Fishing in New Mexico

June 4, 2014 in Blog

People often associate fishing with places in Colorado or up north in Idaho, but here in southern New Mexico, we are blessed with several good spots for angling. The biggest variety of fish can be found in Brantley Lake near Carlsbad, but even closer to Cloudcroft, fly fishers have opportunities to test their skill (and luck)."brantely lake" "new mexico" fishing

Brantley Lake, created from an impoundment of the Pecos River, is a catch-and-release only zone, but you’re likely to catch some pretty big catfish, crappie, walleye, and bluegill. The upper parts of the lake are good spots to catch largemouth and white bass, as well "new mexico" fishingas catfish. Near Cloudcroft, steer your fishing excursion to Rio Penasco. The Penasco is a spring creek on private land, where the water is a trout-friendly temperature between 52 and 60 degrees all year round, and its full of wild rainbow and brown trouts, some of which can reach 20 inches in length! Several tour companies provide access to the fishing. Near Ruidoso, the Ruidoso River provides a viable fishing spot if the water level is decent; currently it’s suffering from drought. Grindstone Lake and Bonito Lake are currently closed to fishing due to water quality issues.

If you’re taking a vacation in Cloudcroft to “play outside,” a trip to a southern New Mexico fishing destination is a great idea. Pack your rod and grab your bait!

New Mexico’s Craft Beer

May 13, 2014 in Blog

"new mexico" "craft beer" beerThese days, you can hardly throw an empty beer can without hitting a craft-beer enthusiast. Craft beer mania is in full swing across the country, and it’s incredibly popular in the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico boasts nearly 40 independent breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms; while most can be found in and around Albuquerque, others are scattered throughout the far reaches of the state. Even Deming and Farmington have craft breweries!

"santa fe" beer "craft beer" New Mexico’s first foray into independently-brewed beer came in 1988 when Santa Fe Brewing Company opened its doors; nowadays, you can find its beers all across the country. In state, Santa Fe beers, like its Happy Camper IPA are hugely popular; connoisseurs also look for beers from outfits like Tractor in Los Lunas, Blue Heron in Embudo, and Turtle Mountain in Rio Rancho.

If you’re interested in taking a “brew-cation”, www.NewMexico.org has a handy New Mexico “ale trail” map. Sometimes a trip to the beach, the mountains, or a big city is a great way to spend a week, but a vacation spent drinking hand-crafted beers is pretty awesome, too!

Spruce Cabins Cloudcroft Photo Contest

April 1, 2014 in Blog

"spruce cabins" cloudcroft "new mexico"Besides our vacation houses available for rent, we also operate the Spruce Cabins, a set of full-apportioned cabins near Cloudcroft’s Chamber of Commerce. They make for a fun place for you and your family to stay, because they’re within walking distance of Cloudcroft’s shopping and dining options, and they’re also close to a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to hunting and hiking. For more than fifty years, these cabins have been a well-known and well-regarded stop for travelers and vacationers alike.

This month, Spruce Cabins is running a photo contest to win a two-night stay in one of their cabins, and we’re excited to help them out. In order to enter, you need only “like” Spruce Cabins on Facebook, and then share and tag Spruce Cabins in a picture of you or your family members in or around Cloudcroft. Whether you’re having fun, doing something silly or amazing, or marveling at the surrounding natural beauty, we want to "spruce cabins" cloudcroft "new mexico"see you enjoying our little mountain village.

A stay in the Spruce Cabins is great for out-of-town friends or relatives, as well as people who have visited in the past—rekindle the memories of your last trip in a village landmark! And while you’re at it, feel free to give Amigo Realty’s Facebook page a “like.” We’d love to meet you too, especially if you like Cloudcroft enough to stay!

White Sands New Mexico Full Moon

February 17, 2014 in Blog

If there’s one thing that never ceases to be awe-inspiring, it’s a full moon. Here in southern New Mexico, where the artificial lights are few "full moon" "white sands"and vistas are spectacular, a full moon night is a truly amazing experience. If you’ve ever gazed at the night sky and breathed in the crisp mountain air, you know what we’re talking about. Of course, a full moon is best when the weather is nice and the sky is clear, so the full moons in May, June, July, August, September, and October are particularly worth getting away from the city lights.

The National Park Service offers full moon hikes at White Sands; this year, they fall on May 13, June 11, July 11, August 9, September 7, and October 7. Imagine the "full moon" "white sands"moonlight glittering off the sand as you walk over the landmarks famous dunes—it’s almost surreal, like you’re visiting a science fiction landscape, with the moon looking down on you from a blanket of black velvet sky and millions of stars.

