Why Rio Grande Del Norte

marissabracke-Flickr
Rio Grande del Norte is one of the most stunning areas in northern New Mexico, a state that needs more wilderness protection.

People from across the United States visit New Mexico wildlands to experience some of the best wild places America has to offer. The Rio Grande del Norte in northern New Mexico boasts incredible wildlands and waters that sustain animals and surrounding communities.

The Rio Grande del Norte in northern New Mexico boasts incredible wildlands and waters that sustain animals and surrounding communities.

One of the most stunning natural landmarks in northern New Mexico is the Rio Grande Gorge, part of Rio Grande del Norte. This natural spectacle plunges 800 feet into rolling grasslands and sage covered mesas that bank up against the steep edges of the Gorge. At the bottom of the Gorge is the glittering Rio Grande river.

Scenic vistas

While we often picture New Mexico as the dry, arid lands featured in Western films, the Rio Grande del Norte is diverse, vibrant and has outstanding scenic vistas that include:

  • Dramatic Gorge and glittering Rio Grande river
  • Wildflower-covered plains
  • Forested slopes of Ute Mountain and surrounding areas of Carson National Forest
  • Snow-capped peaks of the San Juan Mountains in the distance

Not far from the Rio Grande Gorge, the landmark Ute Mountain reminds visitors of New Mexico’s volcanic creation story. This mountain rises above the surrounding landscape like a watchful guardian. At 10,093 feet, it is the highest point of all Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

A home for animals

Rio Grande del Norte also is rich in habitat for wildlife, including:

  • Elk and deer
  • Bighorn sheep and pronghorn
  • Golden eagles and peregrine falcons, which nest in the rocky nooks of the Gorge
  • Wild geese and sandhill cranes, which fill the sky during their yearly migrations

Outdoor recreation

There are incredible outdoor recreational opportunities in Rio Grande del Norte, including:

  • Horseback riding and hiking
  • Rafting and swimming
  • Fishing and big-game hunting

At Wilderness, we're continuing to work to protect this rich, valuable wildland in order to preserve its vibrancy and ensure it remains available for future generations to enjoy.

See also: