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Rio Grande Gorge, Taos County

4.8
#2 of 6 in Nature in Taos County
The Rio Grande Gorge is a geological feature in northern New Mexico where the watercourse of the Rio Grande follows a tectonic chasm. Beginning near the Colorado border, the approximately 50mi gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The gorge depth is 800ft just south of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which spans the gorge northwest of Taos.GeologyGeologically, the Rio Grande Gorge is a rift valley, a separation in the earth’s crust caused by faulting and other earth movements when the North American and Pacific plates scraped against each other some twenty-nine million years ago.EcosystemThe canyon ecosystem descends 800ft from rim to river, creating a unique diversity in plant and animal life. Ancient piñon and juniper forests are home to 500-year-old trees. Wildlife include mule deer, red-tailed hawk, mountain blue-bird, prairie dog and big horn sheep.The climate is semi-arid with summer thunderstorms common in July and August, and snow possible from November through March. Summer temperatures range from 45to and in winter from −15to.National Wild And Scenic RiverIn 1968, the Rio Grande was among the first eight rivers the US Congress designated into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System to protect outstanding resources values. The Wild and Scenic River flows through the Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area. The recreation areas include the Wild Rivers area in the north and the Orialla Verde area in the south, which provide hiking, boating, fishing and camping facilities.
To visit Rio Grande Gorge and other attractions in Taos County, use our Taos County day trip planning website .
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Rio Grande Gorge Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
66 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • There are so many places to view the gorge from. It’s extremely impressive, yet there are a complete lack of tourists. Definitely take time to explore the area, enjoy the views and take some great pic...  more »
  • Lots of different views depending where you stand.be prepared to take pictures right before the bridge lots of big horn sheep.  more »
  • We drove from the big bridge to the south and then down to the river. The drive down to the small iron bridge is a dirt road on a few miles, it was dry and therefore good to drive. Caution is required Not everywhere is possible crossing and the steep pieces must be driven slowly. Beautiful the long ride along the Rio Grande. Road numbers 567 and then 570 to the confluence with the 68 at Pilar.
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