Established in 2013, the 242,500-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is comprised of rugged, wide open plains at an average elevation of 7,000 feet, dotted by volcanic cones, and cut by steep canyons with rivers tucked away in their depths. The Río Grande carves an 800 foot-deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. Among the volcanic cones in the Monument, Ute Mountain is the highest, reaching to 10,093 feet. Two wilderness areas within the Monument have been recently authorized by Congress; they are the 13,420-acre Cerro del Yuta Wilderness Area and the 8.120-acre Rio San Antonio Wilderness Area.
There is a wealth of recreation opportunities at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, including whitewater sports, fishing, biking, hiking, and camping. Most of these activities take place along the narrow river corridor; however, those who venture onto the relatively isolated western part of the Monument will find the experience rewarding. Traditional uses such as hunting, grazing and wood cutting are allowed within the Monument.
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