PLEASE NOTE: Rio En Medio has been impacted by a wildfire in August 2020. Currently, the status of this trail is CLOSED.
- All Mountain
- Expert to Extreme difficulty, fitness, route finding, and technical
- Best June-October (depending on snow conditions)
- Access from Pacheco Canyon Road
- Total climb: 3,800′, Total descent: 3,800′
- Total Mileage: 19 miles
- Time Needed: 4-5 hours
Start by parking on Pacheco Canyon Road (FR 102) and saddle up for a long climb. Follow the Forest Road until you reach Hyde Park Road which you’ll continue on pavement until you reach the Ski Basin and utilize the Trailhead for the Winsor Trail (not Norski!).
Follow a short stint on the Winsor to the cattle guard that is the top of the Rio en Medio trail.
Now the fun begins! Plummet downhill through rock gardens, tight features and a big open meadow and pay close attention to your map, as you’ll need to cross the creek.
Cross the creek, do a short climb to the acequia, and cruise for a ways before another climb and then a downhill into Apsen Meadows. Go down the road for 100 yards, follow the Rio en Medio Trail to your left up the hill and stay right at the intersection. Now begin your eye-watering descent down middle REM until you cross the creek again. Stay left and continue down REM.
This section of REM is a mix of ups and downs, where the downs are proper double-black technical. Take your time and enjoy the challenge.
Once you survive the big features on the lower section, the trail mellows out and begins to meander along the creek. Check your map and keep your eyes peeled for the Double Discount trail that starts a full 180 degrees off of REM.
Climb, then fast, narrow descent, back to a short climb up an old road back to Pacheco.