Winter hiking in Taos: Pescado Trail

Now is the time for hiking in solitude and snowy silence at Wild Rivers, just north of Taos, New Mexico.

One of the less-traveled paths is the Pescado Trail that connects the Red River Fish Hatchery with the Wild Rivers Visitor Center. This trail gains about 800 feet over two miles and is considered a moderate trail in the summer months.

Add a foot or two of snow and the trail is more challenging during the winter. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Park Ranger Daniel Rael says, “We have gotten so much snow that the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are fantastic.” The rewards for the climb up and over the ridge are dramatic views into the canyon of the Red River, along with glimpses of nearby Guadalupe Mountain and Flag Mountain to the east.

Although the hike can be accessed from either end, beginning the hike at the Red River Fish Hatchery cuts driving time significantly from Taos, with the trailhead being 22 miles away, rather than about 38 miles to the Wild Rivers Visitor Center. From the fish hatchery trailhead, the path crosses the Red River and follows it for a short distance.

A moderately steep path follows switchbacks up a rocky hillside and into the woods. The trail continues to climb through the forest of ponderosa pine.

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