20 Best Things to Do in Cloudcroft, NM

Cloudcroft, NM
Terry Kelly / shutterstock.com

Cloudcroft, New Mexico, may seem like an obscure place to most Americans, but those who know it well insist it’s one of the best spots in the country for outdoor enthusiasts.

Cloudcroft's popularity continues to rise among tourists despite its location in the heart of the southwestern United States, where temperatures are notorious for reaching over 90 degrees.

Yes, Cloudcroft sits at 8,676 feet above sea level; however, the warm weather attracts visitors from similar climates.

Its development increased since 2000 when it became one of Fodor's Top 10 Most Overlooked Destination Spots.

There are various things to do in Cloudcroft, NM, that families can enjoy during their vacation.

Some popular attractions include hiking trails, the Museum of the Mountain West, and many other interesting sites, making this place your home no matter where you're from!

Whether you’re here just to check out the views from atop the Sacramento Mountains or plan on hiking, biking, camping, and fishing your way through all of Cloudcroft’s natural attractions, you’ll find that this scenic town is well worth the trip.

Check out these 20 best things to do in Cloudcroft, NM:

Get Creative at Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path in New Mexico
Sandra L Wilson / Shutterstock.com

If you're in the mood for something different from your usual holiday, try somewhere off the beaten path rather than visiting the same old places every year path.

Have a whole new experience in a mountain's small village, which takes you far away from the city life.

Artwork is part of what makes Off The Beaten Path unique.

While most shops sell artwork that caters to tourists, they also showcase local artists' and artisans' work.

Pick up a piece that you’ll enjoy while vacationing in Cloudcroft or a piece that will make an excellent gift for someone back home!

If you’re in town, check out their website to see any upcoming events or workshops where you can be creative.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect piece of inspiration!

Play Golf at The Lodge Golf

Next time you’re looking for something fun to do in Cloudcroft, keep The Lodge Golf Course at Corona Pl, Cloudcroft in mind.

At an elevation of 9,000 feet above sea level, The Lodge Golf Course offers a year-round escape from the world.

From its classic design to its breathtaking views, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating and rewarding setting for a round of golf.

The Lodge Golf Club opened its doors for the first time in 1899 and now serves as the highest course in North America!

One of New Mexico’s best golf courses offers an unforgettable view of Sierra Blanca Peak, with all 18 holes playing across beautiful fairways.

It boasts rolling terrain and is playable for golfers of every skill level with its many strategically placed bunkers and water hazards.

It's accessible every day, from April until October.

However, to save yourself the hassle, it is best to call up ahead of time before planning your visit.

While golfing is top-notch here, there are plenty of other things to do as well.

Master Archery at Cloudcroft Archery

You’ll find your heart racing as you aim at your target.

The sights, sounds, and smells of nature will surround you as you become like a real hunter.

With supervision and equipment provided by Cloudcroft Archery, even first-timers will feel right at home here, with plenty of targets to choose from for varying skill levels.

Having seven indoor shooting lanes for practice, you can rent out different bows if you want to extend your range of playing techniques.

And if you're a beginner, this place has everything you need when it comes to arrows and bow component packages that don't break the bank either.

So when your weekend rolls around and you want to spend some time relaxing at a fun activity in southern New Mexico, come check out Cloudcroft Archery.

After the practice is over, enjoy a delicious lunch together on their picturesque patio before heading back to town.

Buy Mementos at Burro Street Exchange

Outside of Burro Street Exchange
Pturner1020, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Under the eaves of the village of Cloudcroft, the Burro Street Exchange is the best new place to shop with an "old west" vibe!

You'll find professional offices, retail shops, and restaurants that reflect the western ambiance of this unique community.

They sell quality furniture and small decorative items.

There is also a store in the corner where you can buy some delicious and affordable gifts and treats!

And this is where you'll find the infamous Cloudcroft Pie that locals and most visitors consider to be superior in taste and texture among everything else.

Also, get yourself that Cloudcroft T-shirt and then reserve an ATV for a joy ride through the Lincoln National Forest.

Examine some fine jewelry to dazzle your lovely lady friend.

If you want, look at some properties to purchase and build your dream home!

Whether reading a book or checking out their news magazine, Mountain Monthly, this place guarantees you nothing but delight.

Enjoy the Best Steak at Texas Pit Barbeque

Texas Pit Barbeque in Cloudcroft is one of New Mexico’s best BBQ joints, but they also have some incredible steaks.

Just ask anyone who ate here; you won’t be disappointed.

And, if you stop by during lunch, all their award-winning barbeque meats are less than $7!

What more could you want?

If you find yourself in Cloudcroft during lunch or dinner, make sure to stop by Texas Pit Barbeque; it’s worth every penny.

And, no matter what time of day it is, try their peach cobbler—it comes with vanilla ice cream and is to die for!

Cycle at High Altitude

If you are looking for an excuse to explore New Mexico, consider biking.

And if you’re looking for a specific place to ride, consider hopping in your car and heading over to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

The network of mountain bike trails here boasts some of the most scenic views that northern New Mexico offers.

