There’s a reason that New Mexico is called “The Land of Enchantment”. From deep canyons, to towering peaks, to whitewater rivers, the options for outdoor activity aren’t better anywhere else. But even with the plethora of activities available to any outdoor adventurers, it’s still important to know when and where to go. So whether you hail from Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, or Silver City, there’s an outdoor adventure waiting nearby.
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Outdoor Activities in New Mexico
The Best Outdoor Activities in New Mexico
While fishing isn’t necessarily everyone’s forte, an experienced fisherman knows when they have good water. You can fish just about any body of water in New Mexico, but only a few areas provide the rare but plentiful stomping grounds that keep even locals coming back. Red River is a popular stocking location for trout, which ensures plentiful catches. The Cimarron River to the east and the Chama River to the west both provide excellent fly fishing. Some of the best trout fishing in the state is just a few miles above El Vado Dam near Chama, New Mexico. So whether you are catching just to catch, or hunting for the elusive smallmouth bass or rainbow trout, New Mexico has fishing for anybody and everybody.
As winter falls upon New Mexico, it’s important to remember that even though the cold weather may trap some inside, it opens up a whole new world of fun for most. With snow on the peaks, ski resorts like Sipapu, Ski Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, and the Sandia Peak Ski Area are opening up to the public. Skiing and snowboarding at any of these locations offer visitors a unique experience, whether it be the amenities of Ski Santa Fe, or the steep badge of honor that comes with riding Taos Ski Valley.
PS: New Mexico is one of the only states in the country where you can ski and whitewater raft on the same day!
Bike Parks & Mountain Biking
Santa Fe has some of the best selections of mountain biking trails in the country. A bold claim, sure, but a true one. The area has a variety of terrain from dusty desert to forested peaks, and with year-round trails that will sometimes climb in and out of different climate zones, Santa Fe can make any trail a blast rides like the La Tierra trails can be friendly to any level biker, while other places like the Glorietta downhill trails are so good they have hosted national competitions. . .twice. So if mountain biking is your game, then Santa Fe is calling your name!
Hiking & Backpacking
Hiking and backpacking have to be the oldest outdoor tradition of them all. Walking not to a destination, but simply to enjoy and appreciate your surroundings. Hiking is also an outdoor activity that New Mexico is certainly not short of. From Pecos Wilderness to the Taos Mountains, hiking in New Mexico is a game of options. For real hardcore hikers, the Continental Divide trail snakes its way south-to-north through the state and onwards, and for more relaxed and scenic hikes, Bandelier National Monument provides short hikes with excellent views of pre-historic Native American settlements.
For those who aren’t necessarily fans of being in the water, New Mexico has plenty of places to be on the water too. Up and down the Rio Grande is top-class whitewater available for New Mexico river rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, and any paddlesport. With sections like the Rio Grande Racecourse, providing a fun yet safe experience for beginners, or sections like the Taos Box and the Razorblades for those looking for bigger water. And if it’s a longer river adventure you seek, the Rio Chama releases water for the Chama Canyon wilderness area during the summers, providing an excellent multiple-day boating trip. Out of all of these amazing outdoor activities in New Mexico, whitewater rafting has to be our favorite adventure.
What are you waiting for? Book your next adventure with New Mexico River Adventures today!
Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day
Rio Grande Gorge Rafting Full Day