South Fork of the Rio Bonito Trail

HARD 11 reviews
#19 of 48 trails in

South Fork of the Rio Bonito Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Nogal, New Mexico that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.4 miles
3,277 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers





Thursday, January 04, 2018

BE PREPARED. The beginning of this trail (19) is moderate but at the start of the climb to get to the second half (33) is very difficult. The trail is virtually impossible to follow with all of the fallen trees from the fire. We were lucky to have one phone with All Trails to keep us on the approximate path. Views at the top of this trail were amazing but can get steep at times and took a long time to get up. Took a lot more effort to climb than anticipated. This trail is very dangerous for people who are not prepared with multiple days worth of food and water. If you roll your ankle or hurt yourself either in a minor or major way, good luck getting help. There is 10% of the trail a helicopter could get to you. It was beautiful, but be over prepared and ready to spend multiple days due to nasty trail conditions.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

My wife and I hiked this trail 6/25/16 it was really nice lots of burnt trees but still pretty with the creek flowing and a couple water falls and beautiful cliffs despite getting rained on and hailed on we really enjoyed it but the trails do need to be cleared off

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I grew up hiking this beautiful trail. I haven't been back once the fire. Not sure I'll ever go back. Prefer to keep my memories as it was. I gave it a 3, used to be 5. Don't know what it is now

Monday, March 28, 2016

The hike is great for people that hike often because it is not easy. The trail isn't really marked so I used my Gaia GPS app to keep me on the right path. The hike starts 1/2 mile north of the camp site since it is closed. I did the 15 mile loop (Trail 19 to 33) in 8 hours including water/food breaks. I brought 4 liters of water. The first 5-6 miles on Trail 19 are boring hiking along the creek which is really rocky and a ton of fallen trees due to the fire. I don't recommend sneakers because of the rocks and water. Then you reach the open meadow and hike straight up to the top for about a mile. It's a mentally challenging climb but the views are amazing. Then you take Trail 33 along the ridge where the great views continue. Trail 33 then meets up with Trail 19 which you can just follow the creek to where they join. I was on a "trail" for maybe 20% of the time. You kind of get the general idea where to go but you need a GPS device for a handful of turns. I really recommend this hike for the adventurous hiker. Be sure to check the weather and would avoid going on a windy day. There was some snow at the end of March at the top which was helpful to hike on.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Not maintained due to the fire a few years ago. Sign on the closed gate warns people of that. Due to that the trail was hard to follow at times. Ran into a few groups of people on the trail.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One of the finest in the White Mountain Wilderness but it will never be the same in my lifetime after the Little Bear Fire. The area was devastated.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This area (and a big chunk of the White Mountain Wilderness) burned in the Little Bear fire of 2012. It is currently closed. Not sure when it will reopen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This is a beautiful trail with many small falls and pools perfect for cooling off. There were also many open areas for picnics and a few small rock out croppings for the kids to climb. The hike is easy with little altitude climb till you hit the other beaching trails.

6 months ago

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wednesday, June 15, 2016