This beautiful area is located less than an hour south of the Colorado border, within the Río Grande Del Norte National Monument. You can find an incredible view that is easily accessible from the Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway of the confluence of the Rio Grand and Red Rivers in the gorge. There are also numerous campgrounds, miles of hiking trails, and lots of opportunities to play in the river.
I explored the Big Arsenic trail with a very knowledgeable BLM guide in mid-July. It was a great hike down into the canyon filled with a lot of geological information from our guide. Much to my surprise, there was a rustic campground down at the river. (Yes, all gear had to be carried down the trail and back out — the hard part.) Once we got down to the bottom of the canyon, we could dip our toes in the Big Arsenic spring (there really isn’t arsenic in it) and there were some really cool petroglyphs too.
This place is definitely off the beaten path, but I would love to spend more time here hiking, camping, and taking in all of the astounding views.
MORE INFO: www.blm.gov/wild_rivers_rec_area.html