Unlike the infinite reaches of the heavens, space at the White Sands Full Moon Hikes is limited; registration opens about a month ahead of time, so be sure to set a calendar reminder to book early. For more information and to register for a particular hike, go here: . A White Sands Full Moon Hike is but one amazing experiences to be had while visiting Cloudcroft and southern New Mexico. Come visit the mountains for a week when the weather warms up—you’ll find plenty of fun things to do, even if the full moon hike is full. Be sure to check their Facebook for more information!

Spend a Winter Weekend in Cloudcroft New Mexico

January 27, 2014 in Blog

Every year, we look forward to the ski season, and every year, we have to hope that the weather does its part to keep the chairlifts "ice rink" cloudcroft skating running. Unfortunately, that often means the snowpack isn’t sufficient to keep Ski Cloudcroft open consistently; some weeks will be great, and other weeks, well… they’re good for hiking. Still, there are plenty of other wintry outdoor activities to do in Cloudcroft.

Even though a lackluster snowfall might not be good enough for a ski run, tubing and sledding are options, though you still have to be careful about ice. Any gear rental spot in town can point you in the direction of good hills to tube. One such place is the Cloudcroft Ice Rink. Along with its outdoor skating rink and skating rentals, the rink also rents tubing equipment.

"ice rink" cloudcroft skatingOf course, you may want to just skate rather than risk sailing off an icy spot on a hill and landing in a pine tree, and the rink is a safe spot for it—you won’t have to worry about falling into a frozen pond! Besides skating, the Cloudcroft Ice Rink is a fun place to hang out and sip on hot chocolate. It’s open on the weekends, and it features live music or DJs on Saturday evenings from 6-8pm.

From tubing to skating and the occasional awesome week of skiing, Cloudcroft is a great spot to spend a winter weekend—even if you just take it easy in a cabin by the fire.

October is One of the Best to Vacation in Cloudcroft

October 14, 2013 in Blog

How’s your fall so far? Along with the seasonal changes to the scenery (falling leaves, people wearing sweaters), fall in Cloudcroft is Cloudcroft fall "new mexico"marked by a busy month for town events—we’ve already had the art festival, and the High Rolls Apple Festival is this weekend, and everyone’s favorite trick-or-treat alternative, Harvestfest is on the 26th. In fact, October is one of the best months to vacation in Cloudcroft, on account of the various happenings throughout the month, not to mention fantastic weather, when there’s a chill in the air but no snow.

The High Rolls Apple Festival, held in nearby High Rolls on October 19-20, is a fun outing for the family. It’s also delicious, as festival-goers can sample apple products to their hearts content. Besides plenty of cider and other treats, the Festival also has children’s activities and arts and crafts for sale. It’s a fun event for the whole family, and a great way to spend a morning—you’ll "high rolls" apple festival fallwant to get there early in the morning too; the parking is free, but the spots fill up!

After you’ve browsed the festival, head up Highway 82 to the Old Apple Barn for lunch. High Rolls is another little gem of a town in southern New Mexico, and the Old Apple Barn is one of its highlights. Besides apple stuff, treat yourself to their delicious gourmet fudge, or grab one of their tasty Sheboygan bratwursts or smoked elk sausage dogs. There’s a gift shop full of fun knickknacks, and you can even bring home a bag of local coffee beans. Whether you stop by the Festival or hang around town, the fall in southern New Mexico is a beautiful time of year to visit, and annual events like the High Rolls Apple Festival will make your stay in Cloudcroft even sweeter!

New Mexico Green Chile

August 19, 2013 in Blog

One of our relatives who lives in Texas asked us recently if Hatch chiles were the “national export of New Mexico.” We kind of laughed, "new mexico" chile "green chile"but if there’s one thing people outside New Mexico associate our state with (besides “enchantment” and turquoise jewelry, probably), it’s those delicious green chile peppers that have made the town to the west of Cloudcroft kind of famous.

Hatch Green Chiles are named for the Hatch Valley, which includes Hatch, a town of less than 2,000 people, located in Dona Ana County, about two hours away. From the valley, these tasty green chiles are available throughout the Southwest, though growers market them for export further afield. While most people are familiar with their green hue, Hatch chile peppers turn red if left to ripen. Additionally, their flavor is commonly thought to be mild to moderately spicy, but some varieties are hotter than jalapenos.

And while the peppers carry the name of the Hatch Valley, you could also just as accurately call them New Mexico State University Peppers (Aggie peppers?), because most of the varieties have been developed by the "green chile" "new mexico" chile "new mexico state"school’s agriculture department over some 130 years. We’ll keep calling them Hatch Green Chiles for the foreseeable future—it’s a lot easier to tell out-of-staters about.

