Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Chairlift rides offer bird's-eye views of state.(Special Section)

Byline: Beth Johnson For the Journal

With the final snowfall of the season long since melted, ski areas might be the last place you would think of spending a summer afternoon. But you might want to reconsider many ski areas in New Mexico offer summer and fall chairlift rides.

At Red River Ski Area, one reason people enjoy chairlift rides when the weather turns warm is because "we have abundant wildlife in the summer," says Wally Dobbs, director of the ski school.

Deer, bears and ground squirrels are among the animals people might see, says Dobbs.

The chairlift begins in the middle of town at 8,700 feet elevation, he says, and takes riders to 10,370 feet, where people can choose to ride or hike down.

At the top, hikers can walk a self-guided nature trail; plaques along the way identify interesting aspects of the route. …

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