Rio Grande Del Norte is 810 deeded acres containing 3/4 mile of the Rio Grande River. It is a gorgeous canyon setting with elevations at 7,750 dropping down to 7,400 at the river bottom. A private trailhead (shared) provides rare river access into the gorge. Wild yet accessible, the ranch offers unique fishing for large brown trout and northern pike. Deer, elk, and other wildlife traverse the property constantly. A great variety of waterfowl utilizes the river heavily. In 2016 when the owner of an adjoining 275 acres applied, they received one private lands rifle-hunt deer tag.
The ranch abuts vast public lands on two sides. A large tract of BLM makes up the western boundary (across the river), then to the south, the 243,000 acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument sprawls into New Mexico. Massive, stunning 360-degree views take in distant snow-capped mountains, and Ute Mountain rises in the southern foreground begging to be climbed. A historic gauging station with a cable car still hangs over this vital watershed. This is an exciting, charismatic live water environment that sings out the majestic nature of the Rio Grande – a river wildlife corridor that reaches 1,900 miles across three states! A solitary but easy-to-access location, the property is less than one hour from Taos, New Mexico, with gas and groceries available in nearby Costilla, New Mexico.
Costilla County is 95% privately owned. Land trusts and the BLM are very interested in expanding protected lands here. Large private river parcels are not common, so this one presents an opportunity for conservation. Currently, however, there are no conservation easements or restrictions. It is just a dramatic, private get-away where one can fish, explore, hunt, and hike to their hearts content. Bring your pop-up, Fifth Wheel, or rock-star bus. The county-maintained dirt roads are pretty good. There are also some off-grid homes in the immediate area.
Much is written about the Rio Grande Gorge, but in The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn, Milagro Beanfield War author John Nichols reflects, I experience a great lust to disappear into the Rio Grande Gorge, there to spend afternoons among basalt boulders, plying the low clear river for trout. Everything physical seems to come together, in my body and on the surrounding land. Each perfect day, I know, is going to be the last beautiful day of autumn.