“There are only a handful of original private properties that were homesteaded back in the day before New Mexico was a state, before the national forests,” says Seth Stout, who co-owns the off-the-grid Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch with his wife, Meris, and her now-retired father, Harry Esterly. In 2007, the family purchased the property, near the center of the Gila National Forest, and its four cozy cabins to focus on horseback riding. “We can ride out any direction as far as you can go,” Stout

Try horseback riding at Concho Hills Guest Ranch. Photograph courtesy of Concho Hills Guest Ranch.


Lasso a true ranching experience at Concho Hills Guest Ranch, in the foothills of the San Mateo Mountains, along the historic Magdalena Stock Driveway. “We have this beautiful view of the heart of cattle country in New Mexico,” says Tim Norris, co-owner of Concho Hills, which is open year-round. Visitors lodge in the bunkhouse, with private bedrooms and bathrooms, and can take horseback lessons before striking out. “Riding is a skill,” he says. “It takes a few days to learn.”

A casita at Casa Gallina, where you’ll meet a flock of chickens. Photograph courtesy of Casa Gallina.


Five casitas, 40 chickens, vegetable gardens, a meditation hut, and a dance studio on three acres only five minutes from Taos Plaza? Casa Gallina owner Richard Spera also hosts tango classes in the studio and stocks the casitas with cooking essentials. “My guests are all welcome to pick from the vegetable gardens,” says Spera, who grows carrots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, peas, beets, potatoes, and greens. “I give guests a tour of the place, then I bring them to meet the chickens.”

Read more: Trek back in time at Los Pinos Guest Ranch, in the Pecos Wilderness.