Cimarroncita Historic Ranch: Great Value Cowboy Vacation in New Mexico

Fly-fishing, horseback riding, & stunning scenery at Wild West lodge

Cimarroncita cowgirl camp in New Mexico
••• Calling all cowgirls!. © Cimarroncita Ranch

Cimarroncita Historic Ranch Retreat in New Mexico: The Real West

Cimarroncita Historic Ranch Retreat is a historic New Mexico ranch that was reborn as an authentic, cowboy-style ecotourism experience. It is an excellent vacation value, with all-inclusive rates of $275 per adult per day as of 2016.

Cimarroncita offers thrilling horseback riding, fly-fishing, and other Wild West pursuits amidst the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Fast Facts About Cimarroncita Historic Ranch in New Mexico

  • Family-run Western lodge built in 1908, renovated in 1995
  • Located in the southern Rockies in northeastern New Mexico, a three-hour drive from Albuquerque airport
  • Open from June through September
  • Capacity of 24 guests
  • Geared to families, groups, fly-fishing fans
  • All-inclusive meals and outdoor activities, including horseback riding and camping
  • Typical deal: five-day guided "nature expedition sampler" with overnight camping trip
  • Main activities: fly-fishing, horseback riding, camping, hiking
  • Lodge accommodations are charming and authentic, but not posh

    Location of Cimarroncita Historic Ranch

    Cimarroncita is a 2,700-acre ranch in the richly forested northeast corner of New Mexico, in the southern Rockies. It borders Cimarron Canyon State Park, New Mexico’s largest wildlife area, famed for camping and trout fishing.

    Cimarroncita is about an hour from Raton, a quintessential Old West town, and an hour from the village of Taos and its art galleries and 1,000-year-old Taos Pueblo.

    Guest Accommodations at Cimarroncita

    Most Cimarroncita guests stay in Laguna Lodge, built by the railroad in 1908. Laguna Lodge has seven rooms. Two connect, and two, with original bunk beds, are reserved for children. Rooms are old-fashioned and comfortable, with ceiling fans, large closets, and a cushy queen bed with fine linens. Robes and slippers are provided. A room-wide screened porch has lounge chairs and endless views.

    Laguna Lodge has a sink in each room and a bank of seven bathrooms. Guests can reserve a the bathrooms for their own private use.

    The only guest TV is in the lobby, and there is no wi-fi or other Internet connection. Various satellite networks service smartphones.

    The fireplace-warmed Library serves as a gathering place, lounge, reading and game room. A building-wide porch is lined with lounge chairs for taking in the incredible Roadrunner State views.

    Dining at Cimarroncita Historic Ranch in New Mexico

    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and house wine, beer are included. Cimarroncita's expert kitchen staff is committed to locavore, farm-to-table dining. Produce is either grown in the ranch's kitchen garden or sourced at local farmers’ markets, and meats are from local ranches.

    Breakfast includes buffet options and hearty cooked dishes. A picnic-style indoor lunch offers salads, fruit, and a make-your-own gourmet sandwich bar. Lunch can also be packed to go or delivered to guests who are out fishing or riding.

    Dinner begins with a cocktail hour. Dinner menus are simple and fresh, with a choice of steak, salmon, or chicken. Ranch hospitality continues after dinner with Cognac, cigars, and s'mores over a campfire. Every Saturday night, guest enjoy the Cimarron River Campfire Cookout, a white-linen sit-down dinner on the riverbank.

    What Makes Cimarroncita a Unique Vacation?

    It's not Cimarroncita's flavorful, rustic accommodations that make it a one-of-a-kind getaway. Other aspects make Cimarroncita one of the best guest ranches in the U.S.

    • Superlative camping, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing
    • Personal service and customized activities provided by resident owners and longtime staff
    • A feeling that the Old West lives on

    Wild West Activities at Cimarroncita in New Mexico

    Devoted adventure travelers can indulge in a tempting array of outdoor pursuits at Cimarroncita, both on its vast property and off:

    • Hiking (guided and not)
    • Horseback riding (with a horse you choose, or vice-versa)
    • Freshwater fly-fishing in the "Dream Water" of the Cimarron River
    • Hunting on a seasonal basis
    • Scenic drives along the "Enchanted Circle" leading to Taos
    • Cultural visits to Taos Pueblo

    What Is and Is Not Included at Cimarroncita in New Mexico

    Included in the ranch's all-inclusive pricing policy:

    • Three meals a day with wine and beer; Cognac; cigars
    • Horse use
    • Fly-fishing rod, lines, and flies as needed
    • Tent, sleeping back, backpack, other camping gear
    • Wilderness guides

    Not included:

    • Transportation from nearest airports (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs)
    • Personal fishing license (obtained online from the State of New Mexico)

    Special Weekends at Cimarroncita in New Mexico

    Cimarroncita runs several specialized weekends during its four-month guest season. Some recurring themes are personal growth, yoga, photography, girls-only.

    Is Cimarroncita in New Mexico For You?

    The answer is probably yes if:

    • You are thrilled by the Wild West
    • You'd like to take a break from city-based visits and wouldn't mind "roughing it" a little
    • You find the promise of great camping and fishing irresistible

    The answer is probably no if:

    • You seek a sedentary vacation or indoor hotel experience
    • You insist on five-star-hotel amenities
    • You are susceptible to altitude sickness (the ranch sits 7,300 feet high, similar to Santa Fe, and many of its camping, riding, and fishing spots are considerably higher)
    • You can't function without a computer and Internet connection
    • You are hoping for a private romantic lovebirds' getaway

    History of Cimarroncita in New Mexico

    Cimarroncita was built in 1908 to accommodate New Mexico tourists who took a scenic railroad train – the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Railway Excursion Line – to this beautiful corner of the Roadrunner State. A Texan, Minnette Thompson, bought the hotel in 1930 and established the Cimarroncita Ranch Camp for Girls. A camp for boys soon followed.

    Minnette and her family ran the camps until 1995. Her relative and namesake Minnette Burges and husband Alan Huerta renovated the camp and reopened as Cimarroncita Ranch in 2005.

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