This is a little late but I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. I found my way back down to New Mexico for the long weekend to do some hiking. And New Mexico just like Colorado had see nothing but rain and severe weather all week long and the weekend would be no different in the Land of Enchantment. The initial plan was on that Sunday to hike to Williams Lake near the Taos Ski Valley but due to the rain that idea was shot as I had made a call to inquire about trail conditions. I was told that conditions were deep snow in and around Wheeler Peak starting about a quarter mile from the Williams Lake trailhead and that snowshoes would be the preferred option.
Well we didnt bring snowshoes, so instead still with the need to just get outside a nearby trail was chosen to get in a decent hike. Luckily there was sunshine Sunday morning with temps in the low 50s. Oeste Vista(Spanish for “West View”) Trail is a 2.6 mile loop in the village of Angel Fire is a good hike for anyone wanting to get outdoors and get a good views of Angel Fire, Monte Verde Lake and Wheeler Peak from a distance. Average elevation is around 8600. Personally the hike kicked my butt because I was feeling under the weather to start and I hadnt been on a trail in months. Either way I’m happy to have done this hike, it was challeging with lots of hills
Wheeler Peak as the storms begins to roll in
a look at Monte Verde Lake from the trail
a look back on part of the trail
2 of our friends in nature
Wheeler Peak, NM’s highest peak at 11367 feet seen from the trail
While skiing at Monarch a couple of weeks ago, we heard mention of Red River by a snowboarder on the quad chair lift. Wondering and not thinking to ask, we had to look it up for ourselves. Red River Ski Area is just over 4 hours from Denver in Red River, New Mexico. Immediate thought was “Roadtrip!” of course. A nice easy drive to explore new territory in a small mountain town and carve out some turns in. Red River is small, though not the smallest town I’ve been in. Population numbers as of 2010 were 477. Red River doesn’t seem like a town of fewer than 500 when you’re there. There are plenty of places to stay, grab a bite to eat, hear live music and shop.
Red River Ski Area of the Carson National Forest in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range has 57 trails and a base elevation of 8750′ and it’s top elevation is 10350′. The front of the mountain consists of mostly blue and black runs and a few green runs. The backside of the mountain is where most of the green runs are and 3 blues. The backside trails are through lots of Aspens which make for a scenic time. There is the Ski Tip Restaurant and Bar at the top of the mountain where you can grab a bite to eat if you choose. One thing that makes Red River a unique place to ski is that the chair lifts on the front side of the mountain are right there in town literally. You can purchase your lift ticket right there at the lift at a ticket vending machine with a credit card. There is a lodge that contains a day care, cafeteria, retail shop and ski school. There are 3 terrain park areas on the mountain.
I really enjoyed my time at Red River. Don’t let the size fool you, the layout of its 57 trails is great and gives you a great a variety. Scenics trails, lift lines were small and fast, the staff is friendly and there are some amazing views. Here are a few photos from Saturday at Red River.