Rift Valley Loop Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.3 miles Elevation Gain: 879 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

walking

running

views

wildlife

muddy

snow

A 10.5 mile loop trail located in Ranchos De Taos, New Mexico (just south of Taos). Rift Valley Trail is a year-round 10.5 mile loop trail located in Ranchos De Taos, New Mexico, between Highway 68 and the east rim of the Rio Grande Gorge. The trail provides spectacular views of the gorge, and big horn sheep are commonly seen in the area. A network of intersecting shorter trails (Traders, Gijosa, Klauer, Sediment, Escarpment) provide additional exploring and the option to adjust the loop distance. Although mostly used for mountain biking, Rift Valley Trail is also excellent for hiking and horseback riding. Look for the "lollipop tree" and the "Friends Of Rift Trail" bench!

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail, beautiful scenery.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Love this trail. Go out, enjoy the views, pump your heart full.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
4 months ago

snowy and icy. better in summer

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

too muddy, turned around

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

Walked this very exposed trail, with 360 views most of the time, and several lookouts over the canyon and river. Saw at least two bighorn sheep males up close! Most people seemed to prefer biking the loop.

mountain biking
7 months ago

Super fun ride! Watch out for the small embankments when you’re carrying speed or you may end up eating a sagebrush like I did LOL. ✌

mountain biking
7 months ago

Fast and fun!!!!

running
9 months ago

Jogged the loop this morning. Look a wrong turn and added 2 miles to my run. Wrong turn possibly due to downed directional sign, or maybe just me enjoying the amazing view and missing the sign. Trail was dry, but not dusty. Some of the inclined sections are single tracked due to mountain bike traffic. Makes running a little difficult in the rut, but overall a fantastic trail with outrageously amazing views of the Rift Valley. Encountered one mountain biker and two hikers. I live at sea level so the elevation definitely made the run a challenge

hiking
10 months ago

Started early in the morning and saw very few people. We went to the right at the start and got to the gorge about half way through the trail. Fantastic views and you can see for miles. Easy walk, mostly exposed so do this early when it is cool. Great walk!

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

I used this trail for running and absolutely enjoyed it for that purpose. Even saw saw horse back riders. The trail is very well maintained, mostly flat and very beautiful scenery. Will definitely be using this for more running in the future.

mountain biking
Mon May 27 2019

Perfect conditions. Fast single track!

mountain biking
Thu May 23 2019

Great conditions. Fast.

hiking
Sun Feb 17 2019

Expect a lot of mud, snow, and ice on the trail. Took probably two hours more than what it usually would’ve taken us. Go counterclockwise. Beautiful views of the gorge and the mountains.

hiking
Sun Feb 17 2019

Easy access to the trailhead right off the highway. Go counterclockwise. Beautiful views of the gorge! Gave the hike 3 stars because the mud was horrific. It took us about 2 hours more because of sinking in and sliding around.

hiking
no shade
snow
Mon Feb 11 2019

Beautiful 360° mountain views for most of the trail. The lookout into the gorge is great. Fun to do in the snow. No shade.

hiking
Sat Sep 29 2018

Beautiful day for hiking.

Sat Jun 02 2018

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.

Sat May 19 2018

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

running
Sun Feb 18 2018

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

mountain biking
Sat Dec 09 2017

Great place to mountain bike, highly recommend sunscreen. Ran into a Lynx, near the Rio Grande river area. Did not take the full route, route I took was about one hour.

hiking
Mon Oct 23 2017

Great hike but recommend not to hike the whole thing if your a beginner! It's a long trail!

walking
Mon May 22 2017

Can get challenging past the 8-9 mile mark averaging 3-4 mph.....

hiking
Tue Apr 11 2017

Awesome for trail running, for dogs, and to check out the gorge. Easy downhill down and uphill back.

mountain biking
Wed Mar 22 2017

Fun and flowy. Great open space for dogs.

Sun Mar 05 2017

spectacular views from the rim of the canyon. easy hike that really shows off the beauty of northern NM.

hiking
Wed Feb 22 2017

Walked about halfway to the gorge from the trailhead on Trader's trail. I think this would be fun on a MTB. It was a nice, leisurely stroll and not challenging at all. The views are nice. If we'd had more time we would have gone all the way down to the river--I estimate that would be 1 hr in and 1 hr out.

hiking
Tue Feb 21 2017

Nice easy trail for a walk just south of Taos. Beautiful views of Taos Mountain.

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