River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This trail is in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. All rules and regulations applicable to a federal national monument apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics. Camp 100 feet from fragile areas; bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually open all year.
Need to Know
Day Use: $3.00/day per vehicle to use the area for 30 minutes or more. An annual day use pass, good for the calendar year, is available for $20.00.
Camping: $7.00/night for one vehicle, $10.00 for two. Maximum 2 vehicles and 10 people per site. (Additional vehicles may park in day use parking areas at $3.00/day.) Annual day use passes do not apply to camping fees.
River Campsites: $5.00/night. Group Shelters: $30.00 per day, $40.00 per night. Group shelters are by reservation (call BLM at 575-758-8851).
The trailhead for this trail is at the day-use area of the Little Arsenic Springs Campground. There is an information kiosk, a trail sign, and pit toilets here. The trail descends some 800 feet through the rim rock on well-graded switchbacks and trail (some of it a little rocky) to its end at a junction with the River Trail. On the way down, you'll get some great views up and down the Rio Grande Gorge.
From its junction with the River Trail, there are river campsites both upstream (at Little Arsenic Springs - the closest water source other than the river) and immediately downstream in a grove of Ponderosa pines.