Long road to completion of Rio Grande Trail

Rio Grande Trail commissioners held their first meeting July 29,2015 to discuss creating a 500-mile recreational route through New Mexico. The task before them won’t be easy or quick. There’s a dizzying array of decisions and tasks to undertake before the trail will become a reality. It’s so early in the process, the commission has only a bare-bones digital page, housed...

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Spring hiking in Taos: Mica Mines at Ojo Caliente

A hike in the high desert followed by a soak at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs is one of New Mexico’s true pleasures. The plateau above Ojo Caliente offers gentle hikes through the desert landscape and views of mesas, cliffs, and mountains. The hot mineral waters soothe muscles tired from hiking and provide a feeling of deep relaxation. There are several trails that begin...

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Frijoles Canyon Nature Trail, Bandelier National Monument

The Puebloan people have lived in the American Southwest for many centuries. Archaeologists think they are descended from groups of hunters and gatherers who came to the region over 10,000 years ago. In the area that is now Bandelier National Monument, in Northern New Mexico, the villages of Tyuonyi and Tsankawi and their adjacent cliff dwellings appeared in the 13th...

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An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years

It’s no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business. The Cato...

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20-year-old hiking group exemplifies the saying ‘friends are the new family’

Eight members of the Over the Arroyo Gang gathered at their regular meeting place, a parking lot off Hyde Park Road, dressed for one of their thrice-weekly hikes. The youngest was 63, the oldest, 83. All fit in mind and body. Three dogs came along. Some of the gang brought snowshoes, expecting to be hiking in deep snow. Others sported microspikes, traction devices that...

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Lawmakers propose 500-mile trail across New Mexico

Could New Mexico have a 500-mile long trail stretching from the state’s northern border with Colorado to its southern frontier? Several lawmakers said they’re serious about making the Rio Grande Trail idea a reality, though they acknowledged the ambitious project could take years to materialize. “This trail would be in the style of the Appalachian Trail or the...

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Winter hiking in Taos: Petaca Point

For solitude and sunshine, try winter hiking on the west rim of the Río Grande. A variety of trails follow the edge of the gorge and lead to dramatic overlooks with views down to the river and up to the snow covered mountains. These hikes can be found in the Orilla Verde (Green Ribbon) portion of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, south and west of Taos, New...

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National Park Service Starting Process To Establish Valles Caldera National Preserve

It won’t happen overnight, but the National Park Service is starting the process to integrate Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico into the National Park System. The national preserve was moved to the National Park Service from the U.S. Forest Service when President Obama signed into law the massive Defense authorization bill passed by Congress in late...

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Fall Hiking in Taos: Flechado Canyon Trail

A sense of anticipation can be felt in the forest now. The leaves are changing from green to yellow and the air feels fresh and cool. Soon the aspen will be gloriously golden. Fall is the perfect time to get out and explore some of the hikes south of Taos, NM in the Carson National Forest. Flechado Canyon Trail is a lightly-traveled hike that follows a stream through...

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