So if you’re seeking out something that is both fun and beautiful, then look no further than cycling in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

And if you don't know, this New Mexico mountain town earned the nickname 'The Playground of America,' and it's easy to see why:

The scenery is stunning!

There are tons of outdoor activities!

And its proximity to many other beautiful cities makes it a great stop on a road trip.

Grab a Meal at Western Bar & Cafe

Outside of Western Bar & Cafe
Trina Barnes / Shutterstock.com

Whether you’re passing through town or staying awhile, Western Bar & Cafe is a great spot to grab a quick bite and something to drink.

If you’re after a casual breakfast before hitting the slopes at nearby Ski Cloudcroft, you can get it here.

Are you looking for dinner? It serves that too.

Need something on the go during your day on nearby trails? Order some hot food for pickup.

No matter what time of day it is, Western Bar & Cafe serves fresh sandwiches, burgers, and steaks made with locally sourced meats and produce.

Grab a Beer at Cloudcroft Brewing Company

Whether you’re in town for a local music show or hiking adventure, be sure to stop by Cloudcroft Brewing Company.

The local brewery produces a wide variety of delicious craft beers, primarily Irish Red and Stout.

Making their own microbrews is one of the perks of going to this local watering hole.

You can never seem to get enough of these fruity beverages, especially if they’re always fresh!

With the extensive selection available at this brewery, you can create your very own personalized brew from scratch.

The names alone are enough to drive anyone crazy with excitement; different flavors come together to take you on a real beer trip around the world.

Another interesting fact about this place is that you will be served only by the most hardworking individuals who really care about their patrons.

I think that’s what makes it stand out more than anything else!

Watch Shows at Cloudcroft Light Opera Company

When was the last time you saw a musical comedy?

If it’s been a while, there’s no better way to spend your vacation than by catching one of Cloudcroft Light Opera Company’s weekly shows at their historic venue.

There are several wonderful productions to watch every summer at CLOC, but you might find yourself hankering for a new experience.

Take a break from your vacation to check out some of Cloudcroft’s excellent performing arts programs.

Check out a performance of The Bitter Pill, South Pacific, The Trouble at Mr. Pinkie's, The Secret of Charity Teach, or one of many other musicals at Cloudcroft Light Opera Company.

You won’t regret it!

Have an Outdoor Meal at Trestle Recreation Area

View of Trestle Recreation Area
Fernando_Molina_JRZ / Shutterstock.com

Trestle Recreation Area, in downtown Cloudcroft, is one of New Mexico’s most unique outdoor venues.

Located atop a scenic mountain ridge high above the town and surrounded by cloud-kissed vistas, Trestle offers several fireplaces and picnic tables to accommodate large groups.

Pack a few dishes and go!

Bring hiking boots for nearby trails or play a game of horseshoes on Trestle’s rustic wooden platform.

Don’t forget to leave your mark by signing in at Trestle’s guest register!

Skate for Fun at Cloudcroft Ice Rink

A favorite pastime for generations, skating is both relaxing and enjoyable.

If you are looking for activities in Cloudcroft, try Ice skating at Ice Rink.

You'll find the Ice Rink in the Historic Town of Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

It’s a perfect place to practice basic skills while enjoying an evening on ice with family and friends.

You can also learn to ice skate or play hockey!

Skate rentals are available.

For your safety, you should wear a helmet; rental helmets are available at no additional charge (you must return the helmet before leaving).

They don't allow rollerblades, skateboards, or sharp objects.

Go Skiing at Ski Cloudcroft

Skiing tracks at Cloudcroft
Rosemary Woller / Shutterstock.com

Ski Cloudcroft is fun to spend the day on the slopes and the best place to take your kids for ski lessons.

It's the kind of place that makes both kids and adults realize their fullest potential because everyone here puts safety first.

They also encourage you to try something new or step outside of your comfort zone.

Ski Cloudcroft in New Mexico
Rosemary Woller / Shutterstock.com

Their staff is phenomenal at living up to their main ethos, ensuring you have fun no matter what level you're at.

Their rental equipment is the best here, so don't worry about being unequipped for the rugged slopes up ahead!

The instructors have been around almost as long as Ski Cloudcroft's been open.

So they're delightful to get to know while giving you fresh insights into why they love skiing here just as much as you do!

Go Fishing at Silver Springs Fishing Pond

There are plenty of other things to do in Cloudcroft, but there’s one thing that every local insists you must do while visiting.

And that’s go fishing at Silver Springs Fishing Pond.

The area is popular among anglers and hikers alike for its wooded trails and wilderness experiences.

There’s no license required to fish at Silver Springs – just step up to one of the spots and cast your line!

The pond is full of bass, catfish, trout, and rainbow trout.

The pond opens at 7 am, so get an early start if you want to avoid crowds.

Trek Through Osha Trail

A Sign in Osha Trail
Trina Barnes / Shutterstock.com

The Osha Trail winds through diverse landscapes, including forests and mountains.

