the first one. Be prepared to get your feet a little wet. There was four of us and I was the only one who came back dry. This is a moderate hike and it took us about 3.5 hours both ways with many stops along the way to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

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