Hike La Senda de Medio Trail

Details

Distance

5 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Haley Baker

A beautiful and relatively flat trail that follows the Rio Grande for several miles.

If you find yourself in Taos for the weekend, the La Senda del Medio trail is a perfect hike to add to your adventure. About 20 minutes south of town and located in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, this trail follows the Rio Grande for 2.5 miles and connects 5 different campgrounds.

The trail begins at Pilar Campground. Your GPS might not take you directly there, but the sign is large and obvious so as long as you're paying attention you'll be fine. When you arrive, be sure to head to the information sign and pay the fee ($3 in spring 2018) - they will leave a ticket on your car if you haven't paid. 

Once you're all paid, you can get going. The hike starts with a short uphill section that, as soon as you crest the hill, will give you sweeping views of the gorge and the desert terrain. The trail winds its way north, staying parallel to the river the whole time.

Over the course of the hike, you'll cross two washes. On both of these, the trail continues almost directly across from where you entered the wash. There are cairns, but sometimes they get put up in the wrong direction - just look for a trail across the wash and you'll be good.

The last few tenths of a mile are a little steeper, but offer arguably the best views of the entire hike. You'll know you reached the turnaround point when you see Petaca campground. 

Keep your eye out for signs of coyotes, they frequent the area and while you may not see them, you may be able to tell they were recently around. 

Afterwards, go explore the Rio Grande Gorge bridge and grab a beer at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership.  

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Known for

Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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