It’s about 2 miles long (one way) but offers gorgeous views of Cloudcroft Mountain, which anyone can hike for an even better panorama.

The Osha Trail is a delightful trail with many shaded places.

Wilderness at Osha Trail
Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's a trail for hikers and mountain bikers, making the trail a favorite of many!

Some parts of the trail can be a bit tricky to navigate depending on who you are, though.

If you're inexperienced, don't worry too much, as there are benches all along the way that offer comfortable seating opportunities.

Greenery at Osha Trail
Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The parking lot is massive, so there's tons of room to park here.

It's best to go hiking here in spring and fall; summertime can bring forest fires, and wintertime often sees snowfall.

If you hike it in winter, beware of the many snow-covered sections—it’s not for beginners!

Visit Sacramento Mountains Museum and Pioneer Village

The museum has various exhibits that focus on early life and history in New Mexico and include artifacts from Native American tribes and Hispanic settlers.

The beautiful little model trains that run through the hills behind town tell what happened with Cloudcroft nearly 100 years ago!

You'll see a small yet intricate landscape model as it used to be, so you can imagine how different it was from what people know now!

You can go for a meander through the Pioneer Village, discover early farming, and learn about those who built their living from the ground up.

Learn about families or individuals who helped form the land into what it is today.

Look around in the general store for eclectic bits of nostalgia handcrafted by local artisans.

And in the heart of the whispering aspens, you can reserve their adorable chapel for your special event.

Check Out Mexican Canyon Trestle

Railroad in Mexican Canyon Trestle
Amber Walker / Shutterstock.com

Looking out over the Mexican Canyon Trestle Vista, you may simultaneously take in a magnificent scene and learn about the area's rich history.

The Mexican Canyon Trestle, one of the most magnificent structures in the Southwest, was built as a railroad trestle in 1899 and is seen from the vantage point.

Mesmerizing view of snow covered Mexican Canyon Trestle
Sandra Foyt / Shutterstock.com

Put your feet up and take the breathtaking view of the mountains, trees, and clouds.

The monument after the Mexican Canyon Trestle Trail is so well-known that the trail itself was initially known as the Cloud Climbing Trestle Trail.

The trail presents a pleasant challenge and is worth the effort.

Go Ghosthunting at The Lodge Resort

Exterior view of the Lodge Resort at Cloudcroft
LeDuc L / Shutterstock.com

With its sophisticated air and storied history, the Lodge at Cloudcroft is an enticing invitation to explore.

Apart from its splendor, it has a mysterious presence tied to its past.

It stems from the fire that razed the original building at the turn of the century to the spirits of its previous residents.

Mysterious events are constantly being re-created within its walls, making it impossible to forget.

This luxurious New Mexico resort is perched on a cliffside 9,050 feet above sea level, making it an enticing destination for vacationers and business visitors.

Stay the night, learn its history, and if you're lucky, have a paranormal encounter!

Go Winetasting at Noisy Water Winery

The Noisy Water Winery is an excellent option for wine lovers looking for fun activities in Cloudcroft.

Get together with your loved ones and pals for a fun evening of discovering new and exciting wines.

There is a wide selection of high-quality wines available at the wine store.

While visiting the Noisy water winery with your pals, don't forget to get some of the specialty cheese they offer.

Engage the winemakers in conversation and gain insight into their winemaking processes.

Shop for Various Knickknacks at The Turquoise Shop

Visit the Turquoise store and load up on one-of-a-kind accent pieces.

The Turquoise is home to a fantastic assortment of unique items.

Each store's accent piece is a vibrant shade of turquoise, much like the name.

People who like blue and green accessories should definitely check out this store.

There is a hint of that unique Cloudcroft vibe in the store's trendy, eye-catching wares.

Here you may indulge your sense of sight with a wide variety of fabulous jewelry.

Silver and copper are used to crafting durable and effortlessly wearable jewelry while conveying the rich cultural heritage of the Native Americans to whom they pay homage.

Pick up some stunning items for your loved ones while you're out jewelry shopping.

Buy Native American Crafts from Burro Street Trading Post

When looking for something specific, going to the store never gets old when the products are intriguing.

The Burro Street Trading station is where to get your hands on rare and exotic goods.

Jewelry, ceramics, Kachinas, fetish rocks, jewels, crystals, beads, fossils, crosses, and a wide variety of home furnishings may all be found at the Burro Street Trading Post, a typical Native American business.

Look around and find one-of-a-kind presents for the people in your life.

This trade station on Burro Street has been there for a long time and is considered a historic landmark.

Final Thoughts

By all means, don't miss the chance to enjoy any of Cloudcroft's trails or its museum; both are great!

You should also plan on taking in some fantastic golf at one of its courses, like The Lodge Golf Course.

If you happen to be in this part of New Mexico for a while, take time out to make memory-filled excursions to see the eclectic attractions and take in the breathtaking scenery.

You'll know it's worth it when you get to take in the glory of what only Mother Nature can provide.

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