Cloudcroft, New Mexico, is a popular place to visit for culture and entertainment. But it’s a lot more fun if you know where (and when) to go. This list explores some of the most interesting and exciting things to do in Cloudcroft. Use it to plan your visit and make the most of your experience.
1. Cloudcroft Dumpster Art
In 2016, Maria and John Tieman started a unique and interesting project. They gathered some fellow artists together and began cleaning and painting the dumpsters in Cloudcroft. With the goals of improving the aesthetic of the town and celebrating its proud culture and history, inspired artists transformed each dumpster to tell the story of Cloudcroft. Today, you can explore the town to discover and appreciate that story for yourself.
2. The Western Bar & Cafe
This saloon style restaurant and pub is not just a favorite in Cloudcroft but is known throughout New Mexico. The Western Bar & Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a wide selection of burgers, Mexican food, sandwiches, and other home-cooked meals. Known for its old west vibe, this establishment is hailed as one of New Mexico’s top places to go for live music and karaoke. The cafe was remodeled in the 90’s but didn’t lose any of its rugged charm. This is a great place to meet new people and experience the fun-loving culture of Cloudcroft.
3. Sunspot Scenic Byway
Your trip to Cloudcroft will be sadly lacking if you don’t take time to appreciate the beauty of nature and take in the sights along the Sunspot Scenic Byway. It’s a 16-mile drive through the Lincoln National Forest around the rim of the Sacramento Mountains. There are multiple observatories to look out over the vast mountainous forest and the White Sands National Monument, including the popular Haynes Canyon Vista. Bring your camera to capture the moment because you’ll want to remember this majestic view.
4. Local Seasonal Festivals
There’s a reason that Cloudcroft is such a popular place. This is one of the most fun and exciting places you can go at any time of year. It seems like there’s always some kind of festival or celebration to enjoy. Some of the best local festivals include Lumberjack Day, the Apple and Cherry Festivals, and the town’s own Mardi Gras celebration.
Lumberjack Day is a 20-year-old celebration of the town’s history and culture. It takes place in mid-September at Zenith Park and includes traditional competitions, relays, and races for adults and children.
The Apple and Cherry Festivals are both hosted by the High Rolls/Mountain Park Lions Club at their own community center. The Apple Festival takes place in October, and the Cherry Festival is in June.
The Mardi Gras celebration is in February and begins with baby contests, cooking contests, dances, and a parade, of course. There are plenty of exciting family activities, a scavenger hunt, races, pageants, and live music.
With all of the community spirit of Cloudcroft, it’s not too hard to plan your visit around a festival, so check the chamber of commerce events calendar before you go.
5. Ski Cloudcroft
While festivals are taking place throughout the year, there are some things to do in Cloudcroft that you’ll want to plan for the right season. Come this winter and go skiing in one of the most beautiful mountain environments in New Mexico. Ski Cloudcroft is a breathtaking and exhilarating place to play in the snow and make the most of the cold weather. With 25 ski trails, there are options for beginners and experts to ski, tube, and snowboard down the mountain. Plan your Cloudcroft ski trip in December to see the Christmas Tree Lighting at the same time.
Your Cloudcroft Experience
Cloudcroft is among the most beautiful towns in New Mexico with a friendly community and all kinds of activities and events for locals and tourists alike. It’s the kind of place you’ve got to visit at least once and may want to incorporate into your annual travel plans. Tell us about your trip and your favorite things to do in Cloudcroft.