Above: Bear Mountain Lodge in Silver City. Courtesy of Bear Mountain Lodge.
“Come forth into the light of things,” Wordsworth wrote. “Let nature be your teacher.” Bear Mountain Lodge, a place where nature’s lovely classroom flourishes, takes that notion to heart. Tucked among the hills above Silver City and hugging the 3.3-million-acre Gila National Forest, Bear Mountain Lodge is an inspired hideaway for wildlife and people. Here you might spot a zone-tailed hawk soaring slate black against the Mogollon Mountains, glimpse a pink-breasted Lewis’s woodpecker plucking insects midair, or watch a husky javelina snorting across the lawn. Listen closely and you may hear the odd but enchanting “snore” of endangered Chiricahua leopard frogs in their pond sanctuary.
Book a birding excursion, browse the lodge library’s copious guides, and linger among lush wildlife paintings by New Mexico artist Carlene Roters in the Blue Dome Gallery. Then pause on the patio and ponder Bear Mountain’s exquisite melding of nature and art. Seamless? Yes. But hardly by accident. “We do like to create a unique experience for people,” says artist turned innkeeper Linda Brewer. “It’s eco-tourism that you can discover for yourself.”