CLOSE TO 20 YEARS HAVE PASSED since our family spent a few days at a dude ranch in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Our three kids were all under eight, probably too young to fully appreciate the experience, but everyone still enjoyed riding the horses, canoeing the Hudson River, eating in the communal dining hall, watching the Saturday night rodeo, and gazing at the most amazing night sky this city slicker had ever seen (at least until arriving in New Mexico). The cabins were small and rustic, but that was exactly the point—they almost required you to get outside, explore, and tune into the place.
A similar spirit is woven into this month’s “Escape Rooms” cover story. From a goji berry farm, vintage travel trailers, and Earthship homes to geodesic domes, guest ranches, and a 1920s Pullman train car, these getaway spots and unforgettable rentals embody what makes New Mexico so special.
Rise early to watch the sun color the sky behind Carrizo Peak, near Ruidoso. Ride the trails through the Santa Fe National Forest to the summit of Grass Mountain. Feel closer to the heavens than you ever have before from a mesa in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Step back in time in Lamy to when the best way to travel was by train.
You can even go deep underground in an Atlas F missile silo and bunker near Roswell to better understand the complexities of the Cold War and our state’s role in it.
Gary Baker, who operates the decommissioned silo as an Airbnb and includes a guided tour of the facility as part of the stay, sums up such places pretty well. “This is not just a bed for you to put your head on the pillow. You can get that at Motel 6,” he says. “This is an experience like no other.”
While I’m not sure I can rally my busy 20-somethings to recreate that dude-ranch experience here in New Mexico, it sure would be fun to get them out on horseback again and tell stories around a campfire. Instead, maybe my wife and I will just take a weekend to ourselves in one of El Místico Ranch’s geo domes or the cute vintage campers at Hotel Luna Mystica.
I hope this issue helps inspire you to break the bounds of normal, tap into something deeper, and slow to a pace that connects you to the seasons, the land, the people you love, the folks you meet, and a richer way of life.
Read more: Steeped in artistic lore and rustic charm, this San Cristobal farm retreat helps guests recharge, one pygmy-goat walk at a time.