- Overall Rating 3
- Family Friendly 4
- All-Mtn. Terrain 3
- Terrain Park 3
- Nightlife 4
Pros: beginner terrain park, helpful staff, great access to hill from town
Cons: no bars on lifts, 2-person green run lift, CROWDED
Recommended For: Family Friendly
Date Visited: Mar 1, 2013
I took my two boys (ages 4 & 6) for a road trip and left mamma at home for some time off for her birthday. I'd never even HEARD of Red River before 3 weeks ago. I found the ski-mountain decent for intermediate skiers. We lucked out and caught a 12 inches of new snow from a spring storm so all runs were open. Red River is laid back so you can't be in a hurry or DEMAND SERVICE and expect results like you might in other ski towns. In fact it kinda reminds me of Austin where I live or Hawaii - you have to "go along to get along." My original lift tickets were incorrectly booked. A quick explanation to guest services and they sorted it out. I booked a ski school for the kids and decided to cancel - no problem on a refund even though it said "non-refundable".
For Parents of young (6 and under) kids: The ski school was OVERWHELMED for Spring Break. They don't seem to limit ski school enrollment so the classes were very crowded. My youngest claimed he was too tired so they let him sit out the lessons rather than get him to ski. I suspect they were just overwhelmed.
Some issues for younger or more timid skiers: Most chair lifts don't have safety bars and the lift attendants weren't trained in how to make sure kids are on the chair safe. It wasn't a problem, but noticeably different from lift attendants at Angel Fire where we also skied - they were clearly trained in how to manage young kids. The green runs at the top are good for beginner skiers but my kids got bored pretty quick. One issue: I was the only adult with two kids - the green lift only has two seats! My older son managed to suck it up and ride alone but didn't like it. Parents with multiple kids will need to pair up to ski successfully. The front side had a 3-person lift and is more blues than greens - the green runs are long with one tricky part on the "Easy Way Down" run that my kids managed without too much trouble.
The town was kid-friendly and the boys enjoyed all the food where we ate (pizza @ Copas Italian, GIANT pancakes at Old Timer's, decent BBQ and chicken at Black Diamond Grill). They enjoyed playing in the bunny slope and small sledding area after the lifts closed. We had good luck finding extra child-sized ski gear at several of the stores in town - better than the ski stores in Austin. We found All Seasons Sports the most helpful and friendly.
Accommodations in Red River seemed pricey for what you get. We had a 2-bdrm ski in/ski out private cabin in Big Sky for $300/night. $175/night bought us a 1-bdrm much older motel with out daily maid or towel service.
PROtip: it helped to change the scenery and drive 45-minutes to Angel Fire for a day of skiing. This resort is more "upscale" and I immediately noticed a difference in attitude (more uptight) and professionalism (much higher). Taos is also close but more advanced skiing from what I hear.
So all in all, if you go to Red River, be cool, slow your roll so to speak, and set your expectations on "chill" and you will enjoy what Red River has to offer.