Life can sometimes be fast-paced, hectic, and can leave you starved for tranquility. Being bottled up in your office will leave you hungry for an outdoor setting where you can revitalize and take respite. One of the best ways for you to rejuvenate your energy is through hiking. Hiking often sounds more difficult than walking. But what’s the difference between the two? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, hiking is “an extended walk mainly for exercise or pleasure.”
Hiking in Red River is more pleasure than exercise, especially due to the beautiful sceneries. From towering trees to kaleidoscopic flowers to rugged, snow-covered peaks to mountain lakes, Red River is every hiker's’ dream. The best way for you to experience the mountains is by hiking on some of the many beautiful trails. You have several choices to choose from depending on your hiking companions and fitness level.
Why Go Hiking in Red River
The Carson National Forest surrounding Red River will give you the magic you need. This is part of the entire forest that covers over 1.5 million acres, ranges from 7,000 feet to 13,160 feet at Wheeler Peak (this is the highest peak in New Mexico and can only be accessed from Red River). Over 86,000 acres of the entire forest is wilderness and has been set aside by the government as part of wild America. This wilderness can only be accessed by horse or foot. The cool summer temperatures and magnificent mountain scenery have attracted many vacationers to Red River for its peaceful atmosphere, fishing, camping, hunting, and hiking. Although Red River has countless trails to go hiking, here are some of the most popular ones.
Easy-to-moderate Hiking Trails
This trail is found at the Columbine Campground which is on the southern side of the road between Questa and Red River, and it can be an easy hike. It crosses many footbridges over the Columbine Creek. There is an excellent spot to stop for a picnic before the Twining Trail Junction. From this stop, the trail is more advanced, and you can hike all the way to Gold Hill, Lobo Peak or Taos Ski Valley, or you can also choose to turn back before you start climbing.
Goose Creek Trail
This is an easy hike, and you will just hike until you decide to turn around. It is located 2 1/2 miles from Red River up the State Road 578 on your right side. The trail is about 5 1/2 miles to Goose Lake, and is filled with wildflowers during the summer.
Red River Nature Trail
The trail starts in town on Pioneer Road where you’ll travel 2 miles along Red River to the Goose Lake Road. This trail is popular and features interpretive signs on the trail side. There is also a short nature trail following the creek at the beginning of Mallette Park.
There are also more difficult hikes including Wheeler Peak Trail, Horseshoe Lake Trails and Lost Lake in Upper Red River Valley. It’s advisable that you pick up a trail map because these trails are more difficult and a bit longer.
Ensure that you are well prepared with sunscreen, water, a hat, rain gear, jacket, shelter, lunch or snack and layers of warm clothing in case it gets chilly. Keep in mind that at high altitudes hypothermia can be risky because temperatures can plummet very quickly especially with mountain storms. Remember to inform other people where you are going just to be safe in case you get lost or injured and require help. Cell phones don't always work in the mountains.
Want to be where the action is in Red River? The Aspen West Townhome is located right on Main Street, making it steps away from the hiking trails around town. Embrace the laid back mountain lifestyle in this rental and go from exploring the trails to enjoying the relaxing mountain views, to wandering around town without having to go far.