If you’re visiting southern New Mexico for Labor Day weekend, the town of Hatch has a pepper festival that’s a lot of fun. Featuring chile eating contests, ballet folklorico and mariachi, plus lots more music, food and games, it’s a great way to spend one of your Labor Day weekend days before returning to your cabin or vacation rental house in Cloudcroft. We have plenty of green chiles this time of year, too!

New Mexico’s Dunn Solar Observatory

August 9, 2013 in Blog

Anyone’s who has ever been momentarily dazed after coming out of a movie theater into the afternoon light knows that a sudden "dunn solar" observatory "new mexico" vacationincrease of light can be a jarring, blinding experience. But staring into the sun is precisely what the Dunn Solar Observatory in Sunspot was made to do. If you’re looking for a daytrip, this observatory is an interesting sojourn a mere 18 miles south of Cloudcroft.

While a weekend vacation in Cloudcroft might not afford you enough time to check out Sunspot and the observatory, you might include a trip to Sunspot in a week long Cloudcroft itinerary. The equipment in the tall, wedge-shaped Dunn tower is used to study sunspots, those swirling maelstroms of energy that darken the surface of the sun. The visitor’s center offers tours of the observatory at 2pm.

Contrasted to The Dunn Solar Observatory’s night time counterpart, the Apache Point Observatory studies the stars at night, rather than focusing on the explosive mysteries of the sun. You can visit the "new mexico" cloudcroft vacation sunsetfacilities, but the telescopes are off-limits, unless you’re a scientist, maybe.

Besides the science on display, the real treat of checking out the observatories is a beautiful drive through the Lincoln National Forest, even more spectacular as the sun is going down. After you’ve visited Sunspot, head back for dinner and drinks on Burro Avenue, and toast another relaxing vacation day in our little mountain town!

Cloudcroft’s Cloud Climbing Rail Trail

July 22, 2013 in Blog

If there’s one must-do hiking trail near Cloudcroft, it’s probably the Cloud Climbing Rail Trail. Covering something like 11 miles, the "cloudcroft railroad" vacation trails Cloudcroft "new mexico"CCRT is a winding, scenic walk through the Lincoln National Forest, combining four trails into a single network. Originally used for the lumber, and later, vacation industry that eventually gave rise to Cloudcroft, what would become the Cloud Climbing Rail Trail was created in 1990 by a retired physicist.

With the help of the New Mexico Rails to Trails Association, Tom Springer planned a trail that provided views of southern New Mexico’s gorgeous panoramas, in particular the dunes of White Sands 30 miles away! Beginning with the Trestle Trail in the Trestle Recreation area, the CCRT climbs 2.5 miles to join the Switchback Trail and the Cross-over Trail, and by crossing the highway, you can get access to the Grandview Trail.

If you’re spending all or part of your New Mexico vacation in Cloudcroft, you should Cloudcroft "new mexico" trails vacationdefinitely do some hiking in the Lincoln National Forest. Besides landmarks like the Bluff Springs Waterfall, trails like the ones that comprise the Cloud Climbing Rail Trail are great examples of our town’s natural beauty. Making a trip to the mountains is a great way to refresh your personal batteries, and a day trip to the CCRT is perfect for rejuvenation—just pack plenty of water, and be prepared to soak in a tub later!

Cloudcroft’s July Jamboree

July 7, 2013 in Blog

You might be surprised to find that a little town such as Cloudcroft has plenty to do during the summer—besides a host of outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and climbing, the town itself has a shopping and dining, plus the Light Opera Company, which regularly puts on fun melodramas for the community. The Light Opera Company will be performing during the July Jamboree on July 14 and 15.

"july amboree" "cloudcroft new mexico" "new mexico" vacationThe July Jamboree is a fun arts and crafts fair that brings over 60 artisans to Zenith Park. Families can browse the artists’ booths for new handicrafts and artistic endeavors, not to mention some yummy July Jamboree food! The July Jamboree is another reason to come hang out in the mountains of southern New Mexico, not to mention weather that’s comparatively cooler during the day, while dropping into the 60s and even 50s at night. It’s a nice change when you’ve been suffering the heat of a place like Texas or Arizona.

Whether you come for a weekend when Cloudcroft has a community event or not, our town is a great little respite from big city hassles and hot summer temps, and you’ll appreciate the rejuvenating quality of walking through a mountain meadow or sitting on a deck on a cool evening. Take some vacation time and spend it with us this summer!