Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico.
April 19, 2021 update: The Orilla Verde Recreation Area spot known as the The Bend is now reopen after a temporary law enforcement investigation. Due to cultural values, the placement of rock climbing hardware is prohibited in some specific locations and near cultural sites. The public should check social media or contact the BLM Taos Field Office at 575-758-8851 for more information.
The Orilla Verde Recreation Area is located within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument and along the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. Nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande and within the steep-walled Rio Grande Gorge, the campgrounds in this area offer nearby access to the river. The elevation along the river is 6,100 feet and the steep canyon rises 800 feet from the river to the Gorge rim.
Gentle waters with occasional small rapids flow through Orilla Verde, providing an ideal setting for many recreational activities. Because of the dramatic changes in elevation and the diversity of plant life, Orilla Verde draws many species of animals, including raptors (such as eagles and hawks), songbirds, waterfowl, beaver, cougar, ringtail, mule deer, and more. The Rio Grande also has attracted humans since prehistoric times. Evidence of ancient peoples is found throughout the Recreation Area in the form of petroglyphs on the rocks and many other types of archaeological sites.
The climate at Orilla Verde is semi-arid, with summer thunderstorms common in July and August, and snow possible from October through March. Summer temperatures range from 45 to 90 degrees, and winter temperatures range from -15 to 45 degrees.
The visitor center is located in Pilar, NM, at the intersection of NM 570 and NM 68, 2873 North State Road 68.