Upper Valley in Fall


Red River Today

Red River, New Mexico is a small mountain village with a year ‘round population of about 513 that swells to many thousand during busy seasons and special events. It is located in the Sangre de Cristo mountains at the top of northern New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle. It’s in a narrow valley about three blocks wide surrounded by mountains and forest on both sides and the Red River flows through it. As a result, wildlife is abundant in town, especially deer, chipmunks and hummingbirds in summer. While it’s small enough to walk anywhere, there is free public transportation available in town with door-to-door service. It’s almost always sunny and at an altitude of 8750' the climate is cool in summer, with an average daytime temperature of about 75°. Winter brings about 188" of annual snowfall with an average daytime temperature of 40° that is quite comfortable in the sunshine.

Red River is an affordable resort town that offers a variety of outdoor recreation - summer and winter - with both alpine and nordic ski areas. There are lots of restaurants, many with outdoor dining venues available in warm weather. There is plenty of lodging ranging from very rustic cabins to upscale condos - something for every budget and taste. There are a number of retail establishments, art galleries, outfitters and realtors. There are several parks with picnic areas, playgrounds, skateboard areas, tennis courts, volleyball court, frisbee golf course and nature trails. There are also lots of free summer recreational activities at the Community House for families, as well as businesses offering activities for kids like the climbing wall, trampoline, pony rides, etc. Popular summer activities include trout fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cowboy evenings, jeep and ATV tours to the high country, and many other outdoor activities.

Special events abound in summer and fall beginning mid-May and extending through Oktoberfest. Winter season starts Thanksgiving and runs till late March with the week-long Mardi Gras in the Mountains celebration being a major atttraction. Red River is also well known for having world class music year round to appeal to a variety of tastes.

The History

According to the oral tradition, Red River City was founded on July 3, 1895 by Colorado speculator E.I. Jones and the Red River City Town and Mineral Company. From the beginning, it was a mining town and the search for precious metal resulted in hundreds of mines with colorful names like Golden Treasure, Silver King and the Black Copper. By 1897 over 3,000 people were said to be living in the area.

After the mines “played out,” the town gained new momentum by renting abandoned mining cabins to flatland visitors who sought refuge from the heat in the cool mountains of the Red River Valley.

With the opening of the Red River Ski Area in 1959-60, Red River became more that a summer resort. Today hundreds of thousands of people enjoy relaxation and recreation in the high country paradise of Northern New Mexico.