Cimarron Canyon

Cimarron Canyon is located in the Red River/Angel Fire area of New Mexico and it definitely is an On A Dime dream come true.

We left Arroyo Seco (near Taos) around 9am and decided to loop up toward Red River and stop for breakfast. The town of Red River was beautiful and the drive the entire way was stunning and dotted with many campgrounds. After a stop-off at the Old Tymer’s Cafe for what turned out to be an amazing breakfast, we headed on to Cimarron Canyon. A side note, Old Tymer’s breakfast wound up being On A Dime when my guy packed 1/2 of it up and he and I shared the doggie bag later for lunch, dead serious!

Old Tymers
Old Tymer’s Cafe

After leaving the cafe, we stocked up at the local grocery store and then made our way to Maverick, our campground which was a fair distance into the park. The site we landed on had a gorgeous view of the tiny lake (no swimming), complete with several bridges and a generous supply of wildflowers and was only $10 a night. The site included picnic table and fire ring and was near a bathroom with running water. No showers but we did fine w/ wash cloths/travel liquid soap and the bathroom sink. 🙂

trail along the lake
Trail right beside both the campsite and the lake

While the lack of swimming would’ve been a deal breaker for my kids, there were a number of young campers fishing and enjoying the area and the lack of swimming and Zen lake made for happy fishermen, especially after they stocked the water with trout. My guy was giddy… well his version of giddy, grinning joyfully and sharing fish wisdom with the other mountain men and women. I am here to vouch for the fact that one of our favorite pastimes was watching a grandma shriek with glee and then laugh with the most robust, engaging laugh ever as she pulled fish after fish out of the lake. She apologized for being loud but we assured her that we had in fact pulled our chairs up for the sole purpose of watching her infectious giddiness as she trilled “I got another one!! I can’t believe it!”

Dinner
Scott’s version of giddiness, a sheepish grin

Insider info on fishing, check the stock days and get your license to sync with those days if you plan to only fish one day as the licenses are pricey.

We enjoyed hanging by the lake and making campfires but also had heard there was some amazing hiking in the area so we made tracks for the Maverick trailhead and promptly realized that some navigating was required as the initial part of the trail is a steep uphill with loose dirt to jazz it up a bit. I grabbed trees and anything else that would keep me from rolling in reverse back down the trail and managed a clumsy scramble onto higher ground. The trail itself was a bit confusing so we employed some Hansel & Gretel moves by placing rocks and stick arrows as we went but soon enough the trail widened and became easy to decipher. Our one rethink was upon finishing the main trail when we wondered if the sign had been rotated. The post was loose and the sign moved easily and our hike had proven a little frustrating as well as perplexing in that every sign we came upon was on the backside of a tree we had just passed. This had us thinking that perhaps we’d done a loop and done it backwards. Note to others, take the trail map out of the car and don’t solely rely on trail markers (cough, cough).

Trail head Maverick
Teri at the trailhead

Cimarron Canyon proved magical and we absolutely knew there was much of it we did not get to. The short time we were there was relaxing and filled with accessible beauty and a sense of being in the back country while in a developed campground.

New Mexico, you have enchanted us!

Feel free to “like”/share to Facebook and/or Tweet if you wish. We are always grateful. Also we invite you to add in comments below any amazing sites in this area that you are familiar with and we’d be grateful if you include links with info.

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