You might consider time spent at Red River Ski Area as a rest day depending on your skiing skills and that's okay. Sometimes we need to put the R n' R back into a ski vacation. The mom and pop resort (or brother and sister as it is, literally) is built for beginners and intermediates. The sleepy town is charming and idyllic and you can easily imagine a time when your parents strapped skis to your feet and pushed you around. In fact, you can pretty much walk from any hotel to the lifts.  

With spring around the corner, however, Red River is primed to turn up the heat with their annual Spring Break - Beach Week, March 13-20. Spot tank tops and hula skirts zipping down the slopes, lather up the sunscreen, and pull out the sunglasses for family ski fun.

Head to the Lift House to sample some of the finest beers in the region from visiting breweries, Saturdays in March. The Brewery Showcase at the Lift House Bar and Grill runs from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. March 20, K2 helps close things out with the end of the Season Party. The Lift sits at the base of the Red Chair. The food rocks and so does the apres ski atmosphere and beer.

The Spring Break Torchlight & Fireworks Parade returns St Patrick's Day, March 17 while the Rail Jam and Parade Starts at 5:30 p.m.

There will be a Kid's Glow Stick Parade, March 18 at 6 p.m. Kids 12 and under can participate. This version of the Torchlight Parade is much safer. Instead of torches, they use Glow Sticks and instead of the Face, they ski down the Bump. Hot Dogs for everyone.

Get a room at the Sitzmark Lodge if you can. Looking like a spacious Motel 6 with a fireplace, you're right next door to Timbers for heaping portions of hearty food- order the gargantuan chicken fried steak only at your own (health) risk. The Sitzmark also has its own rental shop if you want demos rather than the rentals at the Red River shop at the base.  Kids stay free and ski free through March 12 when accompanied by parents on a three day or more stay. Sitzmark also has a Winter Wednesday Free through March 12. Arrive Sunday or Monday and get Wednesday FREE. This special also applies to ski rentals and lift tickets if purchased for three days or more.

Red River is located within the center of the Carson National Forest in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico. You are surrounded by more than 86,000 acres of wilderness, 330 miles of trails, and 400 miles of sparkling clear creeks and lakes. In the late 1800s the area boomed with miners scoping for gold, silver and copper. The spot became a 'retreat' for Oklahoma dustbowlers looking for a place to beat the heat in the summer by the late 1930s. The mountain was in fact purchased by one such Oklahoman in the 1950s. There's a vertical of 1600 feet, and 290 skiable acres with three terrain parks and tubing hill.

Don't expect the steeps or deeps of its nearby sister, Taos, but if you want top-notch ski instruction on gentle terrain and a low key vacation for your whole family, Red River's your place.  

More Information:

Red River Ski Area

Sitzmark Lodge or call 800-843-7547