The Klauer and the Rift Valley trails, which are just southwest of Taos, are great trails for hiking, running and mountain biking. Both trails offer stunning views of the mountains and the Río Grande Gorge.
The Klauer Trail starts out wide and allows more space for runners and mountain bikers. It runs along the eastern ridge of the Río Grande Gorge. The Rift Valley Trail is a single-track trail, which completes a 9.7 mile loop. Both trails are a moderate level of difficulty with some minor rolling hills and turns.
I like trail running because it stimulates all of my senses, so time seems to pass by more quickly. Running on a treadmill is more monotonous and I find myself looking at the timer about three times per minute, counting down the minutes until my workout is over. On a trail I also do not have to worry about breathing in the exhaust of cars that drive by like I do while running in my neighborhood. Running on a dirt trail is also easier on the joints than concrete or pavement, and it burns more calories than both treadmill running and road running.
To get to the trailhead for the Klauer and Rift Valley Trails, take State Road 68 south to Ranchos de Taos, then make a right turn onto State Road 110. Stay on this road for a few miles until it ends at a parking lot. The trails begin on the south side.