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Your guide to Red River
All About Red River
A little over a 40-minute drive from funky Taos, Red River offers small-town charm amid the sweeping Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its quaint downtown is home to historic wooden cabins, a pine lodge, and a schoolhouse built in 1915, which is now a museum. The town hosts an annual chili cookoff in August, and during warm months, locals and visitors alike are invited to watch outdoor movies on the Community House lawn. Hiking, biking, and off-roading are available in this former mining town turned mountain playground, but Red River is undeniably best known as a ski retreat. It is a cozy base for snow bunnies who disappear into the powdery peaks every year for long days of wintry fun.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Red River
Summers are warm in Red River, with temperatures in the mid 70s Fahrenheit and cool nights. Spring and fall are mild, with temperatures ranging from the high 60s to low 40s, and winter is cold, with temperatures in the single digits. Of course, you’re likely here for the snow during winter — expect lots, and pack accordingly.
Top things to do in Red River
Red River Ski Area
You can catch a chairlift ride into this ski park just a few steps from downtown, and then spend the day swishing down ski runs suitable for all skill levels. Novices can explore a ski-through replica mining camp while daredevils tackle the curvy Cats Skinner run. If skiing and snowboarding aren’t your thing, tubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are also offered.
During the summer the park remakes itself, offering scenic chairlift rides to hiking trails, a ropes course, ziplining, and disc golf.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
This picturesque 84-mile drive looping around Wheeler Peak, at 13,000-some feet the highest natural point in New Mexico, runs right through Red River. A roughly three-hour drive, the route will carry you through mountain ranges, forests, and lush river valleys. Along the way you can make stops in off-the-beaten-path locales like rugged Questa — which hosts a four-day plein air painting festival every July for artists of all skill levels — and buzzier hubs like Taos, as renowned for its adobe architecture as for its New Age proclivities.
Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument
Drive just 40 minutes north to experience a prime example of New Mexico’s dramatic Southwestern landscape. Covering over 240,000 acres of land, this rugged and beautiful terrain is a patchwork of expansive plains, volcanic cones, and deep canyons. The legendary Rio Grande — the fourth longest river in the US — slices through an 800-foot-deep gorge here. The possibilities for outdoor fun include hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and fishing. During the summer months, check the park’s website for a schedule of free ranger-led walks.