Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
80.00 ft (24.38 m)
Trail type
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Taos area holds a lot of adventure choices. Most visitors to Taos will pass over or near the stunning Rio Grande Gorge on their way, and this massive geological feature offers some unique and beautiful hiking opportunities. The North Rim Trail and La Verde Vista Trail are two very different ways to explore the gorge. While the North Rim stays above the rim and offers distant mountain views, La Verde Vista stays just below the rim and allows close exploration of the environment between the surrounding desert and the lush riparian oasis at the river level.

The access road runs up along the river at the bottom of the gorge, passing some nice small campgrounds like Rio Bravo and Aroyo Hondo. The road eventually crosses the river and becomes a rough dirt road that climbs the canyon wall to the trailhead.

The trail itself is simple and straight. It travels along a level bench for a few hundred feet below the top of the gorge and well above the river. There are only a few places where the trail approaches the edge to get a view of the river. The view at the end looks straight up the river and deeper into the gorge, and there are a couple of benches that tempt hikers to stay a while. This section of river contains a Class V rapid known as the Rock Garden, which can have 6-foot standing waves.

On the way back, look for a faint trail to the right about a quarter mile from the overlook that leads to some flat rock faces with a few small petroglyphs.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round



Marvelous view at the end. Fairly easy trail. Petroglyphs.


Rocky trail.

Trailhead Elevation

6,265.00 ft (1,909.57 m)

Highest point

6,345.00 ft (1,933.96 m)


Family friendly
Near lake or river
Geologically significant
Native artifacts
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument


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