RIO EN MEDIO — More than two years since its closure following the 2020 Medio Fire, much of the idyllic lower portion of Rio en Medio Trail is now but a memory.

The devastating mid-summer floods that caused nightmares for residents of Rio en Medio also wreaked havoc on the landscape upstream of the tiny village nestled in a canyon north of Tesuque, washing away or burying large sections of the trail that was a favorite for locals and led hikers to a 20-foot waterfall.

Santa Fe National Forest personnel have been fielding frequent questions from the public about when the popular trail will reopen ever since its closure order.

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Rubble left by flooding in the summer fills the canyon along Rio en Medio. Much of Rio en Medio Trail below Aspen Ranch is either washed away or covered in debris following the flooding.

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Kimberly Klain rides down Rio en Medio Trail on August 16, 2020, the day before the Medio Fire broke out. The trail has been closed ever since and sustained addition damage this summer due to heavy flooding.

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Leah Morton surveys the damage to her property along Rio en Medio on Friday, August 5, 2022, after floods ripped through the area and wiped out the access road she used to cross the river. She now has to walk across her neighbors’ property to use their bridge to cross the river and reach County Road 78B, or Rio en Medio Road.

Matt Dahlseid is a digital enterprise producer and outdoors writer for the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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