Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
A Walk in the Sage…
Looking for a hike close to Taos one recent day, we recalled a trailhead we had seen while driving down State Highway 68, heading for Santa Fe, that seemed to be just minutes from our home. We headed out in a southerly direction on 68 and, though it too more like15-20 minutes to reach, we were rewarded for our efforts with an entire trail system focused on getting to and traveling along the Rio Grande Gorge. The scenery was amazing!
Our first dilemma was deciding which trail to choose as there were a number heading out from the trailhead. To decide between the two main trails, we consulted a couple heading back in after a hike on one of the trails. They recommended the Trader’s Trail as it was easier for two persons to walk side by side as the other trail was single track. It also headed directly toward the Gorge, leading to awesome views the entire hike!
We set out side by side headed directly toward the Gorge. The scenery only improved as we neared our destination. We also realized we were walking downhill and wondered what this would mean for our return trip. Our hike out took a mere 42 minutes, including taking pictures of the various sites and views along the way. On the way, we were passed by a group of mountain bikers and we thought that would be another terrific way to enjoy this trail. We reached the edge of the Gorge where the trail ended, and headed back after snapping a few shots, a bit apprehensive about the uphill hike back.
Well, our fears were unfounded. The grade was so gentle we barely noticed we were traveling uphill. On our return trip, we observed several groups of horse riders enjoying the trail as well. We also concluded that this would be a terrific place to cross country ski or snowshoe when covered with a fresh snowfall and made plans to try that as well.
We must have picked up speed as we returned, challenged by our “uphill climb” as we arrived back at the trailhead in 33 minutes, nine minutes less than it had taken us to hike downhill trip. Our entire hike had taken only an hour and 15 minutes and was a thoroughly pleasant way to spend a summer Friday morning. We perused the trail map when we arrived at the trailhead and discovered that the Rift Trail, the one we had not chosen, was a nine mile loop, probably just as well as it was a bit longer than we had planned for that morning.
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