So, let’s play a game. Your job is to come up with a list of things you absolutely, without a doubt, without fail must do while you’re visiting Red River, New Mexico. How long would it take you to compile a list that you were confident would be the essential Red River activity package? The truth is that Red River, like so many other small towns, may not be top of mind enough for most people to rattle off even just a few things that are “musts” while you’re visiting.
In fact, there’s a very good chance you may never visit Red River, which is a real shame. This mountain town is the perfect embodiment of everything you’ve ever wanted from a vacation destination in the American Southwest without the hoopla of so many more popular areas. Unlike other places, Red River has activities that span the entire calendar year, which means you can visit anytime and still get the best it has to offer. This mountain oasis looks as though it has been curated in a museum to represent a time in this country that was less hectic, which sounds nice and relaxing.
Don’t let that fool you, though. If you and your family are big fans of adventure, you’ll get more than you handle. You want to claim you’ve hung out in the Rocky Mountains? Check. Is sea level just a big yawn? Well, maybe being nearly 9,000 above it will put a smile on your face. If only you’re travels lead you to hanging out in one of America’s premier national parks, right? Boom. Welcome to Carson National Forest, boss.
There is an abundance of activity throughout the calendar year, and this is due to the tireless work of the town’s leaders. Most destinations in the area are content with a busy ski season and then lie a bit dormant throughout the rest of the year. Red River has taken the opposite approach. They not only have a killer ski season, but they’ve made sure spring, summer, and fall all are stacked. Moreover, with the tremendous backdrop of Mother Nature they have, they really pull out all of the stops with the outdoors interactions.
Not if, but when you make it to Red River, here are five things you must do while you’re there:
Wheeler Peak Hiking Trail – Hiking to Wheeler Peak (elevation 13,161 ft.) is about four miles each way with an elevation gain of almost 3,000 feet. You’re going to put in some work.
Four-Wheel & ATV Tours – Red River Offroad puts you in the driver seat of some all-terrain vehicles to explore all that the area has to offer.
Hidden Treasure Aerial Park – Zip line adventures with three levels of difficulty, and a grand finale called the Ultimate Descent that’ll really test you.
Red River Ski & Summer Area – This place is an institution, in operation for nearly six decades. If you’re looking for year-round fun for the whole family, look no further.
Pan for Gold – You can actually pan for gold in certain areas. Pioneer Canyon, Placer Creek, and Bitter Creek are known hotspots.
Red River, New Mexico may not be the first place you thought of for a vacation destination, but it sure may be the last.