Winter is a time of dreamlike beauty in the Rio Chama Valley. Days are sunny. Nights are clear and filled with a million stars. The surrounding mountain peaks sparkle in the moonlight with their jewelry of freshly fallen snow.
In the valley, the combination of bright sunshine and lack of humidity make for surprisingly comfortable days. By mid-afternoon you may be splitting the night’s firewood in flannel shirtsleeves.
Higher, in the surrounding mountain passes, you’ll find a reliable base of snow. The gentle terrain of the mesas makes for perfect cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Equipment is available for rent locally at very reasonable prices. Groomed trails and marked tracks crisscross the accessible public lands. In colder years, visitors and residents alike enjoy fine ice fishing on Heron Reservoir.
For your safety and comfort, always check with the appropriate ranger district before heading out, never travel alone and make sure you are adequately prepared. Local outfitters [Jenn, link to OUTFITTERS in Business Index] offer a safe and enjoyable winter experience for all. Our links to the Top Outdoor Destinations include contact information to help you plan your winter adventure in the Rio Chama Valley.
Every Martin Luther King weekend, in January, Chama hosts the Chama Chile Ski Classic, a cross country ski event. There are races and special events occurring all weekend. Click on the link below for more information.
Top Outdoor Sports Destinations
Carson National Forest | Santa Fe National Forest | Bureau of Land Management | Rio Grande National Forest
San Juan National Forest | Edward Sargent Fish and Wildlife Area
Cruces Basin Wilderness | South San Juan Wilderness | Rio Chama Wilderness