The Enchanted Circle is the scenic 83-mile loop that encompasses everything that is unique to northern New Mexico. These towns are each unique in their own way and offer an abundance of wildlife, heritage, and culture. With their close proximity to Red River, these western explorations are the perfect distance for day trips from River Breeze while on your mountain style family vacation.
Angel Fire – Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located in Angel Fire, about 30 miles from Red River in the Enchanted Circle. This memorial is a place where Veterans and visitors alike come to reflect and pay tribute to those who served our country in the Vietnam War. As you explore the serene Memorial, you’ll come across displays honoring Vietnam Veterans around the grounds and in the Visitor Center that pay tribute to those who served. While in Angel Fire, make sure to grab your camera as the sun goes down. The sunsets are truly a work of art when the skies explode with colors of orange, reds, and purples.
Cimarron – Cimarron Canyon State Park
Cimarron is a historic western town about 42 miles from Red River, where outlaw tails meet ghostly lores. History flows through main street as deeply as the Cimarron River flows through Cimarron Canyon State Park. Historic sights include the Historic Saint James Hotel, the Old Mill Museum, and the Colfax County Courthouse. The Cimarron Canyon is home to multiple trails that wind through the park for hiking and snowshoeing. One of the most popular spots in the park is the spectacular cliff formation, Palisades Sill, that sits along the east end of the park.
Eagle Nest – Eagle Nest Lake State Park
Eagle Nest is a town 18 miles from Red River that is bursting with Old West culture, complete with swinging doors on the saloon downtown that is located between two of New Mexico’s highest peaks – Baldy Mountain and Wheeler Peak. Eagle Nest Lake became one of the newest State Parks in New Mexico when it was established in January 2004. The park sits at an elevation of 8,300 ft and is home to a 2,400 acre lake that is regularly stocked with Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow Trout, making it the main attraction and a popular fishing spot for avid anglers.
Ojo Caliente – Hot Springs
Ojo Caliente is a small community in Taos County, about 68 miles from Red River that is known for its hot springs. Deemed sacred by the Native Americans from the area, the five geothermal mineral water springs are one of the oldest natural health spas. With temperatures ranging between 85 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit, the sulfur-free healing waters have been soothing mind, body, and soul for centuries.
Taos – Historic Taos: Pueblos, Plazas, and Frontiersmen
Taos is a historic town bursting with New Mexican heritage and culture about 36 miles from Red River. Taos is home to the Taos Pueblos, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America and the only living Native American community to be designated both a World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-story adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years and are believed to have been built between 1,000 and 1,450 A.D.
The historic Don Fernando de Taos Plaza, which is known as the “Heart of Taos”, was originally built for defense when it was settled more than 300 years ago by the Spanish Colonists. The plaza still retains its original shape with its windows and doors facing in towards the center and limited entrances that were designed to be easily barricaded.
The Kit Carson Home & Museum is the four room home where Kit and Josefa Carson raised their children, located one block from the Taos Plaza. Known as one of the great heroes of the Old West, Kit Carson was an American frontiersman, trapper, soldier and guide during the early 1800’s. Carson purchased the one-story Spanish Colonial style home in 1843 as a wedding present for his bride, and occupied it until 1867.
Whether you’re looking to explore historical towns full of western culture, hike through mountain trails, or relax in the sacred springs, an adventure waiting for everyone in the Enchanted Circle. The best part is that it’s just a day trip away!
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