Questa is base camp for hunters, centrally located in the Carson National Forest providing access to trophy hunting in Wilderness Areas, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, and on private lands. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains and meadows of Northern New Mexico are home to big game hunting including bobcat, cougar, black bear, bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and elk. Plus, small game, such as wild turkey, fox, and ruffled grouse.
Before setting off for a hunt, visit the New Mexico Game and Fish site for comprehensive information, including calendars, licenses, permits, maps, and all rules and regulations. Call: 1-888-248-6866.
Be aware that many hunts are in remote areas with limited cell-phone reception and without readily available emergency services. Always respect private property. Be aware of changing weather conditions, take plenty of water, plan ahead and be safe.
Where to Hunt
Carson National Forest
Carson National Forest Questa Ranger District includes the Latir Peak and Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Areas, and Valle Vidal. Home to big elk herds and abundant wildlife, the National Forest has breathtaking scenery that varies from sage brush mesas at 6,000 feet to mountain lakes and alpine environments that reach 13,161’ at Wheeler Peak.
Latir Peak Wilderness Area is 20,000 huntable acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; hunters hike or ride horseback into the wilderness from Cabresto Lake to Baldy Mountain and Latir Peak.
Directions to Cabresto Lake/Cabresto Canyon in the Latir Peak Wilderness from the Questa traffic light:
Drive east on NM-38 for 50 feet (toward Red River) and immediately turn left onto Cabresto Road behind the Visitor Center (if you miss it, just turn into and drive through the Visitor Center parking lot to reconnect with the road). Drive for 6 miles; along the way Cabresto Road changes names to NM 563 and then again to Forest Access Road 134. Turn left/north onto Forest Access Road 134A and continue on the winding road for 2 miles to the lake. 4WD or a high clearance vehicle is recommended.
Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Area is 45,000 pristine acres southwest of the village, including Lobo Peak and Flag Mountain.
Directions to the Columbine Campground/Canyon from the Questa traffic light:
Drive east on NM-38 for 5 miles (toward Red River) looking for the wooden USFS Campground sign marking the entrance on the right/south side.
Rio Costilla Park is 10,000 acres within the 80,000 acres of Rio Costilla Ranch private lands; owned and operated by the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association (RCCLA). Experienced guides are available for hire from the Association, and they promise their clients “a hunt of a lifetime.” Numerous camp sites are available, equipped with picnic tables, vault toilets, water, and fire pits, no RV hook-ups.
Directions to Rio Costilla Park from the Questa traffic light:
Drive 20 miles north on NM-522; turn right/east into Costilla onto NM-196 for 15 miles, the pavement will transition to a gravel road and end at the campground.
Valle Vidal (The Valley of Life) has abundant wild game and offers bountiful hunting northeast of Questa. Cimarron Campground has 36 campsites for tents and trailers, with tables, fireplaces, toilets, and drinking water.
Directions to Valle Vidal from the Questa traffic light:
Drive 20 miles north on NM-522 to the Village of Costilla; turn right/east into Costilla onto NM-196 for 15 miles; the road changes to gravel past the Village of Amalia and becomes Forest Road 150. Turn left/east at the junction with Forest Road 1900 staying onto Forest Road 1950 for 4 miles (if you get to the Rio Costilla Park & Campground, you missed the turnoff). Turn right at the junction with Forest Road 1910, stay on Forest Road 1910 for 4 more miles taking the right fork to Cimarron Campground located in Valle Vidal.
Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument
Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument is 250,000 unspoiled, remote acres that border the Rio Grande River. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), hunters are welcome. Campsites are available throughout the Monument with tables, vault toilets, water.
Directions to the RÍo Grande Del Norte National Monument from the Questa traffic light:
Head north on NM-522 for 2.6 miles; look for signage for the Village of Cerro and the National Monument. Turn left/west onto NM-378 into Cerro; drive 3.5 miles through the winding community and just past the last residence a large sign marks the entrance to the Monument. The well paved road through the Wild Rivers section of the Monument is approximately 35 miles round trip.
George’s Premier Hunting Service
George Rael (575) 779-4907
247 Cabresto Rd
Questa, NM 87556
New Mexico Game and Fish
PO Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504
(575) 827-7911 1-888-248-6866
Carson National Forest Hunting
Questa US Forest Service Ranger District
184 State Hwy 38, Questa NM 87556
Bureau of Land Management/Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Rio Costilla Park