Wild Rivers Recreation Area
Visitors usually breeze straight through Questa on their way to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, a section of Carson National Forest that encompasses the confluence of the Rio Grande and Red River and the dramatic canyons forged by the two flows.
Steep hiking trails lead down into the gorge and along the river, so you can make a full loop, and white-water rafting is very popular here in the Class III rapids of the Red River Confluence run.
Five developed campgrounds (but no RV hookups) on the rim can be reached by car, or you can hike in to campsites by the river.
The area feels very remote, especially once you get down one of the trails. You will probably see red-tailed hawks circling over the gnarled, centuries-old piñon and juniper trees that line the rim of the gorge.
To reach the access road, head three miles north on Highway 522 from the main Questa intersection and then west on Highway 378, which leads through the town of El Cerro and to the area’s visitors center (575/770-1600, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily June–Aug., $3 day-use fee, $7 camping).
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition