Cloudcroft is a quiet town in the state of New Mexico. It is located high up the Sacramento Mountains, where it sits at about 9,000 feet above sea level.
The pleasantly warm summers attract visitors from different regions, while the snowy wonderland in winter allows for fun winter activities.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy while visiting Cloudcroft. I visited the place, and here’s what your itinerary to Cloudcroft, NM, should look like from my experience.
1. Start with Lodge Golf
My partner is an avid golfer; I have come to love golfing through him. It was natural for us to begin here on our trip to Cloudcroft.
I may not be perfect at it, but I have learned that golfing is a great way to take a break from the daily stresses of life and even enjoy quality time with loved ones.
The Lodge Golf features a large, lush green, well-tended golf course with a unique layout. With the region’s highest golf course in elevation, newbies and avid players will love the challenge.
While golfing is top-notch, there are several other things to do at The Lodge, like fine dining, shopping, and tea times.
2. Hike the Many Trails
Is hiking one of your favorite pastime activities?
Cloudcroft is in the Lincoln National Forest, which makes it a hiker’s paradise. It has plenty of trail options for beginners, moderate, and advanced hikers alike.
Some of the most popular trails include:
- The Osha Trail: This trail is about 2.5 miles long and offers a moderate hike to the Lincoln National Forest. It’s easy to navigate and suitable for beginners and moderate hikers. The trail has many shaded parts, so you can enjoy walking without worrying about the heat from the sun. And there are benches along the way so you can rest a little.
- The Rim Trail: If you’re looking for a longer and tougher trail, try the Rim Trail. It’s a little over 31 miles, but smaller routes are accessible at the trailhead for shorter trips. Besides hiking, this trail is also open for horseback riding and mountain biking. You’ll also love the stunning views of the surrounding forest and mountains.
- The Trestle Recreation Area: There are many easy to moderate-difficulty trails here. Other available activities include biking and picnicking.
- The Dog Canyon Trail: This trail is quite vigorous but rewarding. It is also popular for backpacking, birding, and enjoying some solitude during quieter times.
- The Nelson Canyon Vista Trail: This short loop trail offers breathtaking views of the Tularosa Basin below.
3. Shop at Burro Street Exchange
You’ve probably heard of the term retail therapy. Well, right in the heart of Cloudcroft lays the Burro Street Exchange to enjoy unique shopping.
Here, you can shop for anything, from traditional to trendy chic clothing, quality furniture, home decorations, jewelry, candles, and more. Be sure to grab souvenirs for your loved ones back home.
Even if you don’t like shopping, the place is worth stopping at as it gives you an encompassing feel of the town. You could also grab some nice coffee.
4. Cycle at High Altitude
Cloudcroft is known for offering a wide range of outdoor activities.
In fact, there are a lot of beautiful places to explore in and around this town on a bike.
If you want to go on adventurous hiking or biking trail, High Altitude is where you get your bike and other outdoor gear.
5. Catch a show at Cloudcroft Light Opera Company
This is one of the best entertainment destinations in town.
It’s a great place to catch heartwarming children’s productions and some popular musical comedies such as:
- The Trouble at Mr. Pinkie’s
- The Bitter Pill
- The Secret of Charity Teach
- South Pacific
6. Go Skiing at Ski Cloudcroft
Winter season is ski time in Cloudcroft. And the best place to experience fun skiing adventures is Ski Cloudcroft.
There are over 20 ski trails, and ski equipment is available to those who need it.
Not to worry if you don’t know how to ski or snowboard. You can get quick, professional instructions at the Cloud Nine Ski School.
7. Enjoy a Delicious Meal in Cloudcroft
If you love good food as I do, your taste buds will be delighted. We tried several restaurants around and loved the variety in their food.
The town has several eateries and restaurants serving both local and international cuisines.
- For starters, Texas Pit Barbeque is one of the best BBQ joints in New Mexico, and their peach cobbler is to die for. My partner ordered this, and I got to taste it. It was great, but not better than what I had ordered. I had the brisket sandwich, and it was the best I’ve ever had; tender, juicy, and flavorful. On a scale of 5, it’s a 5!
- Go to Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue for authentic Texas-style chopped brisket and Angus beef ribs. They also offer generous side dishes, including mac and cheese and potato salad.
- The Western Bar & Café offers great breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Their extensive menu includes traditional Mexican food, burgers, and sandwiches. The place also offers great live music and karaoke and is ideal for interacting with the locals.
- The Burro Street Bakery is known for its delicious peach pie and cinnamon rolls with a nice selection of espresso drinks. If you love pastry, this is your go to place.
8. Go Ice Skating At Cloudcroft Ice Rink
Another great pastime activity for the winter season is ice skating.
Cloudcroft has the only natural ice rink in the region, making it an ideal location for ice skating with friends and family. You can also use it as a venue for celebrating an occasion.
Skating gears, such as skating shoes, tubes, sleds, and more, are available for rent. There’s also a snack bar where you can grab something on the go.
9. Go For Wine and Beer Tasting
You can enjoy different kinds of wines at the Noisy Water Winery.
Try the award-winning Ruidoso Bubbly or Besito Caliente Green Chile. There are also popular wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Petit Sirah.
Be sure to get some of the unique cheese they serve.
If you’re more of a beer person, head to Cloudcroft Brewing Company. The brewery serves house-brewed beers and brick-oven pizza, soups, and salads while hosting live music.
10. Go Fishing At Silver Springs Fishing Pond
Whether you’re looking for a great fishing experience with your kids or friends, the Silver Springs Fishing Pond is the place to be.
It contains different fishes, including bass, catfish, trout, and rainbow trout. The best part is visitors don’t need a license to fish here; find a spot and cast your line!
The pond area is also ideal for strolling, hiking, and camping. They provide all the gear you need for the ultimate fishing trip.
11. Trestle Recreation Area
Look no further than the Trestle Recreation Area for outdoor time with friends and family. It has water, restroom facilities, and several picnic sites.
It also offers stunning town views thanks to its location atop a scenic mountain ridge. Be sure to bring hiking boots or get mountain bikes for use on nearby trails.
Cloudcroft offers a lot to its visitors. It’s perfect for hiking, enjoying winter activities, and other outdoor activities.
The museums and galleries tell of the town’s rich culture. And you’ll find plenty of attractions, dining spaces, and elegant accommodations while experiencing the warm community of a small town.
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