Cloudcroft, New Mexico, is a little slice of heaven––gorgeous hiking, plus a big dollop of Old West charm

Lindsey Hoshaw

Off the trail in Cloudcroft

Lodging: Book into Spur Landing Rentals for private condos (from $135; two-night minimum) or stay at the Lodge Resort at Cloudcroft (from $115) and have the famous chateaubriand prepared tableside at Rebecca’s ($$$). 

Eating out: Grab breakfast at the Western Bar and Cafe ($; cash or check only; 304 Burro Ave.; 575/682-2445). Try the not-too-spicy chilaquiles or plate-size pancakes.

The Mountaintop Mercantile ($; 105 U.S. 82; 575/682-2777) is great for loading up on picnic sandwiches to take on a hike.

In the evening, check out the Texas Pit BBQ ($; 211 U.S. 82; 575/682-1101) for outstanding ribs.

Exploring: Stroll past the brightly painted storefronts along Burro Avenue and feel like you’ve stepped onto a western movie set.

Check out the Bird House (203 U.S. 82; 575/682-6902), where hummingbirds flock to flower-shaped feeders.

On your way home, pull off at the Old Apple Barn ($; off U.S. 82 between mile markers 9 and 10; 575/682-2276) and try the fresh apple and cherry ciders. The homemade fudge comes in a close second.