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Cloudcroft – A dream in the Clouds

The hot, dusty, and desolate road seems to continue forever.  The intense heat waves rise from the desert landscape bending light through the windshield and putting Rogue Riders into a transient state… watching yellow dashed blurs marking our slow forward progress. Everything seems the same until a lush green mountain rises through the clouds appearing on the mirage like horizon. As we start our ascent, the landscape bursts into life and inspires Rogue Riders to do the same. The higher and higher we climb, the lower and lower the temperature drops.  Ahhh… we’ve reached Cloudcroft, NM… a mountain oasis floating in the clouds, inviting weary travelers to open every window and bask in the crisp fresh mountain air.  Welcome to 9000 ft above stress level!

We are Rogue Riders and we ride with no rules ;) !!! This might be why we are escorted through Cloudcroft by a squadron of  Harleys. This brigade isn’t stopping for nothin’ … mainly because this town doesn’t have a SINGLE stoplight! With a population of only 750, Cloudcroft, NM  is the smallest of the friendliest towns. It’s surprising they can keep this place a secret! The best kept secret is the haunted hotel on the hill, The Lodge Resort and Spa. This isn’t just a 5 star accommodation, but a true experience with whispers of ghost stories echoing throughout the hotel’s halls. Set atop of the Sacramento Mountains within over 2oo,ooo beautiful acres of the Lincoln National Forest, the hotel is beautiful, and the surrounding area is where everybody is at!

   

 

One of the best ways to explore this mountain wilderness is through the labyrinth of trails by mountain bike. Who better to show us the way than our expert friends at High Altitude Bikes, Justin and Mary Ann.  They know these mountains and the gear it will take to tame it. Everything is harder at 9000 ft, especially riding against gravity up precarious trails. Already in the clouds, the cardiovascular-taxing incline lasts until you reach the almost roller coaster apex and pause for that split second wondering whether you should take the already decided plunge. The ride is thrilling… The heights and sights are breathtaking… and the camouflage party bus, in my opinion, is the best way to get back up. Another great way to explore Cloudcroft involves a different kind of saddle and over 1000 lbs. of bad-attitude mountain-muscle… we are going horseback riding!

   

 

Aspen Cloud Riding Stables was nice enough to lend Rogue Riders some of the wild kingdom’s 4 wheel drives (horses)! Mack and Kitty would be our new friends and modes of transpotation. The horses are powerful and sure-footed which is a good thing because the trails are steep, narrow, and slick from the morning rain. Between the mystic mountains and embracing people within Cloudcroft, this town truly defines hidden gem.

Comments
  1. Aspen Archey

    I grew up in Cloudcroft from 4th grade through high school graduation! I also had the privilege of working through high school at The Lodge Resort, which has and always will hold a special place in my heart. I can say that it is a great place to grow up and a sweet community that pulls together. The safety and security that is provided in knowing everyone provides something significant for the children and teens in the village. It is a beautiful place, with a lot of heart, and provides a nice escape for me now as an adult when I return home. Sending love and warmest regards home to Cloudcroft!

    Aspen

  2. Douglas Manning

    I went there to do a story on an artist friend of mine a few years ago and had the most wonderful time!
    I was lucky enough to go during Cloudcroft’s Mardi Gras: https://www.facebook.com/mardigrascloudcroft to see my friend and her group during the parade. The peole smiled, laughed and were courteous at all times. The food was wonderful and the village and it’s surrounding looked magical covered in snow.

  3. Margo

    So glad ya’ll got to enjoy our special town. I think when you’re not sweating and enduring miserable weather, you just seem to feel happier. And where else can a newcomer to town lose their dog, and have someone find it and proceed to go door to door looking for it’s owner?

  4. robert

    indeed my squatch-like friend… indeed :)

  5. Darla

    I love living here. I moved here three years ago from Texas and I do not miss those hot Texas summers at all. Moving around has always been a way of life because my dad was in the Army. Cloudcroft felt like home to me and now it is. I feel at home here due to the people. This is a beautiful place to live but there are many beautiful places. It’s rare that you find a beautiful place with friendly people. Cloudcroft is one of those rare treasures.

  6. Jeffrey James

    This has to be a Bob post. Well done, Robert the Rogue!

  7. Lisa

    We loved have Bob and Jen visit the most friendly small town in America! We had sooo much fun and can’t wait for you to come back
    to visit!

  8. Martin

    Cloudcroft is the most awesome small mountain town anywhere. There are other towns in the mountains but none can equal the red and green chile or friendliness of the people of Cloudecroft, New Mexico. Hell they even have a real book store!

  9. Nancy Bender

    The cool air sounds very inviting this summer.

  10. Linda Mahoney

    Cloudcroft is truly a gem! Emerald green pines and forest floors with songbirds serenading your hikes. The air is fresh and clean and exploring at the right time of day often results in glimpses of deer, elk, black bears, wild turkeys, squirrels and rabbits. The sunsets are breathtaking and the twinkling stars fill the night sky with splendor. Friendly people and family-oriented activities make this the place to make family memories that last forever in your heart.From fine dining at The Lodge, a round of golf, healing massage, boutiques of jewelry, clothing, toys and culinary treats to the remote wilderness, it’s all tucked into this quaint hamlet atop the mountain. If I was a little more selfish, I wouldn’t share the secret of this little village with others.

  11. Sonnie Hill

    You guys were amazing! We had so much fun having you here! We are a small town with a BIG heart! And the truth is that what you see is what you get! We don’t act this way just because we have special visitors – this is our way of life!!!

  12. Brian Jordon

    Sounds like Magic Mountain!

  13. Jess Cornish

    Wow, sounds like a beautiful place! Been looking for a nice small town to visit with my family. Seems like this might be perfect! Thanks for the great description and help!

  14. Martin

    Cloudcroft is the coolest little mountain town anywhere. Other places may have mountains and small towns, but they don’t have the green or red chile or people only found in New Mexico.

  15. Brenda

    CLOUDCROFT,NM IS A QUAINT OLD FASHIONED TOWN. THE STREETS ARE LINED WITH FUN SHOPS. NO HUSTLE OR BUSTLE OF A BIG CITY. SIT BACK & ENJOY ALL THIS FRIENDLY TOWN HAS TO OFFER. A VISIT TO THE HISTORIC HOTEL,THE LODGE WILL MAKE ONE FEEL LIKE FAMILY,ESPECIALLY AT THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY. TREAT YOURSELF TO FINE DINING,ALL YEAR ROUND.

  16. Loyce Theesfeld

    I had my first visit to this breathtaking town in May. It is all you described and so much more. In the past all my vacations have been to the ocean spots(typically of the tropical nature). I have fallen hopeless in love with this town and all it’s residents so much so I want to live there. There is not a single view that does not inspire one to take a moment and sigh.

  17. Chrystal Watters

    We enjoyed having Bob and Jennifer visit us very much! They are fun and lovely people and an absolute pleasure to be around. We wish you two the very best.

    Warmest Regards,
    Chrystal

  18. Ellen

    We Loved having you guys!!!!

  19. Rhonda Napoleon

    It was great to have you in our home town! Did anyone take you to our 70 ft waterfall or the 50ft waterfall? People forget we have beautiful falls and caves! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4156776881565&set=a.1577178953229.75591.1348260414&type=3&theater