Skip to main content

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge



Traveling west from Taos, New Mexico on US 64, you will reach the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which is the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. Located 10 miles west of Taos in El Prado, New Mexico, the bridge crosses the deep gorge of the Rio Grande is the only major rift across an otherwise flat expanse of land between the mountains of the Carson National Forest and the Sangre de Cristos.

This impressive bridge is a three span steel truss bridge. At one time, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge was called the “bridge to nowhere”, because while it was being built, funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side of the bridge from Taos. At 650 feet above the historic and scenic Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States. The bridge is 1280 feet long with two 300 foot long approach spans with a 600 foot long main span. The bridge was dedicated on September 10, 1965, and in 1966, the American Institute of Steel Construction awarded the bridge the Most Beautiful Steel Bridge in the Long Span category.  The bridge has appeared in several films as well, such as including Natural Born Killers and White Sands.

The bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Taos region with parking areas available on both sides of the bridge. One of the best features of the bridge are several platforms that peer out from the roadway. This allows visitors to stand several feet out above the Rio Grande Gorge. White water rafting is also popular in the region and allows a rare opportunity to view the bridge from the bottom of the canyon. From here, the Rio Grande flows south through the famous Taos “Box” where the river is mostly continuous white water of Class 4+ and 5 in high water.

Located 10 miles (16 km) west of Taos, the deep gorge of the Rio Grande is the only major rift across an otherwise flat expanse of land between the mountains of the Carson National Forest and the Sangre de Cristos.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge looking northeast.


Looking towards Taos on US 64 eastbound.

It's a long way down to the bottom.

The bridge won an award in 1966. With the surrounding views of the Rio Grande and the gorge, I can understand why.





How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
HighestBridges.com - Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Taos.org - Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden California State Route 710 and the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway

Infamous and the subject of much controversy the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway has long existed as a contentious topic regarding the completion of Interstate 710 and California State Route 710.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway effectively has been legislatively blocked the action only came after decades of controversy.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway is fairly well known what many don't know is that a small segment was actually constructed south Interstate 210 and the Foothill Freeway.  This disconnected segment of the Long Beach Freeway exists as the unsigned and largely hidden California State Route 710.  On June 29, 2022 the California Transportation Commission relinquished California State Route 710 to the city of Pasadena.  The blog cover above depicts a southward view on the completed Pasadena stub segment of the Long Beach Freeway which ends at California Boulevard.   Part 1; the history of the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freewa

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Paper Highways: Proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada

During February 1956 the State of Nevada in concurrence with the States of California and Arizona submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials to establish US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas.  The proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have originated from mainline US Route 66 in Kingman Arizona and followed a multiplex of US Routes 93-466 to Las Vegas, Nevada.  From Las Vegas, Nevada the proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have multiplexed US Routes 91-466 back to mainline US Route 66 in Barstow, California.  The request to establish US Route 66 Alternate was denied during June 1956 due to it being completely multiplexed with other US Routes.  This blog will examine the timeline of the US Route 66 Alternate proposal to Las Vegas, Nevada. The history of the proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada On February 15, 1956, the Nevada State Highway Engineer in a letter to the American Association of State Highways Officials (AASHO) advising that six c