The Orilla Verde Recreation Area is located near Pilar along the Río Grande Wild and Scenic River, in the southern part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. There are numerous campgrounds along the river, miles of hiking trails, fishing spots, and of course — swimming and rafting in the river.
I took a couple of hikes in this area over the summer and I also did my first rafting trip down this section of the Rio in September. There are a lot more trails I’d like to explore here, but having to pay $3 to hike is a big turn off for me. (It’s the principle of it.)
There are some really beautiful overlooks and I have spotted big horn sheep here on a few occasions. (They are surprisingly not shy at all and will stand in place while you photograph them.) There are also some petroglyphs along some of the trails. Orilla Verde is a great place to go day tripping out in nature.
MORE INFO: www.blm.gov/orilla_verde.html