Guide to Off-Roading Near Red River, New Mexico

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide Red River, New Mexico with some of the best off-roading activities in New Mexico. From jeep tours to ATV trails, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the New Mexico outdoors around Red River. There are many options available for you in town to get out on the various off-road trails and enjoy the local scenery. This guide will point you toward good trails and rentals, helping you enjoy one of the best things to do in Red River, New Mexico.
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New Mexico OHV permits and laws
Before you can get on the trail, you'll need to understand the various laws and permits required for off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in New Mexico. New Mexico considers an OHV to be all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, recreational off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles. New Mexico residents must register their OHVs with the state while out-of-state visitors must obtain a use permit if their vehicle isn't registered in their home state. Riders under 6 can't operate an ATV on public land while those under 18 must complete an OHV safety course to operate OHVs. For more information on New Mexico ATV laws and OHV permits, visit the state's fish and game department's website.

As for Red River, recreational off-highway vehicles are allowed within city limits but there are restrictions. ATVs, on the other hand, are not allowed within city limits. Here are the specific rules.

Jeep, OHV and Motorcycle Trails
Goose Lake, NM --- Forest Road 486: Rated "very difficult," this trail runs for eight miles to Goose Lake, increasing nearly 3,000 feet in elevation. You can access the trail by taking New Mexico highway 578 a half-mile and turn right on Forest Road 486.

Greenie Peak Trail System --- Forest Road 597 to 54 Trail System: Take a trip via this Red River jeep trail to Greenie Peak, which sits at an elevation of 11,221 feet., making it the largest peak in New Mexico accessible by motorized vehicle. Trail ranges from moderate to difficult. The trailhead is a mile up Mallette Canyon Road just past Mallette Park.

Cabresto Canyon --- Forest Road 134: One of the easier Red River ATV trails near Red River, this route runs 16 miles along Cabresto Creek, providing access to Greenie Peak and Midnight Meadows. There's also some bits of history along the trail including an old gold mining camp. Take NM 38 to SR 563 to access one of New Mexico's best off-road trails.

Pioneer Motorcycle Loop --- Trail 171: This is a motorcycle-only trail for the most experienced riders. This two-mile trail starts near a private gate at the top of Forest Road 485. Another access point is at Bunker Hill just off Goose Lake Road.

Pioneer Canyon --- Forest Road 485: This moderate trail climbs about 1,500 feet in elevation and covers about six miles. There are many remnants of gold and silver mines along the trail. This trail is just off Pioneer Road near the Arrowhead Lodge.

4th of July Canyon --- Forest Road 490: Another New Mexico off-road trail designed for the most experienced. This 3.4-mile trail features a lot of narrow and rugged terrain. OHVs and motorcycles must have a wheelbase of 50 feet or less. Access this trail off highway 578 until Forest Road 490.

Rentals and tours
Don't have your own OHV? We've got you covered. There are many places in Red River to rent all manner of ATVs and other OHVs. New Mexico Adventure Company, which operates alongside Bighorn Sports and Rentals, offers a wide range of OHVs for rent. They also offer jeep tours. Enchanted Off-Road, Red River Mountain Adventures and Weezie's Wild Rides are also other great options to consider. If you'd rather take a guided tour, many of the rental places also offer guided tours via jeep, ATV or other OHVs. Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures is another great option for some of the best New Mexico jeep tours around.