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The 5.5 mile trail which crosses the Rio Chama by suspension bridge, affords panoramic views and an adventurous route to neighboring El Vado Lake.

The 5.5 mile Rio Chama Trail connects Heron Lake State Park with El Vado Lake State Park, generally following the route of the Rio Chama. Hiking from Heron Lake first descends a steep set of redwood stairs and cross the river on a cable footbridge, both built by the Youth Conservation Corp in the early 1980's. The trail winds up the slope of the Rio Chama Canyon, through pinyon and juniper to a mesa, which affords panoramic vistas of both El Vado and Heron Lakes. As it makes its way to El Vado, along and easy decent, the trail passes a wide variety of plant life. The trail is moderately strenuous for the first half mile, then becomes easier on to El Vado.

Directions: From Rutheron, Heron Lake is located in the north western region of the state, just north west of the junction of Highways 64& 84. It is near the town of Rutheron on Highway 95.

Elevation: 7,200 feet

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Heron Lake State Park, New Mexico

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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