Explore the best mountain biking trails in New Mexico with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Loved this hike! Though I'd rate it moderate, not easy. We did a 7.0 mi loop version with 1300 ft of climbing. Beautiful mix of high desert and river views. Educational trail markers on the Big Arsenic section with facts about local plant life.
From Big Arsenic Campground take the Big Arsenic Trail switchbacks down 0.6 mi to the river. If you want to take go to Big Arsenic Springs, then go upstream and back for an extra 0.8 mi. Continue 1.2 mi downstream to Little Arsenic Springs Campground then another 1.3 mi to La Junta, the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande. Come back 0.4 mi and work your way up the La Junta Trail out of the valley on a steep 800 ft climb over 0.8 mi to the rim.
You'll pop out at Montoso Campground and you can take the Rinconada Loop Trail through the Little Arsenic Campground until you return to the Big Arsenic Campground.