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Red River, New Mexico, is just south of the Colorado border and 37 miles north of Taos, offering visitors outdoor activities during all seasons. Winter brings downhill and cross-country skiing, and when the snow and ice melt away, visitors turn to hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Biking trails in the area come with some challenges due to the mountain terrain, but there are trails for all levels of cyclists.
Hundreds of miles of marked biking trails are located in Carson National Forest near Red River. Mountain views and wildlife add to the enjoyment of a mountain bike ride through this southern Rocky Mountain location. Trails are found on old logging roads, some of which connect with single-track trails that are for the exclusive use of bikers. Wide mountain roads welcome both beginner and experienced riders.
he Old Red River Pass offers a smooth, well-maintained dirt road trail for bike riders. The ride, which is less than two miles, includes views of the Red River and the Upper Red River Valley. The trail accesses the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area. Wild Rivers trail, suitable for all levels, takes you along a well-maintained level trail along the Rio Grande Gorge. Trail maps are available at the Wild Rivers Ranger Station.
In summer, take your bike along on a ski lift at Red River Ski Area. Bike racks on the lifts make it possible to transport your bike easily, and you can ride the intermediate trails on the back side of the ski area. Expert riders will enjoy downhill rides over the steep, rocky terrain, but helmets are mandatory. Pioneer Canyon trail offers some challenges, with steep inclines and a water crossing. Along the trail you will pass 16 mines, part of the area’s mining history. Fourth of July Canyon trail is at the top of the old Red River pass and includes some climbs over a four-mile trail through the canyon. An additional seven-mile trek takes you back to Red River.
When biking in the Red River area, you are in high elevations, so even if you are an experienced cyclist, if you are not used to biking in higher elevations you need to take some precautions. Begin your ride slowly to warm up, and take frequent breaks as you ride to rest and stretch your muscles. Try to head back before you get tired. The return trip will be strenuous as you navigate the mountain trails. Ride only on designated trails for safety and protection. Be aware of hikers and horseback riders along the trails.