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Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, NM #18

Christmas Day we left Taos, NM and decided to visit one of the newer National Monuments on our way home.

As you're driving north on the highway out of Taos one notices that there are mountain ranges on either side of the high valley floor (7,000 ft.) where the highway runs. What you would never notice unless you venture towards the center of the valley floor is the Rio Grande River and the Gorge.

The Rio Grande River is responsible for the 800 foot deep gorge you will witness from the bridge. And you will have to get out on the bridge to see the gorge as it is very steep!

This high valley floor is vital to wintering animals migration between the two mountain ranges. We were so fortunate to witness a herd of Rocky Mt. Bighorn Sheep as we approached the Gorge Bridge.

And then I spotted the buck for the herd right by the bridge. He really looked like he was there to be photographed!

Isn't he a handsome specimen?

If you aren't afraid of heights this would be a nice little side trip from the highway.

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