Things to do / Travel Guide
“9,000 feet above stress level” doesn't sound so bad for guests looking for a relaxing winter getaway and that is exactly what they will receive when traveling in the Western Texas and Southern New Mexico area, specifically the towns of Cloudcroft, Ruidoso and Alamogordo. Ski season starts in early November and runs until March, which leaves plenty of time for a leisurely vacation. Named as number three in the “Most Overlooked and Underrated Destination Spots” by Fodors in 2002, why not discover for yourself the stunning scenery, world class lodging, friendly ski mountains and great powder for yourself? Overlooked and underrated no longer.
Skiing in and around Cloudcroft
High in the Sacramento Mountains is the southernmost ski area in the USA going by the easily recognizable name of Ski Cloudcroft. Situated on 74 acres which include 27 trails, there are dedicated beginner and intermediate areas, while advanced riders get their thrills in on almost half the trails catering to them with bumps, jumps and chutes. There is no terrain park but snowboarders are welcome on all trails here.
Cross-country skiers will have their work cut out for them in the Lincoln National Forest which covers over 1.1 million acres of land. Guests should stop into the Forest Ranger's station to pick up a topographical map and get the best advice on which trails are suited to their level.
The art of building mountain and timber cabins has strong roots in the community (from when the first railroad entered town) and there are over twenty different guest cabins to show for it that can be rented out daily or weekly. There are over forty lodging opportunities and several restaurants in or nearby Cloudcroft. Check out The Crofting Inn with its clawfoot bathtubs and close proximity to ski slopes, hiking, and shopping. A must see is the historic Lodge & Spa at Cloudcroft. Blessed (or is it cursed?) with a resident ghost named Rebecca, after whom their upscale fine dining restaurant is named, this beautiful Victorian decorated Lodge was opened in 1899 and has been in operation since.
Skiing in and around Ruidoso
Gazing out from a peak of 12,003 feet in the crisp, winter air, you'll encounter a beautiful sight that can only be found at Ski Apache, located in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Traverse one of the 55 trails in the 750 acres while riding New Mexico's only gondola straight up to the top. Take your pick of the many trails with varying degrees of difficulty that spread under your skis or snowboard. More than 45% of the trails are rated at the advanced/expert level giving those riders with more experience a big mountain experience without having to travel very far or pay resort prices. Ski Apache's “Boneyard” terrain park features boxes and rails, with a series of manmade jumps at the bottom for a grand finale.
As the towns of Cloudcroft, Alamogordo, and Ruidoso are very close in distance, it only makes sense that guests and residents alike take advantage of the combined lodging and eateries available. Ruidoso has more eating establishments (over sixty) than Cloudcroft, while Cloudcroft is the area's mecca for lodging but doesn't offer many restaurants choices. Check out Dave's Pinecone Café for what could arguably be the “Best Burger on the Mountain” or sip a hot drink at Atticus Books & Teahouse with its collection of new and used books and impressive selection of over thirty varieties of teas from all over the world. Whatever your taste, there is a small, friendly restaurant or bistro waiting to you!
As one of the “Most Overlooked and Underrated Destination Spots,” why not discover for yourself the stunning scenery, world class lodging, friendly ski mountains and great powder for yourself? Overlooked and underrated no more – come up above 9,000 feet and feel all your stress melt away this winter.
Ski Resorts in El Paso, Carlsbad, Big Bend, Western Texas and Southern New Mexico