Last weekend I went to Red River, New Mexico to go skiing with family. When researching Red River I found very little on gluten free options in town. This was a bit worrisome to me, but it ended up working out well. We had a great time. We skied, played in the snow, and toasted marshmallows by the fireplace. So here is everything I learned and experienced on our trip to Red River!
Random fact: This is the farthest west I have ever traveled. And also the first time I had been to New Mexico. New Mexico itself was so cool because the landscape changes so drastically in such a short amount of time.
About Red River
Red River is a small town in Northern New Mexico. It is not too far away from Taos, or the Colorado state line. And it is located within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is definitely a touristy place. Throughout the year they have activities for all age groups. In the winter they are best known for their ski resort. Everything was super close to the ski area and ski lodge. And you could tell that is why most people were there. I cannot remember exactly, but if I had to guess I would say the number of ski shops is probably pretty comparable to the number of restaurants in this small town.
Unfortunately I am not too familiar with the history of how this cute little town came to be, so I will move on now.
Food and Drink
Food is one of the most important things that has to be considered when traveling with food allergies. Like I mentioned before I could not find many resources about gluten free options in Red River. There were a few Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews, but not many.
During our trip we ended up only going out to eat once. This is how I have pretty much always vacationed, so it did not bother me at all. I had taken some non-perishables with me and we took a trip to the local grocery store. Unfortunately I can only attest to the restaurants I did go to, so I am a bit sorry for that.
Der Markt Food Store
In Red River there is only one supermarket called Der Markt Food Store. The German name is really intriguing to me. It seemed out of place. But maybe lots of Germans settle in Northern New Mexico and I am just unaware. Anyways lets talk about this grocery store. I was greatly impressed with this grocery stores selection when it came to allergen friendly food. I brought a lot of things I thought I would not be able to find. This included bread, pancake mix, Kind bars, etc. I imagined that at least for me the only thing that would be bought at the grocery was produce and meat.
Everywhere I looked I found something that I could eat. I even found an Enjoy Life pancake mix that I have never seen before. If I did not already have like 3 boxes of pancake mix I probably would have bought it because Enjoy Life is an awesome brand and pancakes are amazing.
One thing to consider would be price. I did bring most of what I needed and because of the arrangement I had with my family members I did not look at the prices of these items. Now looking back I am upset with myself that I did not because I imagine that most people reading this will have a food budget within their vacation budget.
So if I were going back, I personally would still try to do it the way I had. Buy what I normally would from my grocery at home and bring it with me. But know that if I need something else that it may be available at the store. Obviously this will look different for everyone based on many different factors. But that is just what I would personally do if I were going back and driving there.
Our last night in Red River we went out to dinner. When you have a dietary restriction you are almost always the one who picks the restaurant. And this time was no different. There were not many restaurants in Red River, and even fewer with any semblance of a gluten free menu.
After looking at all the options and considering my dining partners I chose Anchovies Pizza. In such a small town I was a bit nervous going to a pizza place. But in all honesty I probably would have been a bit nervous going anywhere.
But we went and all was good! Woohoo I did not get glutened!
Anchovies is located right off the main road and is a bit out of sight. The restaurant had a small town pizza place feel. They even had arcade style video games for entertainment while you wait.
I ordered a veggie pizza. I have eaten a lot more meat than before since moving to Texas. And I just needed some veggies. I was the only one that was going to be eating the gluten free pizza, so I got a meat free pizza. It was loaded with black olives, green onions, and mushrooms. I have never seen so many veggies on a pizza. The best part is the pizza was very delicious. The gluten free crust was very good, it was not greasy, and I did not get sick. All of those combine to earn a win in my book. I even took what I could not eat back to our cabin and ate it for breakfast the next morning.
Major Bean Coffee and Sandwich Company
On our last day we were not skiing. During some down time I walked around town trying to find a postcard. Another random fact is that I collect postcards when traveling.
On my venture into town I also looked for local coffee. In a place this small there are no big chains. And I wanted to support some of the local businesses if I could. But for whatever reason a majority of the coffee shops were closed that day.
As I was walking back to the cabin I found a coffee shop that was open. Major Bean Coffee and Sandwich Company is the name. It was very nice and roomy inside. They had a full coffee and tea menu. It was funny because the employee was trying to sell me their soup and sandwich deal and I was about to tell her no thank you. As I was about to do that I turned my head and saw a cake stand with one lonely gluten free chocolate muffin. It was so lonely, and gluten free. So I bought it and a hot chai tea latte with almond milk.
Finding a coffee shop that was open made me so happy. I was even considering going back and working on some schoolwork there. And I saw that they do have wifi.
After a weekend in the cold it was nice to have a warm drink. It had the right amount of spice that I like in a chai. It was very wonderful and just what I needed at the time.
The muffin was good, but not the best I have ever had. I was just excited to see that they had options for people living a gluten free lifestyle.
