Filed under: Family Day Trips, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
Hiking in the Orilla Verde–Part 1
On a recent spring trip to Taos, NM, we discovered the Orilla Verde Recreation area, just north of the town of Taos, for the first time. Named for the vegetation which forms a “Green Rim” (i.e. Orilla Verde) along the Rio Grande Gorge, we checked out the trails as we were in the mood for a spring hike. After looking over our options, then chose the La Vista Verde Hike which promised a beautiful view of the Rio Grande Gorge.
After taking the road into the Orilla Verde Recreation Area, we by-passed the first trailhead for the Petaca Point hike and headed about half mile further down the road to the La vista Verde Trailhead. Beware that the road gets a bit more difficult to travel, beginning to wind down the mountainside, once you pass the first trailhead.
We started our hike at 1:22 pm and took our time, stopping to take a multitude of pictures on the way. Meghan was with us, having decided the week before break that she “really miss[ed] hiking,” though she had been the least enthusiastic of our family to do so when we were regularly traveling together. We left the dogs back at the house because we were not sure they were allowed on the trail (they are and we plan to bring them next time).
The trail began as a level path along the base of several outcroppings of rock, then began to climb as we neared the Rio Grande. As promised, it meandered through rocky walls and rolling hills to reach an overlook point in just over a mile. Literature also warned us to be on the lookout for petroglyphs on the rocks along the trail, but advised they could be difficult to spot.
It also suggested that guided hikes were available during the summer on which the guide would point out where they were located. We photographed one rock that appeared as if it could contain evidence of an ancient civilization, but realized that the cross that we mistook for a petroglyph was probably much more recent in nature. We plan to take the guided hike sometime over the summer.
Read more about New Mexico camping and things to do in New Mexico.