BLM New Mexico manages three wild and scenic rivers (WSR): the Rio Chama WSR (24.6 miles, co-managed by the U.S. Forest Service); the Rio Grande WSS (74 miles); and the Red River WSR (the lower 4 miles before it joins the Rio Grande WSR).  WSRs are designated to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.  

Recreational uses in WSRs include a wide variety of non-motorized and motorized activities. Each area is unique and offers different opportunities and different restrictions, but common activities include rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, camping, nature study, photography, and driving off-highway vehicle routes.

The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

Kayakers on the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. Photo by Bob Wick.

The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, located within the Ri­o Grande del Norte National Monument, includes 74 miles of the river as it passes through the 800-foot deep Rio Grande Gorge. Flowing out of the snowcapped Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the River journeys 1,900 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.  Here the river flows in a rugged and scenic part of northern New Mexico.  The River was made a part of the National Wild and Scenic River System in 1968; among the first eight rivers Congress designated as Wild and Scenic.  The River gorge is home to numerous species of wildlife, including big horn sheep, river otter, and the Ri­o Grande cutthroat trout.

The Ri­o Grande Wild and Scenic River provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities, luring anglers, hikers, artists, and whitewater boating enthusiasts.  In addition to these scenic recreation areas, a spectacular vista of the gorge is seen from the High Bridge Overlook where highway 64 crosses.

All BLM NEW MEXICO Wild and Scenic Rivers

A complete list of BLM NEW MEXICO wild and scenic rivers is below: