Cloudcroft, located within the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico, stands as a testament to natural beauty, adventure, and cultural richness. Perched at an elevation of nearly 8,600 feet, it offers a refreshing respite from the heat of the desert, presenting a unique all-season appeal that distinguishes it from many other destinations. This high-altitude haven invites exploration, relaxation, and discovery through its diverse landscapes, activities, and history. In crafting a narrative about things to do in Cloudcroft, it is essential to weave together the threads of its scenic beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural tapestry, painting a picture that captures its essence and allure.

Cloudcroft’s remarkable elevation is not just a number; it’s a gateway to a different world. This altitude brings cooler temperatures throughout the year, making it a perfect escape during the sweltering summer months. The high elevation fosters a lush, alpine environment, creating a stark contrast with the surrounding desert landscapes. Forests of aspen, spruce, and fir trees envelop the area, offering a green oasis that refreshes the spirit. The air, crisp and clean, carries with it the promise of adventure and the peace of nature’s embrace.

The scenic beauty of Cloudcroft is undeniable. From the panoramic vistas at Sunspot Observatory to the cascading waters of Bridal Veil Falls, nature’s artistry is on full display. The Lincoln National Forest serves as a backdrop for this picturesque village, with trails that meander through dense forests, open meadows, and alongside streams that babble with the stories of the land. Each season brings its own charm: the wildflowers of spring, the cool retreat of summer, the golden hues of fall, and the snow-capped tranquility of winter. This all-season appeal makes Cloudcroft a year-round destination for those seeking beauty and solace in nature.

Things to do in Cloudcroft
Source: 4 seasons of winter

Outdoor enthusiasts will find Cloudcroft to be a playground of endless possibilities. Hiking and mountain biking trails offer routes for all skill levels, inviting visitors to explore the beauty of the area at their own pace. In the winter, the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, with opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding. The nearby Ski Cloudcroft provides a family-friendly environment for downhill skiing and snowboarding, making the thrill of winter sports accessible to all. Beyond the trails and slopes, Cloudcroft also offers golfing at high altitude, providing a unique challenge with breathtaking views.

Cloudcroft is more than just its natural beauty and outdoor activities; it is a community rich in history and culture. The town’s origins as a railroad settlement are still evident in its historic buildings and the Cloudcroft Museum, which offers a glimpse into the past. Art and craftsmanship thrive here, with galleries and shops showcasing the work of local artists and artisans. The cultural calendar is filled with events that celebrate the heritage and community spirit of Cloudcroft, from the melodrama performances at the Cloudcroft Light Opera Company to the annual Oktoberfest, which brings together locals and visitors in a festive atmosphere.

Sacramento Mountains Museum & Pioneer Village

Located in the heart of the Sacramento Mountains, the Sacramento Mountains Museum & Pioneer Village offers a unique and immersive journey into the rich tapestry of history that defines Cloudcroft and its surroundings. This enclave of historical preservation and education brings to life the stories of early settlers, the development of the region, and the enduring spirit of the pioneers who shaped this part of New Mexico.

The museum and village serve as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the people who ventured into these mountains, seeking new opportunities and a better life. Visitors are transported back in time as they wander through the meticulously reconstructed pioneer village, each building and exhibit narrating a different chapter of Cloudcroft’s evolution. From the humble beginnings of log cabins and makeshift schools to the development of local infrastructure and commerce, the museum encapsulates the essence of pioneer life and the gradual transformation of the area.

Adjacent to the realm of historical education and preservation is the Cloudcroft Light Opera Company, an institution that breathes life into the cultural landscape of the region. Known for its family-friendly musical comedies and performances, the opera company occupies a historic venue that adds layers of authenticity and charm to each show. The performances are a delightful mix of humor, talent, and local lore, offering entertainment that appeals to both residents and visitors. The company’s dedication to preserving the musical and theatrical heritage of the area, while providing quality entertainment, underscores the vibrant community spirit that characterizes Cloudcroft.

Sacramento Mountains Museum
Sacramento Mountains Museum
Source: TripAdvisor

Beyond the realms of history and culture lies the overarching theme of relaxation and leisure that the Sacramento Mountains are renowned for. The area offers a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of daily life, inviting individuals to immerse themselves in the tranquility and beauty of the natural surroundings. Whether it’s exploring the scenic trails, enjoying a picnic amidst the pines, or simply basking in the serene atmosphere of the mountains, the region provides a plethora of opportunities for rest and rejuvenation.

The Sacramento Mountains Museum & Pioneer Village and the Cloudcroft Light Opera Company stand as pillars of the community, embodying the historical, cultural, and leisurely essence of the region. These attractions, along with the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the Sacramento Mountains, make Cloudcroft a unique destination. Visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the pioneering spirit, a richer appreciation of the area’s cultural offerings, and a renewed sense of connection to the natural world.

The Lodge Resort and Spa

This immersive look into Things to do in Cloudcroft and the surrounding Sacramento Mountains showcases not only the historical and cultural richness of the area but also highlights the timeless appeal of its natural landscapes. It’s a place where history, culture, and nature converge, offering a multifaceted experience that resonates with anyone who walks its paths.

In the heart of the picturesque mountains lies The Lodge Resort and Spa, a sanctuary that marries the charm of Victorian-style accommodations with the intrigue of its storied past. This historic hotel, situated within the tranquil expanse, offers guests an unparalleled experience, blending relaxation, history, and the whispered tales of its ghostly residents. Each room, meticulously designed to reflect the grandeur of the Victorian era, serves as a portal to a bygone time, enveloping guests in an ambiance of elegance and nostalgia.

The Lodge’s history is as rich and captivating as the landscapes that surround it. Built in the late 19th century, it has played host to a myriad of guests, from weary travelers seeking respite from their journeys to celebrities and dignitaries drawn by its renown. Among its most famous guests is a spirit known to locals and visitors alike—Rebecca. According to legend, Rebecca, a chambermaid who vanished under mysterious circumstances, still wanders the halls, her presence a gentle reminder of the Lodge’s enduring legacy. Guests have reported fleeting glimpses of her figure and soft whispers in the night, adding a layer of mystique to their stay.

Cloudcroft Brewing Company 

Beyond the enchanting allure of The Lodge, the Cloudcroft Brewing Company offers a contemporary twist to the area’s offerings. Situated a stone’s throw away, this brewery is a testament to the local spirit of innovation and community. After a day spent exploring the natural beauty that envelops The Lodge or indulging in the spa’s plethora of services, the brewery provides the perfect setting to unwind. Their craft beers, each with its own unique profile, are a reflection of the region’s rich palette of flavors. Tasting sessions not only allow visitors to savor these brews but also to connect with the stories behind their creation—stories of passion, tradition, and the relentless pursuit of craftsmanship.

Cloudcroft Brewing Company 
Cloudcroft Brewing Company 
Source: Cloudcroft Brewing Company

Yet, the essence of this destination lies not just in its historical and culinary offerings but in the tapestry of unique local experiences it weaves. The region is a playground for adventure and relaxation alike, catering to a diverse array of interests and pursuits. From hiking trails that meander through lush forests and past cascading waterfalls to serene moments of contemplation in the spa, every experience is an invitation to connect deeply with both nature and oneself.

Local artisans and craftsmen contribute to the area’s charm, offering handcrafted goods that embody the spirit of the mountains. Their workshops and boutiques are treasure troves of creativity, where visitors can find everything from hand-blown glass to bespoke jewelry, each piece a story waiting to be told.

Seasonal activities further enrich the visitor experience, from winter sports that take advantage of the crisp, snow-covered landscapes to summer festivals that bring the community and visitors together in celebration of local culture and heritage. The Lodge Resort and Spa, in conjunction with Cloudcroft Brewing Company and the myriad local experiences available, stands as a beacon of hospitality, inviting guests to partake in a journey that is as enriching as it is enchanting.

This unique blend of relaxation, history, and possibly even ghostly tales, complemented by the flavors of local craft beers and the richness of unique local experiences, crafts an unforgettable narrative. It’s a narrative that speaks to the heart of what travel should be—a discovery of places, of histories, and, ultimately, of oneself. In this haven, where the past and present merge seamlessly, visitors are invited to write their own stories, set against the backdrop of the majestic mountains and the timeless elegance of The Lodge Resort and Spa.

Geocaching around Cloudcroft and visiting Noisy Water Winery

Embarking on an adventure in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, presents a tapestry of unique local experiences that meld the beauty of nature with the culture and creativity of the local community. Two standout things to do in Cloudcroft, geocaching around Cloudcroft and visiting Noisy Water Winery, offer a glimpse into the diverse range of experiences available to visitors and locals alike.

Geocaching in Cloudcroft isn’t just about finding a box or logging a visit; it’s an immersive experience that draws adventurers into the lush landscapes and hidden corners of this mountainous area. Imagine holding your GPS device, your digital compass pointing the way through towering pines and along trickling mountain streams. The excitement builds with each step closer to the coordinates, a treasure hunt that promises not just a physical cache to discover but also the treasure of experiencing Cloudcroft’s natural beauty up close. The caches, often cleverly hidden, range from small, waterproof containers with a logbook to larger boxes filled with trinkets for trade. This modern-day treasure hunting combines technology with outdoor adventure, encouraging explorers of all ages to engage with their surroundings in a fun and interactive way.

Noisy Water Winery stands as a beacon for those who appreciate the finer things in life, namely wine and chocolate, with a twist that only Cloudcroft could provide. Tucked away in the heart of downtown, this winery is renowned not just for its traditional wines but for its daring flavors, such as the red-chile-infused chocolate wine. Sampling wine here is more than a taste test; it’s an exploration of flavor profiles that are as unique as the area itself. The winery’s offerings reflect the boldness and creativity of its makers, using locally sourced ingredients to craft beverages that tell a story. Visitors can savor these innovative blends in a cozy setting, making every sip a moment to remember. The experience is a testament to the local ethos of embracing tradition while daring to experiment, a philosophy that permeates through Cloudcroft’s community.

Together, geocaching and wine tasting at Noisy Water Winery encapsulate the essence of Cloudcroft – an enchanting blend of natural wonder and cultural richness. These activities invite travelers to not only see but interact with the environment around them, offering a deeper connection to this unique mountain town. From the thrill of the hunt to the joy of discovery, both in nature and in taste, Cloudcroft offers experiences that are as varied as they are memorable. It’s these moments, whether finding a hidden geocache or toasting with a glass of locally produced wine, that linger in the minds and hearts of those who venture into this corner of New Mexico. Every Things to do in Cloudcroft, whether on a trail in search of a cache or through the welcoming doors of a winery, opens up new possibilities for adventure, relaxation, and connection, making it a truly unique destination to explore.

Ski Cloudcroft and the Cloudcroft Ice Rink

Located within the heart of the Sacramento Mountains, the quaint village of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, offers a distinctive blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and adventurous outdoor activities, making it an unparalleled destination for those seeking unique local experiences. Among these, Ski Cloudcroft and the Cloudcroft Ice Rink stand out as two quintessential winter attractions that promise visitors an unforgettable mix of exhilaration and picturesque tranquility.

Ski Cloudcroft, a premier destination for winter sports enthusiasts, is not just another ski resort; it embodies the spirit of mountain adventure with its family-friendly atmosphere and a diverse range of activities suitable for all skill levels. From the adrenaline-pumping slopes for skiing and snowboarding to the laughter-filled tubing sessions, Ski Cloudcroft ensures that every visitor, whether a seasoned pro or a first-timer, finds joy and excitement amidst the snow-covered peaks. The resort prides itself on its accessible and welcoming environment, where the thrill of winter sports is made available to everyone, turning a simple day on the slopes into cherished memories that last a lifetime.

