Lower Rio en Medio Trail is a 8 mile out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, horses, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length8.0 miElevation gain1,774 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingRunningForestWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeSnow
Description
Waypoints (0)

FIRE CLOSURE: As of April 2021, there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/santafe/recreation Parking is difficult, so come early or know you may have to park farther away from the trail head.

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Reviews (88)
Photos (278)
Activities (29)
Completed (300)
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Alexander Marx
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HikingGreat!MuddyPrivate propertyRockyScramble

Great trail, lots of shade and moisture to go around. Plenty of creek crossings. There is one larger waterfall you can go to and stand under, or alternatively hike up and look down on it. Trail is easy to moderate, except for one bit that goes up the mountain, fairly steep and rocky. What I loved most was that at first you're in the canyon by the river and later on you're climbing out of the canyon following the river. Hike past a few open meadows until trail meets forest service road. Saw lots of cows! Parking was difficult, we paid some nice locals to let us park in their yard, which extended the hike by about a mile. Come early or accept parking farther away from the trail head.

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John Sloan
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Hiking

Great trail, parking was rough. We started at an intersecting trail to avoid being towed. Great hike, great views.

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Angelica Lovato
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Hiking

Awesome trail but parking situation is a nightmare so we had to park far and several tow trucks came to tow

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Inge Rachel
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Hiking

Beautiful hike! You follow the river up the mountain. Plenty of small pools for a cold plunge. Great waterfall.

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Laura Burnham
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Hiking

The ground literally sparkles beneath you. It's an amazing hike and not too exhausting if you go clockwise. Counterclockwise will be a short, but step climb. Don't fret, only the first mile or so is saturated with people, then you have it all to yourself.

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Jan Schmee
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Hiking

Well this is no longer a hidden gem. Arrived around 930am and there was a police officer at the end of the road letting you know it was packed and parking up there was not possible. Arrive early if you want to hit this trail.

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Dietrich Ginocchio
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HikingIcySnow
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Alan Brooks
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Hiking

Can’t believe it take me so long to discover this trail. One of new top favs. Creek runs alongside trail most of the way, lots small waterfalls to complement the big one, and beautiful scenery the whole way. only inconvenience is limited parking at trailhead and it’s popularity ... a MUST DO trail

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Spencer Ballard
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Hiking

Pleasant downhill hike to water slide and back. FR102 is fine for high clearance vehicles.

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Kimberly Wixson
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Hiking

I would recommend this trail. It was very green with lots of shade. There were narrow spots along the trail and we did get turned around due to some standing water in the trail (it rained the night before). There are several streams to cross so waterproof hiking shoes are helpful. It is generally a moderate hike with one section of steep climbing over several turns. It is past the waterfalls. This part was tough but the experienced hikers seemed to do it more easily. Note that parking is tight (fits 5 to 6 cars) and you may need to park off to the side of a one lane road. All Trails was great to have and tracked us pretty closely even without reception. You just have to download the trail map before you get there.

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Grace Oneal
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Amazing trail. You get to experience several different types of nature. Lots of waterfalls and water crossings. Meadows. Shade. Mountains. Had such a great time. I think this trail would be great for bigger dogs. Little ones may have trouble going over the several river crossings.

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Jackie Hall
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Hiking

Hiking this trail on an early Tuesday morning, we had the place to ourselves for at least six of the eight miles we were on the trail. It was such a nice change from our typical high desert hikes with lots of water and wildflowers along the way.

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C Burrup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2019
Hiking

Hidden gem, waterfalls too many to count, several easy creek crossings and wildflowers galore. Don’t miss the beautiful meadow of dandelions just a quarter mile past the top of the big climb. So many waterfalls done could easily pass the one on the left about 2 miles up and really not feel any FOMO. Agree it’s about 9 miles rt.

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Sal Espinosa
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My daughter and I hiked this on 5/30/19. Weather was great, mid 60s the entire hike. Crossed the stream at least 8 time, glad we had our poles. We worked our way over a couple of large downed trees. Hikes up to The intersection of the Borrego trail, about 2 hours. Plenty of shade, a couple of meadows. A pleasant hike. We calculated closer 4.5 miles to the intersection.

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Jeremy Cornelius
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Hiking

Favorite hike I've done in New Mexico thus far.

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Steven Portillo
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Beautiful trail , took my two dogs, we had a blast.

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Paul Elliott
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Hiking

This is a very nice moderate hike along the creek. It is well marked and mostly shaded. The first part of the trail is relatively flat until you get to the falls (to get to it, you need to veer off the trail to the left and walk through the narrows). If you hike up the boulders at this point you will find yourself above the falls and that is where the trail continues on, which is more moderate but with more views of smaller falls along the way. It is now one of my favorites in Santa Fe!

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Shane Sitter
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Great trail, not "easy" though. It goes smooth for the most part but there are areas where you need to work across the stream and go over some loose rocks as well.

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Shaun Horton
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Beautiful hike with lots of birds and some wildflowers. There were multiple recent momma bear and cub sightings but we didn’t see them, went around 11:00 and hiked until about 3:00. The ascent going in is very gradual, and only has some steeper climbs at the very end by the falls. One of my favorites in the Santa Fe area.

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Mike Galaxy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2018
Hiking

This is the best trail in all of Santa Fe. However, please be advised of bears. We hike this trail a lot and it's absolutely amazing jungle like with creek running through it. Today, August 19th, we encountered a very large mamma bear with cubs at about 6pm about quarter mile up trail. There was a sign posted at trail head that also stated someone saw bear and cubs on Aug 14 around 5pm. We usually hike this trail in morning or before noon, so early hikes here might be better.

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

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Dawn Minor
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Hiking

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.

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Robert Sandoval Jr.
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful hike!

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