Access & Resources
Doubles, $115$200 per night, breakfast included. 877-620-2327, www.bearmountainlodge.com
Silver City, New Mexico
Bear Mountain Lodge
Back in the early 1930s, Silver City residents would ride horseback three miles to this hacienda to dance the night away in the Great Room. Today, guests arrive in SUVs and are more low-key, cozying up on leather love seats in front of one of two grand stone fireplaces and perusing field guides and natural history books in the library. Owned by The Nature Conservancy since 1999 and renamed Bear Mountain Lodge, the inn sits at 6,250 feet on 178 acres of southwestern New Mexico high desert. And with nearby Gila National Forest, almost the size of Connecticut, the possibilities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and birding are seemingly endless.
ROOM & BOARD: The 11 rooms, accented with hand-hewn oak beams, contain beds draped with denim comforters, and handcrafted Mission-style furniture. Amble to the dining room to fuel up with a breakfast tortilla españolaa sliced baked potato with sautéed onions and eggs, topped with a red-pepper almond saucewhile a pack of drooling javelinas lurks beyond the eastern porch.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Take a left out of the driveway, bike 3.5 miles on a dirt road to the Continental Divide Trail in the Gila, and from there you can conceivably ride all the way to Canada. If you prefer skinny tires, follow a leg of the difficult Tour of the Gilaa winding, steep 45 miles from Silver City's Gough Park to the prehistoric cliff dwellings once occupied by Mogollon Indians.