Just as Ski Cloudcroft captivates those with a love for the mountains, the Cloudcroft Ice Rink offers a unique experience that is rare not just in New Mexico but across the Southwest. As the only natural ice rink in the region, it provides a rare opportunity to glide across the ice surrounded by the serene beauty of snow-dusted forests and clear, crisp winter skies. The charm of the ice rink lies not only in its natural setting but also in the sense of community and shared joy it fosters. Families, friends, and solo adventurers alike come together here, bundled up against the cold, to enjoy a timeless winter tradition. The laughter of children learning to skate, the swift movements of more experienced skaters, and the overall atmosphere of festive joy create a picturesque scene that feels lifted from a holiday postcard.

Beyond the physical activities, both Ski Cloudcroft and the Cloudcroft Ice Rink are gateways to deeper connections with the natural world and those around us. They encourage us to embrace the colder months, not as a time to retreat indoors, but as an opportunity to explore, to play, and to marvel at the winter wonders that the mountains offer. The experiences provided by these destinations go beyond mere recreation; they remind us of the simple pleasures of winter — the feeling of snow underfoot, the crisp air filling our lungs, and the warmth that comes from sharing these moments with others.

Moreover, visiting Cloudcroft in the winter allows one to partake in the broader tapestry of local traditions and history. The village itself, with its rich past and vibrant community, offers a backdrop to these winter activities that is steeped in stories and a welcoming spirit. From the historic buildings that line its streets to the local eateries that offer warmth and sustenance after a day outdoors, Cloudcroft is a place where the past and present merge, offering a retreat that feels both out of time and deeply rooted in the American Southwest.

In crafting a journey to Cloudcroft, visitors are invited not just to witness but to become part of a landscape that is both breathtaking and intimate. Ski Cloudcroft and the Cloudcroft Ice Rink serve as highlights of this journey, offering unique local experiences that capture the essence of winter in the mountains. Whether carving down the slopes, enjoying the simple pleasure of ice skating, or simply soaking in the quiet beauty of the season, the essence of Cloudcroft in winter is one of adventure, connection, and the enduring allure of the natural world.

Burro Street Exchange

Burro Street Exchange sits at the heart of downtown Cloudcroft, a charming mountain oasis located within the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. This unique marketplace, a jewel in the crown of Cloudcroft, offers visitors an eclectic mix of shops and eateries, each with its own character and specialties. It is not just a shopping destination; it’s a vibrant community hub where locals and tourists alike come to browse, shop, eat, and enjoy the friendly, laid-back atmosphere that defines this high-altitude retreat.

As you wander down the historic Burro Avenue, the rustic facade of Burro Street Exchange invites you into a world of local charm and distinctive finds. The entrance, often adorned with seasonal decorations, sets the tone for an inviting experience. Inside, the variety of shops offers everything from handmade crafts, unique gifts, and souvenirs to outdoor gear essential for exploring the surrounding natural beauty. The air is filled with the enticing aroma of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods, leading visitors towards the cozy cafes located within the exchange.

Shopping at Burro Street Exchange is a journey through the creativity and passion of the Cloudcroft community. Each store showcases the talents of local artisans and entrepreneurs, offering handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor that reflect the spirit and beauty of the surrounding landscape. It’s a place where you can find a piece of Cloudcroft to take home with you, whether it’s a photograph capturing the breathtaking vistas, a piece of pottery imbued with the earthy tones of the New Mexico landscape, or a hand-woven textile that carries the warmth of its maker’s hands.

Burro Street Exchange
Burro Street Exchange
Source: Cloudcroft Reader

Dining at the exchange is an adventure in itself. The eateries serve a variety of cuisines, satisfying cravings for sweet treats or savory meals. From gourmet sandwiches and salads made with fresh, local ingredients to indulgent pastries and artisanal ice cream, the food options cater to all tastes and dietary preferences. The cozy cafes offer a perfect spot to relax with a cup of coffee or tea, perhaps accompanied by a slice of homemade pie or a freshly baked scone, as you take in the ambiance of this mountain enclave.

The Burro Street Exchange is more than a place to shop and eat; it’s a community gathering spot where locals and visitors interact, share stories, and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle that Cloudcroft offers. The exchange hosts various events throughout the year, from holiday markets to live music sessions, adding to the lively atmosphere and providing an opportunity to experience the local culture and community spirit.

Exploring the Burro Street Exchange is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Cloudcroft. It offers a glimpse into the heart of this mountain community, showcasing the creativity, craftsmanship, and culinary talents of its residents. The exchange embodies the essence of Cloudcroft — a place of natural beauty, warmth, and welcoming spirit, where every visit reveals something new and delightful. As the day comes to a close and the sun sets behind the towering pines, the lights of Burro Street Exchange glow warmly, inviting visitors to linger a little longer. The laughter and chatter of satisfied customers mix with the evening air, a testament to the enduring appeal of this special place. In Cloudcroft, Burro Street Exchange stands as a beacon of community, creativity, and local flavor, making it an essential stop for anyone seeking to experience the true essence of this enchanting mountain town.


Cloudcroft, located high in the Southern Rocky Mountains, offers a retreat into nature where the pace slows, and the horizon widens, presenting a tableau of adventures and serene experiences alike. This quaint village, perched at an elevation that affords it cooler temperatures year-round, is a haven for those seeking both the thrill of outdoor adventure and the solace of tranquil retreats amid nature and culture. A journey to Cloudcroft is an invitation to immerse oneself in the beauty of the natural world and the warmth of a close-knit community, promising unforgettable memories for friends and family alike.

The outdoor enthusiast will find Cloudcroft a paradise of adrenaline-pumping activities. Trails meander through the Lincoln National Forest, offering hikers of all skill levels the chance to explore the diverse ecosystems of the area. The trails are not just for hiking; they are also a haven for mountain biking, where riders can challenge themselves on rugged terrain or enjoy leisurely rides through scenic landscapes. In winter, Cloudcroft transforms into a snowy wonderland, inviting skiers and snowboarders to glide down the slopes of the nearby Ski Cloudcroft. The area is also known for its cross-country skiing trails, where the silence of the forest is only broken by the swish of skis across the fresh snow.

The area is renowned for its zip-lining courses that whisk adventurers over the treetops, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Rock climbing opportunities abound, with natural formations providing challenges for climbers of all abilities. For a more leisurely pace, golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at one of the high-altitude golf courses, where the ball flies farther in the thin air.

Yet, Cloudcroft’s allure is not solely found in its outdoor adventures. The village itself is a mosaic of cultural experiences, where history and heritage are woven into the fabric of daily life. Visitors can step back in time at the Cloudcroft Museum, where the area’s history is preserved and shared through exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of its people and their connection to the land. Art lovers will delight in the local galleries, where the works of local artists capture the essence of the region’s landscapes and lifestyles.

Things to do in Cloudcroft
Source: Cloudcroft

Cloudcroft also offers a culinary journey that reflects its blend of cultures and the bounty of the surrounding area. From cozy cafés to fine dining establishments, the local cuisine is a celebration of regional flavors and culinary innovation. The village hosts regular farmers’ markets and culinary events, where visitors can sample local produce, cheeses, and artisanal products, connecting with the community and its traditions.

The essence of Cloudcroft, however, lies in its ability to offer moments of peace and reflection. The village’s scenic vistas, from the overlooks that offer panoramic views of the White Sands National Monument to the quiet beauty of the Zenith Park, are invitations to pause and appreciate the simple joys of nature. The night sky in Cloudcroft, free from light pollution, presents a celestial spectacle that inspires wonder and contemplation, reminding us of our place in the universe.

Encouragement to visit Cloudcroft is not just an invitation to explore its landscapes and partake in its adventures; it is a call to connect with a community that values the preservation of nature, the celebration of culture, and the creation of memories. Whether it’s the thrill of a downhill ride, the peace of a sunset walk, or the joy of discovering local art and cuisine, Cloudcroft offers a mosaic of experiences that cater to all interests and ages. To visit Cloudcroft is to step into a world where each day promises new discoveries and the opportunity to create unforgettable memories with friends and family. The village awaits with open arms, ready to share its treasures and the warmth of its community, inviting one and all to experience the magic of Cloudcroft.


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