Rio Grande Gorge – Taos, New Mexico

Enjoy a Variety of Recreational Activities at the Rio Grande Gorge
The Rio Grande Gorge is a spectacular attraction to visit in northern New Mexico. Visitors can explore and enjoy the vast canyon in a variety of ways. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and hot air ballooning are some of the activities available at the Rio Grande Gorge. The Gorge is also an excellent place to relax and enjoy a picnic, view wildlife, explore archaeological sites, or photograph the 800-foot chasm and scenic views.

Outdoor recreational activities are easy to access within two Bureau of Land Management recreation areas at the Rio Grande Gorge. Information about the Gorge and recreational activities is available at Visitors Centers located within each Area. Camping is available at Wild Rivers Recreation Area and the Orilla Verde Recreation Area, as are hiking trails, picnic areas, rafting and boating opportunities and many other activities. You can arrange commercial outfitter tours and adventures throughout both of the Rio Grande River Recreation Areas.

One of the highlights of the Wild Rivers Recreation Area is the Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway. This roadway winds along the rim of the Gorge and features several impressive overlooks. You can enjoy an outstanding view of the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande River at La Junta Point along the Byway.

Within the Orilla Verde Recreation Area at the Taos Valley Overlook, you can experience a breathtaking mesa top view of the Rio Grande Gorge and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You can also view petroglyphs and visit other ancient archaeological sites within the Orilla Verde Area.

The Rio Grande Bridge is one of the most incredible and easy to access attractions at the Gorge. This 500-foot long bridge is the 2nd highest cantilever truss bridge in the United States. The bridge was designed with pedestrian use in mind, so you can walk along sidewalks and take in the incredible view from overlook areas. The Rio Grande Bridge provides outstanding views of the Rio Grande River 650 feet below as well as the expanse of the narrow rock Gorge.

In addition to taking in the view from the Rio Grande Bridge, you can also be on the look out for ghosts. Locals claim that the Bridge is haunted by a young Hispanic woman as well as other mysterious ghosts who tempt individuals to jump from the bridge in acts of suicide.

Hauntings aside, the Bridge provides a dazzling view of the Rio Grande Gorge. You will want to bring your camera and allow plenty of time on your visit to take in views from this magnificent manmade wonder. You may see kayakers and rafters far below and hot air balloons drifting above if you venture a walk across the Rio Grande Bridge.


  1. I love going to the Rio Grande Gorge! Me and my family go to Red River every year for summer vacation. This year we are taking a hot air balloon ride over the gorge!

  2. Carol Fulton says:

    Four years ago about dusk i visited the bridge with my friend and her kids. The were afraid to walk on the bridge, but I wasn’t even though I don’t like heights. On the way back across, I kept hearing “Jump!” whispered in my ear. I ran alike crazy to the car. Afterwards I found out about the ghost who tries to make people jump. I didn’t see her, but I heard her loud and clear! I don’t care to ever walk the bridge again, even though I may be in Taos next month.

  3. I was born and raised in Taos. I hate going on this bridge! I will NOT take my daughters to that bridge. I will not drive over it or even go towards it. I have heard the same thing or had this feeling come over me to jump or I am so afraid something is going to push me over. I will never ever go towards or near that damn bridge!