Find New Mexico's highest elevation at Carson National Forest near Taos, New Mexico. You can also go hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping while enjoying the cool mountain temperatures. In the winter, this becomes a favorite spot to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
You will find many fun things to do at Carson National Forest, and Taos is a fun city to explore. Since you will want the flexibility to visit many forest locations and the surrounding area, bring your RV. If you do not have one, rent one from RVshare so that you have the freedom to move around and enjoy this area's stunning scenery.
Lower Honda Campground is a 15-unit campground, located about 12 miles from Taos, New Mexico, provides easy access to the Taos Ski Valley and hiking in the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area and Wheeler Peak areas. It is on a paved road. There is no fee to camp at this campground. Water hookup: No Electrical hookup: No Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Hiking, skiing
McCrystal Campground near Cimarron, New Mexico, offers guests easy access to the Valle Vidal for skiing and hunting. This campground is also a great area to go hiking in if you want to see bears and a pioneer cabin. There is horse camping at this facility, where rates start at about $15 per night. Water hookup: No Electrical hookup: No Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Hiking, horse camping
Many high-country hiking trails start near Twining Campground. The stream running by this campground is a great place to go fishing. You can camp for free at this campground near Taos, New Mexico. Water hookup: No Electrical hookup: No Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Hiking trails, fire rings
This trail in the Taos Ski Valley starts by following a boardwalk past a small pond before becoming a rocky path. Then, it enters a grassier area, which can be an ideal spot for a picnic. Finally, cross several scree fields. Observe the rocks along this trail, and you will get a better idea of how avalanches impact the land.
Length: 4.1 miles
The Middle Fork Trail 24 is a beautiful path to hike as it runs between steep canyon walls near the Santa Barbara campground. Then, it runs through aspen groves before passing through an open meadow. Next, the trail passes through some small streams near Santa Barbara Divide, the forest's northern boundary.
Length: 11.1 miles
The East Fork Trail 56 is a high-country trail crossing The Big Ditch, which used to bring water to the area for mining about 100 years ago. Then, it follows the Red River and through spruce forests, where you can cross wooden footbridges. It ends near Horseshoe Lake.
Length: 5 miles
The West Fork Santa Barbara Trail 25 leaves from the West Fork 24 Trail, and it is gorgeous in the springtime when the wildflowers are in bloom. After passing along steep canyon walls, it gains about 3,000 feet in elevation as you climb long switchbacks along the Santa Barbara Divide. It runs near No Fish Lake before reaching the forest's northern boundary.
Length: 11 miles
The Wheeler Peak Trail 90 leaves from the Twining Campground and runs through Bull-of-the-Woods Pasture before heading up Mount Wheeler. The last part of this trail is above the tree line. This trail is steep, but the views from the top are a magnificent reward for those who choose to put in the effort to reach its end.
Length: 7.3 miles
If you love catching trout, consider going to the 15-acre Cabresto Lake northeast of Questa, New Mexico. Another outstanding option is to head to the Trout Lakes, which is a lovely place to fish in the autumn when the leaves change color. The rivers and streams flowing near Camino Real Road can be incredible places to fish for Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
There is at least one geocache hidden in Carson National Forest. This geocache is hidden along the Enchanted Circle, which runs from Taos to Red River through Eagle Nest and Angel Fire. This cache is hanging from a large tree near a small tree. It is on the side of the tree, away from the highway. Look for a bag containing a cache related to buffaloes.
You can find a variety of wildlife and birds at Carson National Forest, and you may spot mule deer, elk, antelope, and black bears. The forest is also a great place to see songbirds. Consider looking near the streams at sunrise and sunset as the animals come to get a drink.
There is an observatory near El Rino in the Carson National Forest. Several small telescopes, including a Celestron CGEM 1100 and a Dobsonian telescope, are available to everyone. The observatory is particularly a fascinating spot to see the stars in the winter when they seem even closer.
Address: Carson National Forest 208 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, New Mexico 87571
Fee: Entry fee $0
Carson National Forest is one of five fabulous national forests in New Mexico. This location near Taos, New Mexico, contains the highest elevation in the state. It is a great place to go hiking with several unique options geared towards different ability levels. These trails allow you to see a variety of large wildlife, including deer and bears, along with a variety of birds. A great way to explore the different areas of this forest is in an RV. There are several campgrounds available, but many of them only stay open in the summertime. If you do not have an RV, rent one that will meet your needs on RVshare.com. You are covered by roadside assistance, even in this remote location, and you will love the easy pick up and return options.