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Casa del Gavilan


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Activities in the Vicinity of Casa del Gavilan

Numerous activities can be found near Casa del Gavilan. Cimarron is a historic district and contains many old buildings including the famous St. James Hotel. Stop by the St. James to see the bullet holes in the ceiling of the bar that pay tribute to Cimarron's wilder youth. Perhaps you will get a glimpse of the ghost that haunts this old adobe hotel. Several fine shops specializing in Southwestern artwork, crafts, antiques, and souvenirs are located in Cimarron with more in Raton, about 40 minutes north on Highway 64.


Legends by Lantern Light - Be entertained by legends and tales of local history while touring several historic sites accompanied by an interpretive tour guide. Memorial Day through Labor Day - Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Other times of the year by prior reservation. Admission $8. Children 5 and under free. Tour lasts about an hour and a half. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket. 575-376-2112 e-mail:

Self-guided walking tour of Cimarron -


Several fine museums are near Casa del Gavilan. Closest is the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library operated by Philmont Scout Ranch. The Philmont Museum and Setom Memorial Library contains numerous books, artifacts, and artwork by various individuals as well as a gift shop. In the "old town" section of Cimarron, the Old Mill Museum contains many artifacts from the early days of Cimarron including several items from Jack Nairn's life at Casa del Gavilan. The Old Mill Museum is a terrific place to get a sense of the history of the Cimarron area, so plan on spending some time looking over the many fine items on display. Cimarron also has a walking tour of Old Town. Maps are available from the Casa or the Cimarron Visitors' Center. The tour is highly recommended for those interested in the history of Cimarron. The town of Raton also has a walking tour. Guides are available at the Raton Chamber and Economic Development Council. Please phone them at (800)638-6161. In addition to the walking tour, visit the Raton Historical Museum to learn about the life of days gone by in Raton and the surrounding community.

The showpiece of the Cimarron area is Villa Philmonte, located two miles from Casa del Gavilan. Built in the early 1920s, Villa Philmonte is a grand Mediterranean-style villa constructed as a summer home for Oklahoma oil tycoon Waite Phillips. Villa Philmonte is an impressive collection of art and architecture and is a "must see" for anyone visiting the area. The Villa was donated to the Boy Scouts of America, along with Philmont Scout Ranch, by Mr. Phillips and is operated as a museum by the Boy Scouts of America. Villa Philmonte is open to the general public for tours. Outside of the summer months, tours may be limited so please call or stop by the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library to inquire about a visit to Villa Philmonte.

During the summer months the former home of Kit Carson--only a few miles south of Casa del Gavilan on the Rayado River--is open to visitors. The Kit Carson Museum is also owned and operated by Philmont Scout Ranch. The staff of the Kit Carson Museum dress in interpretive costumes and offer visitors a sense of life in the 19th century.

The town of Springer, located 30 miles east of Casa del Gavilan, is home to the Santa Fe Trail Museum. Housed in the Old Colfax County Courthouse dating from 1882, the Santa Fe Trail Museum commemorates the thousands of men and women who journeyed along the Santa Fe Trail.

Villa Philmonte Museum, Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, New Mexico 87714. To schedule tours, please phone Philmont Scout Ranch at (575)376-2281 and ask to be transferred to the Seton Museum. Admission: $4 for adults
Tours: June 15 - August 20. Tours daily every half hour from 8:00 am - 11:00 am and 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm August 21 - October 15. Tours Monday through Friday, 10:30 am and 2:30 pm - Saturday 10:30 am May 1 - May 31. Tours Monday through Friday, 10:30 am and 2:30 pm - Saturday 10:30 am
October 16-April 30. Other times by special arrangement with the Seton Museum

Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library, Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, New Mexico 87714. For additional information or hours, please phone Philmont Scout Ranch at (575)376-2281 and ask to be transferred to the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library Admission: Free
Hours: June 15-August 20. Open 8:00 am until 6:00 pm daily. Remainder of the year - Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Old Mill Museum, Cimarron, New Mexico 87714. Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for scouts and seniors. Hours: May 1-31 - Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Memorial Day to Labor Day - Open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays except Thursday and Saturday.1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday (Museum closed on Thursdays). For additional information on the Old Mill Museum, please phone the Cimarron Chamber of Commerce at (575)376-2417

Kit Carson Museum, Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, New Mexico 87714
For additional information or summer hours, please phone Philmont Scout Ranch (575)376-2281. Hours: Open daily June 15 through August 20, 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

The Santa Fe Trail Museum P.O. Box 323 - 806 Maxwell St., Springer, New Mexico 87747. For additional information please phone the Springer Chamber of Commerce at (575)483-2998. Admission: Adults and children 12 and older - $2, Seniors - $1.50, Children under 12 free. Hours: Open daily from Memorial Day through mid-September - please call for specific hours.

South of the Casa, along Interstate 25, is Fort Union National Monument. This fort was built in 1851 to guard the Santa Fe Trail. At one time Fort Union was the largest fort in the American Southwest. Fort Union is located near Watrous, New Mexico and is about an hour and a half drive from the Casa.

Fort Union National Monument P.O. Box 127 Watrous, NM 87753 (505) 425-8025. Open Daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Winter: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Closed December 25, January 1. Admission: $2.00 per adult or $4.00 per car.


The town of Cimarron has several fine galleries that specialize in local arts and crafts. The Cimarron Art Gallery, Blue Moon Eclectics, Ramsey Art Gallery, and several other shops offer a wide variety of quality artworks. For Western wear, Cimarron West is a full-service Western wear outfitter and saddle shop. If you are headed toward Raton, Santa Fe Trail Traders, located on 2nd Street, is a great source for Southwestern artworks and souvenirs. Solano's Western Wear carries Western clothing, boots, hats, and other items.


