By Jo Mixon
I almost hesitate to write this but the calls we are receiving from people who are coming to spend their vacation over the 4th, have really saddened me. For the most part, the callers have been gracious about the Carson National Forest being closed and northern New Mexico being under a strict Burn Ban, but more than a few have been very upset and what I deem as selfish.
First I want to assure all of our visitors, none of this is being done to ruin your vacation. It is to preserve our forest and our villages (this includes our homes and businesses), so you might get to continue spending your vacations with us in the future.
The Forest Service issued a statement: “To say it’s “dry” is an understatement. The latest US Drought Monitor shows New Mexico remains in severe to exceptional drought across much of the state. Recent, spotty storms have only produced lightning and more wildfires. What we do not need are fireworks sparking more dangerous fires. Please be cautious and play it safe this long holiday weekend leading up to the 4th of July.”
There will be times until the fires are out, when smoke and ash float over to Angel Fire and the air quality is not as fresh as we are used to, during those times take precaution.
And remember just because you cannot take your ATV’s and jeeps into the forest or hike to Wheeler Peak or camp in your favorite place in the canyon, have campfires, smoke outside or light your fireworks this year, there are still so many fun things to do, it is hard to count them all.
Ellen Goins published a list of things to do in the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle:
Angel Fire Resort is on private land and so will continue to offer a host of activities that include:
- Monte Verde Lake –Fishing, standup paddleboarding or pedalboating on the water and Eurobungy & Climbing Wall on the shore. Picnicing and an easy walking path around the Lake
- Angel Fire Bike Park -Downhill Mountain Biking at the largest Bike Park in the Rocky Mountains. If you have never ridden a Bike Park or are a beginner to downhill riding, this is the perfect time to take a lesson or a guided ride. Riders will be introduced to elements of bike control through body positioning, braking and cornering on a gentle slope under the guidance of an instructor.
- Angel Fire Resort Mountain Area -Scenic chairlift rides take you to the summit of our mountain at 10,677 feet. Explore one of the hiking trails, play disc golf or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the valley views. When you are ready to head back, you have the option of either hiking down or riding the chairlift back to the base area.
- Zipline Adventure Tours. You must weigh at least 90 pounds to enjoy the full Adventure Tour, but this summer the resort is offering the Family Flyer – two shorter ziplines for those who weigh 50 pounds or more.
- Angel Fire Greenbelt Trails: Hiking or biking on one of the Greenbelt trail system in the Village of Angel Fire is a free-access system of trails that can be used for cross-country mountain biking, running or even hiking and there are several bike rental shops.
- Angel Fire Tennis Center has six hard courts, including two Pickle Ball courts for use by Resort members, guests and visitors to the Moreno Valley.
- Angel Fire Resort Golf Course -call 575-377-4488 for tee times
- Free Friday Night Concerts in the Park, Fridays 5:00 pm to 7:30 p.m
- Angel Fire Art + Farmers’ Market -Sundays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Eagle Nest options:
Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open for shore and boat fishing. Additionally, the Eagle Nest community is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Eagle Nest Dam June 30 to July 7 with events that include dam tours, music, kite flying, a canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard races, family activities, and more.
- Ongoing and Seasonal Activities/Events in Eagle Nest
– June thru September include:
- Dam Tours on Land by Gateway Museum. 505-603-9985
- Dam Tours by Boat by Eagle Nest Adventures. 575-252-3252
- Self-guided flora and fauna trail walks around Eagle Nest Lake. 575-377-1594
- Farmer’s Market – Fridays thru the 1st Friday in September. 575-377-6188
Red River Ski & Summer Area received a special exemption for activities that include:
- Scenic Summer Chairlift Rides – Hidden Treasures Aerial Park -Summer Mountain Tubing -Pioneer Flyer Zipline
Additionally, the “Walk with a Ranger” is now a “Talk with a Ranger” at the Tip Restaurant Deck every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m. and the Tip Restaurant will serve food and beer along with the “Music on Top” concert series very Saturday at 11 a.m. on the deck.
Red River Visitor Center also gathered the following list:
- Rent a bike or ride a surrey at Sitzmark Sports, Red River Community House events that include Hobbies in the House, Nature Hikes, Volleyball, Games on the Lawn, Story Time, Bingo, workouts, Line Dancing Lessons,Line Dancing, Kid’s Nature Crafts, S’mores & Stories, Senior Games, Movies in the Mountains, Jammin’ on the Porch, Red River History Hikes, and more. A schedule is available at the Red River Visitor’s Center or here. Fly fishing with local guides – Fagan’s Guided Fly Fishing, Red River Angler & Sport, Star Trading Post & Angler Fly Shop. Red River Angler and Sport also offers 4×4 tours at ETown, Rio grande rafting, horseback riding and guided rock climbing.
- Fishing the Red River (within town limits and on the side that is not part of the Carson National Forest_ Town Pond, Eagle Rock Lake in Questa, Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument (Wild Rivers) and the Red River Fish Hatchery. Horseback riding tour through town and at Elizabethtown – Red River Stables & New Mexico Adventure Co.
- Horseback riding on Bobcat Pass (private ranch tour) – Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures. Gunfights every Saturday at 4 p.m. and Wild West music Thursday’s at 4 p.m. – Frye’s Old Town. Bobcat Pass Cowboy Evenings on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s & Saturday’s, Live music – Motherlode Saloon, Bull O’ the Woods Saloon, The Lost Love Saloon, Red River Brewing Company. Ride the Go-Karts at The Pit Stop
- E-Town 4×4 Tours on a private ranch – Red River Mountain Adventures, New Mexico Adventure Company. Weezie’s Wild Rides will trailer UTVs to the BLM grounds near Cerro (west of Red River and just north of Questa) as well as west of the John Dunn Bridge and trails west of there. Michael Martin Murphey concert at Bitter Creek Ranch (begins July 30) Disc Golf, volleyball and skate park at Mallette Park.
- Plus BLM land remains under Stage II restrictions, which means the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is open for camping and recreational use. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area offers several hiking trails. Take State Road 378, three miles north of Questa off Highway 522. Pay a day-use or camping fee at self-serve stations near trail heads. Info, 575-758-8851.
We love our visitors and we truly want you to have a wonderful vacation experience. Please obey the rules during this dangerous, dry time and help us to preserve the natural beauty that brings you back year after year to share it with us!