La Senda del Medio trail is considered easy to moderate and has multiple starting and finishing points throughout the Lower Rio Grande Gorge and the end of the newly designated Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The BLM has been working on this trail system for sometime with the hopes of linking a nice trail for visitors to enjoy paralleling the Rio Grande without having to much impact from county rd 570 which follows the river from Pilar to the Taos Junction Bridge. There are accesses to the trail system at each BLM developed campground which makes for a nice stroll to and from camp in the morning or afternoon.
As of now, La Senda del Medio trail is just over 2 miles one way from the Pilar Campground to the newly re-made Petaca Campground. In general there is very little up and down and not too strenuous of a trek. This makes this hike just about perfect for everyone. The trail itself has been very well made with plenty of width and some very interesting paths winding through some impressively large boulders and Pinon and Juniper trees.
The views both upstream and down here are spectacular. In the early evening, this would be a photographers dream with very special sunset photo opportunities. Of course, always keep your eyes peeled for Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep in between the trail and the Rim. I did see both deer and sheep tracks on my last venture along La Senda del Medio and sheep have been spotted, although not often, well downstream of the Pilar Campground.
If you ever wanted to spend more than just a half of a day or a full day on the river, I highly recommend one of the many 2 day trips offered by New Mexico River Adventures on the Rio Grande. Many of these trips spend the night in this scenic part of the Gorge and offer up some nice late afternoon and early evening opportunities to enjoy the many trails in the National Monument including La Senda del Medio trail. The 2 most popular of these options would be the Classic Taos Box 2 Day and the 24 hours on the Rio Grande. Just ask one of our friendly reservation staff about dates and availability.