Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway Loop road construction begins

TAOS, N.M. —The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Taos Field Office announces improvements to the Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway Loop. Roads are being reconditioned, paved and realigned now through October 2021. Visitors should anticipate delays, some parking closures, and changes to traffic patterns.  

The Wild Rivers Backcountry Byways Loop project will be done in phases. The first phase occurs at the ­­­Chawalauna Overlook and Big Arsenic Campground through May 8. Crews will eliminate drop-offs at edges of roadway and widen portions of the Rinconada Trail. As a result, the Chawalauna Trailhead parking area will be closed to vehicles from April 26 through May 8, 2021.  

Hikers and bikers can access the Chawalauna Overlook from Big Arsenic Campground which will remain open but only accessible from the southwest. The trail between the Chawalauna Overlook at Rinconada Trail is temporarily closed during the work.  

When recreating, the public should follow New Mexico Department of Health orders https://cv.nmhealth.org, practice Leave No Trace principles, practice social distancing and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.  

Details and updates on operations will continue to be posted on our website https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/new-mexico/rio-grande-del-norte-national-monument and social media channels. Updates about BLM operations will be posted on www.blm.gov. For more information, please contact the Taos Field Office at 575-751-8851. 

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Taos Field Office


Jillian Aragon