Slip between towering pines and whispering aspens into a thick forest of deep green. Red River is an iconic Northern New Mexico mountain town with mapped hiking trails, for all skill levels, that start at your doorstep.
Click here for a printable list of Red River area hiking trails.
Click here for more information about the hiking trails in the Questa Ranger District of Carson National Forest.
Red River Nature Trails
Location: Platinum Lift at Red River Ski Area on Pioneer Road
Details: 2 miles along the Red River to Goose Lake Road with trail-side interpretive signs. A shorter trail also follows the creek beginning at Mallette Park.
Location: Columbine Campground on the south side of the road between Red River and Questa
Details: And easy hike, the trail crosses several footbridges over Columbine Creek. Just before the Twining Trail junction, where the trail gets steep, there is an aspen grove with a great spot for a picnic. From here the trail becomes more advanced as it climbs to Lobo Peak, Gold Hill or Taos Ski Valley.
Sawmill Park Trail
Location: Up the East Fork of the Red River off Forest Road 58A,
Details: A day-hike through spruce, fir, aspen with 1,000 year old Bristol Cone pine in the meadow. Views include Wheeler Peak and Sawmill Park, Taos Peak and Taos Cone.
Middle Fork Trail
Location: Up the West Fork of the Red River off Forest Road 58
Details: Moderate hike to a mountain lake.
Enchanted Forest Cross & Cross Country Ski Area
Location: 3 ½ miles from Red River off NM38
Details: Rolling terrain and plenty of options from a short stroll to a 5-mile loop with views of the Moreno Valley, Touch-Me-Not, Baldy, the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, Gold Hill, Red River Ski Area and the Town of Red River.
Goose Creek Trail
Location: 2 ½ miles up State Road 578. Look for the trailhead on the west side
Details: Like Columbine Trail, Goose Creek can be an easy hike if you hike until you feel like turning around, the trail climbs 5 ½ miles to Goose Lake (also accessible to 4x4)
Lost Lake, Horseshoe Lake & Wheeler Peak
More difficult hikes around Red River include Lost Lake and Horseshoe Lake Trails in the Upper Red River Valley and Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico. At 13,161 feet above sea level, on a clear day views extend all the way to Colorado. On the way to the summit, wildflowers cover the Alpine tundra landscape like a Monet painting, marmots and pika shout warnings from talus slopes and eagles circle overhead. By mountaineering standards, Wheeler is relatively easy, but this is not for wimps because of the altitude and a few slopes that require muscle strength going up — and down.
Wild Rivers Recreation Area
Wild Rivers Recreation Area, outside Questa offers a number hikes including the new Pescado Trail, which heads from the Visitor Center to the Red River Fish Hatchery (or vice versa), the Riconada Loop Trail, which snakes along the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge and Big Arsenic Trail with numerous petroglyphs. These trails are intentionally unmarked to mitigate vandalism. Ask at the Visitor Center for directions.)
Mountain Hiking Tips
Always take water, wear sunscreen and take extra layers of clothing. Mountain weather can change abruptly.
For more hiking information
Carson National Forest: (575) 758-6200
Questa Ranger District: (575) 586-0520
Bureau of Land Management: (575) 758-8851
Red River Visitor Center: (575) 754-3030