Red River is known for being a ski town. It is not the biggest mountain and does not have the most trails, but it worked for what we needed it to. It worked for helping me and the kids learn to ski. They had a nicely sized bunny hill and opportunities for ski school.
During our visit it was pretty busy because it was a holiday weekend, but I imagine at other times it would not be so busy. Although it was pretty busy we still did not have to wait too terribly long to get on chair lifts and such. I do have to say we had passed the mountain on Monday of the holiday weekend and there was nobody there. We wished we had skied Sunday and Monday instead of Saturday and Sunday.
In total there are 5 lift chairs with over 20 trails ranging from easy to difficult. Like I said I have very little skiing experience, but the trails may be easier than other places. On my first day I was falling all over the place on the greens. The second day I was skiing the blues with not too much difficulty. Maybe that is a testament to me being quick to pick up some things, or it could suggest that the blues are not that difficult. I guess you will have to be the judge of that for yourself. Or maybe there is some source of ratings of all ski resorts somewhere on the internet?
All in all we had a lot of fun skiing here. I would definitely go back in a heartbeat.
Wild Bill’s Ski Shop
Being a ski town there are many options for renting gear if you are not a frequent skier. We rented from Wild Bill’s. It was right next to the market which was really convenient. We went in on the Friday right after we got in. We did this so that we would be ready and up on the hill right as the lifts opened. Unfortunately that is not how it happened, but I still think it was best to get our gear the night before.
Our experience at the shop was great. All the employees were very helpful and seemed to love what they were doing. We got there at a busy time. The lifts had recently closed and people were both returning gear and renting gear for the weekend. Despite this they took care of us in a timely manner.
Based on my experience I would suggest going to this ski shop. It is one of the closest to the mountain so if you needed to go in the day of that would be a plus. And it is by the market so if you want to kill two birds with one stone that is a great option as well.
They also had a lot of retail for sale. We did not buy anything because we did not need any of it, but it all seemed like nice products.
On our last day we took a tour on a Snow Cat. I do not know if this is the real name for the vehicle, but it is what we called it. It was similar to a John Deere Gator with snow tires on it.
Gary was the owner and operator of the Snow Cat.
There are many offroad trails for snowmobiles and other snow vehicles. Gary took us up on these trails. He had so much information about the history of the mountain and town. And he showed us multiple different mines on the way to our destination.
Because the others had already done the tour, and the kids were excited to play in the snow I told him that it was not necessary to make all the usual stops and give all the details. Even without that I enjoyed being on the mountain and taking in the spectacular view.
Gary also has sleds and tubes that he lets the passengers use. He uses the wheels of the snow cat to pack the snow and make good lanes for sledding and tubing. So we stopped and sledded for about half an hour. It was so fun. And you did not have to worry about hoards of people on the sledding hill!
Gary was a nice fellow. He took a group photo for us and was super patient the whole time.
After sledding for a bit we ventured back to our meet up point. On our way back we stopped and he took us into an old mine and let us look around for a bit.
This is a great option if you have kids. The views are great and Gary knows all the fun places to take people. He also owns a Jeep and when it is not snowing does similar tours in his jeep. So this could still be a good option if you are visiting in the summer.
Rio Colorado Cabins
We rented a cabin for the weekend. It made the most sense and had enough room for all of us. Again I was with family and was only really in charge of myself and bringing food I could eat. The behind the scenes logistics of finding a place to stay and renting it I had no part in.
I am usually not too picky when it comes to places to stay, but this place was great. We had a full cabin to ourselves! It was three bedrooms one bath. And probably my favorite part was the real wood burning fire place. At my childhood home we used to have a real fireplace and I loved when we would have fires and sit around the living room. So the real fireplace made me a bit nostalgic. A couple nights we even toasted marshmallows! One of the awesome amenities of this rental company is that they provided firewood and fire starters. That was very nice and convenient.
The location was not too far from the ski slopes. The day I walked around town I pretty much walked from our cabin all the way down to the ski lodge. It did not take too long. But most of the time we drove because of our ski gear.
The cabin had a full kitchen which is especially nice for anyone with dietary restrictions. Or anyone trying to get away, but still on a budget. We ate dinner in the cabin all but one night. It was a bit crowded when we would get more than one person in the kitchen, but I think that is to be expected from a rental property of the sort.
The bathroom situation was a bit odd. It was a jack-and-jill bathroom between two of the bedrooms. So for the people in the third room to get to the bathroom they had to walk through someone else’s bedroom. And in these sorts of bathrooms I always forget to unlock the side I am not going through. So it was a bit odd, but not something that would deter me from renting from this company again.
Right outside our cabin there was also a playground. There was a playscape and some swings which was nice for when the kids wanted to continue playing in the snow, but the adults did not want to, or were doing something else inside the house.
I had a lot of fun in our cabin and would stay there again if I went back.
Well that is all I have for you today folks. I hope one day this helps somebody out and they can go on to explore and enjoy Red River as much as I did!