Hiking In and Near Taos
Taos has a great location for discovering beautiful trails and enjoying the Carson National Forest. You can choose from trails that take in the majestic grandeur of the Rio Grande Gorge or walk high in the mountains to see lakes and wildflowers.
Rio Grande Gorge Trails
West Rim Trail
This easy trail is located at the rest area just past the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The trail follows the rim with spectacular views of the bridge. The entire trail is nine miles long one way and is also available for mountain biking. There is no shade, so it is best hiked early or later in the day especially during hot summer days.
La Vista Verde Trail
This is a 1.25 mile (one way) easy trail with great views of the gorge rim and the Rio Grande River. Continue driving past the rest area by the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and turn left onto West Rim Road (County Road cb-115). At the junction with 567, go straight (don’t take the right hand turn). The road will become dirt instead of paved, and head down towards the river. Look for the trailhead parking on your left. This area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as part of the Orilla Verde Recreation Area. There is a day use fee and you can camp in the area.
Near The Town of Taos
From Taos you follow US Highway 64 about three miles east. The parking is near the highway at the El Nogal Picnic Area. The translation of Devisadero means a lookout point. Historically, the peak of this trail had been used by the Taos Pueblo Indians to stand guard against the Apaches who came down Taos Canyon to raid the pueblo. In summertime there is a variety of wildflowers. You will find several vista overlook points along this trail where you can see the town of Taos, the Rio Grande and San Antonio Mountain.
This trail begins near the Taos Ski Valley at a high elevation. This is a short but steep trail with great views of the mountains that ends at a pretty lake. In the summer you’ll see lots of wildflowers.
Wheeler Peak Trail
If you enjoy mountain climbing, you can tackle the tallest peak in New Mexico. The trailhead is located at the Taos Ski Valley and is rated as intermediate to difficult. Wheeler Peak reaches 13,161 feet in elevation. There are often sudden afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, so if you wish to climb the peak, keep an eye on the weather to avoid getting caught in a storm. More trails are located in the canyon along the road to the ski valley, near Questa and many other places nearby.
For a complete list of trails in the Taos area, see the Carson National Forest link at: