5 Great Hikes in Red River

Posted on May 22, 2017

Hiking is one of the easiest, most affordable activities to enjoy while visiting the Red River area, and there's much to explore in these beautiful mountains. Discover breathtaking views, relax next to a bubbling creek or even make a splash in one of the many hidden mountain lakes.

Be careful to go slowly at first if you're not acclimated to the high altitude. Also, weather can change quickly at these elevations, so be sure to bring layers along with snacks and plenty of water during the warmer months.

We've listed 5 favorite hikes in Red River, with something for every age and fitness level. Now get out there, adventure is waiting!

Mallette Park Nature Trail
Difficulty – Easy

Distance – ¼ mile

Directions: Take Mallette Road from Sitzmark Sports till you reach the park. The nature trail can be accessed to the left of the tennis court.

Ok, so this looks more like a park than a trailhead, but there is a nice hiking trail that follows the stream some interesting things to explore along the way including some caves and old mines. We totally understand that when you have younger kids, a quarter mile is the most you get to hike anyway! Afterward the kiddos can expend the rest of their energy on all the fun play equipment.

Red River Nature Trail
Difficulty – Easy

Distance – 2 miles one way

Directions: There are three points of access to this trail.

Cross the covered bridge over the Red River behind the conference center.
At the ski area, catch the trail to the left of the platinum chairlift.
The bridge across from the Red River Public Library

Easily accessible from several place around town, this kid-friendly, all fitness-level trail takes a scenic tour around Red River. It's mostly paved so perfect for a quiet stroll, a walk with a stroller, or even an afternoon jog. Keep an eye out for wildlife as deer are often spotted along the trail.

Goose Lake Trail No. 65
Difficulty – Difficult

Distance – 5.5 miles each way

Elevation – 8,800 feet to 11,630 feet

Directions: From Red River drive 2 ½ miles up State Road 578 (Upper Red River Canyon Road) to Aspen Park. Park here and cross the bridge.

This gorgeous hike takes you along the river, through meadows, aspen groves and forests, and crosses the creek as it takes you all the way to the lake. This hike is moderate to start, but becomes more difficult as you get closer to the lake.

Middle Lake Fork Trail
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Distance: 2 miles each way

Elevation: 9,650 to 10,840 feet

Directions: Take Hwy 578 out of Red River till it ends, about 6 miles. Take Forest Road 58 to the right about 1 mile. Park in the parking area and walk a quarter of a mile on the road to cross a bridge on the left. This the trailhead.

This out and back hike takes you through Carson National Forest with Middle Lake as its final destination. Enjoy waterfalls and a creek crossing before climbing a series of switchbacks to reach the lake.

Note: This same trailhead is a 3-in-1, with two other recommended hikes accessible from here, but both are a bit longer and more difficult. If you're able and willing try the Horseshoe Lake Trail 56 (7 miles each way) or Lost Lake Trail 91 (5 miles each way).

Wheeler Peak
Difficulty – Very Difficult

Distance – 8 miles one way

Directions: See link below

This is the mother of all hikes in the area, because reaching the highest point in New Mexico at 13,151 feet is no easy feat. Take the challenge and you'll be rewarded with majestic vistas and a sense of pride. For a full description, directions and what to expect, see our previous blog post, Hike To Wheeler Peak From Red River NM.