Winter Sports

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 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.

Chama Chile Ski Classic 
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.



Chama SnoBall Balloon Rally

The SnoBall Balloon Rally is held annually in February in Chama, NM. Some of New Mexico's elite hot air balloon pilots fly each morning of the festival, soaring over the Chama Valley's picturesque snow covered mountain backdrops. 

Snowmobile Poker Run

Check with the Chamber for details and events. Benefiting the Northern NM Welcome Center. The same weekend as the SnoBall Balloon Rally. 


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

Wilderness Areas:
Cruces Basin Wilderness | San Juan Wilderness | Rio Chama Wilderness


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