Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
The Rift in Winter…
I wrote a post several months back about a hike we took this past summer on a trail called Trader’s Trail, part of the Rift Trail System south the Taos, NM. A beautiful hike, Trader’s Trail meanders down nearly two miles and culminates just above the Rio Grande Gorge, making it well worth the trip as the view is spectacular.
Our plan was to go back to this system in cooler weather and try the actual Rift Trail, a nine mile loop that intersects our Trader’s Trail in several spots, traveling parallel to the Gorge for several miles, rather than journeying toward it. We finally made it back to the Rift Trails this past week, but rather than taking on the loop, we repeated the Trader’s Trail as it was the ideal adventure for our early February mid-week hike.
February in northern New Mexico is more like spring in Wisconsin than winter. We enjoyed a beautiful day, low 50’s for temperatures and bright sunshine. The snow that had blanketed the ground earlier had long melted away in all but a few spots, leaving much of the trail moist and muddy. I was glad I was wearing my snow boots, as I would not have wanted my hiking boots covered in mud. My snow boots can simply be hosed off to clean them up.
We enjoyed the view of the Gorge from the first moment we set off. The best part was that it simply got larger and more impressive the closer we got. Also, as it is heading toward the big river, this trail is also slightly downhill which made the first part of the hike a piece of cake.
We took a break at the Gorge, enjoying the weather, the sunshine and the view. Then, slowly and a bit reluctantly, we headed back, less than eager to make the mild climb back to our car. We were even less eager to leave this beautiful place on this beautiful day. On the way back, however, while the mild climb was not too taxing, it was simply not the down slope scamper we enjoyed for the first half of our hike. But we enjoyed being outside in the sunshine on this early February day. The loop will simply have to wait for another beautiful day.
Read more about New Mexico campgrounds and things to do in New Mexico.