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Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Attractions Near Taos, NM

On its way to Mexico, the Rio Grande River passes through Rio Grande Gorge, an 800-foot chasm made all the more dramatic by its sudden appearance amid the desert landscape northwest of Taos. Plain on the surface, this area's sedimentary history is revealed by the gorge's layered rock formations and spectacular scenery, enhanced by the local wildlife, can also be found here.

A trip to the Gorge is a must-do while visiting Taos—and that includes a drive across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This engineering marvel spans the gorge in a graceful 600-foot arc no less majestic than its surroundings. It was even awarded "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" by an American institute the year after construction finished! Don't be surprised it looks familiar: the bridge has appeared in films like Natural Born Killers, Wild Hogs and Terminator Salvation.

After taking the drive from the hotel, look for a rest area on the west side. Here you'll find space to pull off with food vendors, picnic tables and a switchback trail into the gorge. You can also head southward up to nine miles along the West Rim Trail, which offers further views of the whitewater rapids and rock formations below.

A note of caution: don't forget the gorge is in the middle of an open desert that offers scanty protection from the sun. You will most likely have a better experience visiting before or after high noon, and extra sunscreen is always recommended. Whatever you do, don't forget to bring a camera either!

At less than 20 minutes by car from the hotel, Rio Grande Gorge is a free stop in Taos all visitors can enjoy. Make this destination a part of your next stay with our Taos hotel!