In the new Rio Grande del Norte National Monument near Taos, formerly known as the Wild Rivers Recreation area, there is a loop trail leading to two marvelous arsenic springs. For the desert environment, these are massive springs. Both the Big Arsenic Spring, and the Little Arsenic Spring have a high rate of flow. The water pools in small ponds with cattails and Mormon Tea growing on the sides.
To get to the trailheads, go to Questa, NM and take the road just north of town that leads west into an area pocked with volcanic cinder cones. The road will lead past the campgrounds and trailheads for the springs.Both trails start at the top of the canyon and descend almost 800 feet in a short distance down switchback trails. The views are stunning. The trails are well maintained, but hiking boots are still recommended. Best time of year to go is late spring, fall and early winter. As with all desert hiking, take lots of water, sunscreen, and emergency survival gear.