On our recent trip to the Enchanted Circle area in New Mexico, we opted to load up ourselves and the dogs for a day trip to Red River on Thursday. The clouds had finally melted away, and the sun was shining, so it was a great day for a scenic drive to a beautiful area.
As we approached the base of Bobcat Pass, though, we encountered a long delay of twenty minutes due to road construction that resulted in only one lane of traffic across the entire pass. In fact, the wait was so long that several cars finally gave up and turned around toward Eagle Nest. We considered doing the same, but I’m glad we waited it out.
Finally, the lead pickup escorted our very long line of cars across the steep pass (9820 ft.) and back down into Red River, taking it very slow the entire way. We were certainly glad that we were not in our motor home for this drive on this day, and we smelled hot brakes from other cars as we arrived in town. Fortunately, our brakes were fine. Hubby did a good job to not ride the brake as we came down off the pass.
FYI – Bobcat Pass is the highest mountain pass in New Mexico.
The dogs dearly love to go anywhere at any time, whether on a walk, a car ride or a RV trip. We only have to say “let’s go in the car” one time, and they are off to the car! 😀
As we approached Red River ahead of us, I remembered the words to the chorus of “Red River Valley” that I learned as a kid, and it made me smile. I almost broke out in song… almost. Hubby didn’t need any distractions on this particular drive, so I’ll just share it here.
Then come sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the cowboy that’s loved you so true
Once we approached the edge of town, we were finally free from the long line of cars and were ready to do some exploring!
This is a truly beautiful area with lots of tall trees, and quaint little Red River is a cute, touristy town with an Alpine theme. It offers year-round fun with snow skiing in the winter and outdoor fun in the warmer months, especially in summer when so many people are looking for a cool area to escape the heat at home. The ski lifts are located in the middle of town and are easily accessed by walking from several lodges nearby and just a short drive from all the other lodges in town.
Throwback: Hubby and I skied the slopes in Red River many years ago with a group of friends before any of us had children, and we have some great memories of that particular trip. Our group rented a large cabin for two nights, and the heater struggled to keep us warm. It also sounded something like a 747 taking off, too. It wasn’t too much fun at the time, but we certainly laugh about now. Good times, fun memories!
We carried a picnic lunch with us on this day trip, since we had the dogs along for the ride, and we found a perfect picnic spot right in the middle of town at a pretty park in front of the Red River Conference Center. It was just a short walk over to the river just behind the conference center, and we enjoyed a quick walk there after lunch with the dogs.
I wish we would have had more time to just walk around town and along the river, but we were also on a little mission to check out RV campgrounds in the area. We certainly enjoyed the hour or so we spent eating our picnic lunch and walking along the scenic river, though.
After our picnic and walk along the river, we got back in the car and proceeded to check out the RV parks and national forest campgrounds in this area. Well, I should say we tried to check out the national forest campgrounds, but just like the ones at Cloudcroft, most of them were already closed for the year, even though it was only the week after Labor Day. It looked like there might be some nice ones, but once again, they are not made available to the public as they should be, a continuing gripe of ours concerning the national forest campgrounds in New Mexico.
There are some decent options in the private RV parks in or near town, so if we ever opt to take the RV over steep Bobcat Pass into Red River, we will likely stay at one of them if we can actually secure a reservation. For the record, our first choice of the private RV parks would be Road Runner RV Resort, and our second choice would be River Ranch RV Park. We were especially impressed by the staff and facilities at Road Runner RV Resort, too. I honestly don’t think we would consider any other RV parks in this area, but summer time visitors would certainly want to check out the national forest options, too. I wish we could have seen them.
Based on our experience on this day, though, we will likely base camp elsewhere in the RV and make a day trip to Red River instead. It is such a popular tourist town, especially in the summer months, so it is generally not easy to secure reservations due to the many RVers who reserve far ahead of time and stay in this area for the entire season to escape the summer heat.
We might also consider reserving a pet-friendly room in Red River overnight if we want to have a bit more time there on future trips while leaving the RV elsewhere in the area. Several motels and lodges there are pet-friendly and can be found at the link below. Most are also in town within walking distance to most everything we would want to see, which is not the case with the RV parks.
Red River is such a beautiful, delightful area in the Enchanted Circle, and it most definitely worth a visit. I’m ready to go back again!