Today, an interview with a ski mom from Texas about why Red River Ski and Summer Area in New Mexico is one of her family’s favorite places to ski.
Family skiing. This season. One ski area. Where do you go?
Since we drive from Texas, New Mexico offers the closest skiing for my family and we have been to all eight ski resorts in New Mexico.
Our absolute favorite is Red River Ski and Summer Area.
Red River is at the “top” (north side) of the Enchanted Circle, 40 minutes from Angel Fire Ski Resort and an hour from Taos Ski Valley.
The Town of Red River is synonymous with Red River Ski Area, because unlike many resorts in New Mexico (where there is notable distance between the town and the ski hills), Red River Ski Area has two lifts dipping into town, making for VERY easy access.
Why Red River?
Convenience! Red River is very walkable and families can walk to the lifts from most of town. If you are driving, parking is free and a very short walk from the lifts.
Friendliness! Red River is family-owned and everyone is incredibly friendly. There are always badged, smiling faces greeting my family, providing directions and advice.
Good Value! Ticket prices are among least expensive in New Mexico. The rates for 2019-2020 are $80 for a one-day adult pass, $74 for a teen and $64 for a child age 4-12. Half day tickets are available and if you buy a three day pass, you’ll save money!
Red River is not a fancy resort, there are no high speed lifts, but the lodge is comfortable and the terrain is unexpectedly good! We think Red River has a great skiing-to-value ratio!
The Skiing and Snowboarding! The Front Side/North Face is nearly all intermediate and advanced, with only the bunny hill and a few greens for beginners.
The Back Side is a beginners oasis, isolated from more difficult terrain. The skiing here is especially fun for kids, with a scavenger hunt, teepees, forts, an old mining town, lots of adventure and fun tree skiing for the kids.
As a mom, I like the backside because there is only one lift, so with radios I can give my kids some freedom and know that they won’t get lost.
The only downside for beginner snowboarders is a long, narrow green run back to the front of the mountain. Plan ahead and keep your speed up!
Any “insider tips” to share?
If you are planning to take lessons, book at least 48 hours in advance for the best pricing, but most importantly to reserve a spot. The lessons sell out on busy weekends!
Early season snow is unpredictable until mid-December, but there is snowmaking on 85% of the mountain. Red River usually closes in mid-March.
What restaurants do you recommend in Red River?
The Ski Tip is on-mountain in a small indoor/outdoor lodge with a central wood-burning stove and a spectacular view. It serves standard ski fare: think hamburgers, grilled chicken, hot chocolate, with entrees for less than $10. It also has a really generous condiment bar with big lettuce leaves, tomatoes, onions and fresh relish.
Do not leave without getting a huge delicious cookie. They come out of the oven around 10:45 a.m.
In town, try the Red River Brewing Company. Google before you go to “Join Waitlist.” This will tell you how long the wait will be, so you can time your arrival and avoid a long wait in the restaurant. This is a lifesaver for families.
Bull O’ The Woods is a saloon, complete with a beautiful, giant fireplace, the best beer in town, and good, fast pub food. No kids after 9:00 p.m.
Capo’s Italian is a prime spot for lunchtime pizza. It’s just a few feet from the Platinum Lift.
Finally, fifteen miles southeast of Red River, on the road to Angel Fire, don’t miss Comanche Creek Brewery in Eagle’s Nest. Look for the elk wandering the valley.
Where do you like to stay in Red River?
We have stayed at a number of Red River places that are walking distance to the lift, however I think only a few, specifically the Best Western, can really be considered ski-in/ski-out.
While you won’t find national brands, there are many options for local condo, hotel and motel lodging. There is a small grocery store in town for condo cooking.
More About Our Featured Ski Mom
My name is Michelle, I have a 9 and 10 year old. I grew up in Arvada, Colorado and went to Western State College in Gunnison. After college, I relocated to Austin where I met my husband and stayed.
Our goal is to ski with our kids at least three times a year. Last season (2018-2019) we skied 27 days!
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