Capulin Volcano National Monument, a nearly perfectly-shaped cinder cone rising more than 1200 feet above the surrounding High Plains of northeastern New Mexico, makes a great day trip from the Casa. This long-extinct volcano is has forested slopes providing habitat for mule deer, wild turkey, black bear and other wildlife. Large numbers of wildflowers bloom on the mountain each summer. A 2-mile paved road spirals to the volcano rim making Capulin Volcano one of the most accessible volcanoes in the world. Trails lead around the rim and to the bottom of the crater itself. These trails offer a rare opportunity to explore a volcano. Capulin Volcano is located 33 miles east of Raton, about an hour and fifteen minutes from Casa del Gavilan.

Capulin Volcano National Monument
P.O. Box 40 Capulin, New Mexico 88414 (575) 278-2201
Hours: Labor Day through Memorial Day 8:00 am until 4:00 pm
Memorial Day through Labor Day 7:30 am until 6:30 pm

Hiking is available on several trails at Casa del Gavilan. The main trail is approximately one-and-one-half miles long and offers stunning views of the Casa and its surroundings. Numerous rocky outcrops are near the trail so guests may sit and meditate, write letters, or read a good book. The solitude of these trails is breathtaking. This is a moderately easy trail; but remember, the elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level so the air is a bit thin. Take it slow and stop often to enjoy the scenery. Although we try to keep the trails mowed, long pants are recommended. Good shoes or hiking boots are recommended, as well as water if you plan on being out for a while. Other adjoining trails offer longer treks with varying degrees of difficulty.

For something a bit more strenuous, miles of trails are available at Cimarron Canyon State Park, Villa Vidal, and the Carson National Forest. Cimarron Canyon State Park offers four trails varying in length from 4 to 10 miles. All are an easy drive from the Casa. For information on any of the 35 million acres of public lands in New Mexico, as well as maps and literature, please contact the following: New Mexico Public Lands Information Center

1474 Rodeo Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
phone - (505)438-7542
fax - (505)438-7582
Hours: November 1 through March 31, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.
April 1 through October 31, Monday through Saturday, 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.

For information on the Cimarron Canyon State Park, please contact:

Cimarron Canyon State Park, P.O. Box 185, Eagle Nest, New Mexico 87718
(575)377-6271 or (888)NMP-ARK

For information on the Elliot Barker State Wildlife Area, please contact:

Elliot Barker State Wildlife Area, NM Game and Fish - Northeast Office
215 York Canyon Road, Raton, New Mexico 87740 (575)445-2311

For information on the Carson National Forest or Villa Vidal, please contact:

Carson National Forest, Forest Service Building 208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM 87571 Voice: (575) 758-6200 TTY: (505) 758-6329

Horseback Riding is available in the Carson National Forest near Eagle Nest, approximately 45 minutes west of Cimarron, with Roadrunner Tours. Contact:

Roadrunner Horseback Tours
P.O. Box 27
Eagle Nest, New Mexico 87714 575-377-6931

Fishing can be found in Cimarron Canyon State Park only a few short miles away. Trout are abundant in the Cimarron River and other area streams. Beaver dams create numerous quiet ponds along the rivers. Or try some of the rockier areas if you are up to it. Northern Pike up to 54 inches can be found in Springer Lake, 20 miles east of the Casa. Rainbow Trout up to 24 inches can be found in "Lake 13" on the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. Charette Lakes, located southwest of Springer, has Rainbow Trout to 24 inches as well as perch. Charette Lakes and Maxwell's "Lake 13" offer fishing as well but are closed November 1 until March 1 for migrating waterfowl. The Valle Vidal region of the Carson National Forest offers Shuree Ponds, located 35 miles west of Highway 64 on Cerroso Road. Shuree Ponds are stocked with 15-inch and larger Rainbow Trout. One pond is reserved for anglers under 12 years old. The area streams, where cutthroat trout can be found, are catch and release. For the adventurous anglers, guides are available to take you to some of the more remote locations. For additional information, please contact the following guides:

For additional information on fly fishing in New Mexico, contact "The Reel Life" outfitters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Hunting is available at a number of locations near Cimarron. Deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, and antelope hunting is available in the Valle Vidal and numerous private ranches in the area. The "Outdoors New Mexico" guide claims the area between Raton, Springer, and Clayton to be "some of the best pronghorn hunting in the state." For additional information please contact the following outfitters:

    Hap Blacksten, HCR - 60 Box 604, Springer, NM 87747 (575)376-2448
    CS Ranch, Rt. 1 Box 57, Cimarron, NM 87714 (575)376-2595
    Ray Johnson, PO Box 156, Cimarron, NM 87714 (575)483-2669
    NRA Whittington Center, PO Box 700, Raton, NM 87740 (575)445-3615
     ExpressUU Bar Ranch, Cimarron, NM 87714 (575)376-2035
    Vermejo Park, PO Box Drawer E, Raton, NM 87740 (575)445-3097
For information on hunting in the Carson National Forest, please contact the Carson National Forest at (575)988-6940.

Canada goose hunts are held in November and December at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. For information, please contact:

For taxidermy, please contact:
    Holt Taxidermy, PO Box 566, Cimarron, NM 87714 (575)376-2448

    Wild Country Taxidermy, PO Box 158, Cimarron, NM 87714 (575)376-2575
Wildlife Viewing is available in numerous areas. Many deer wander the grounds of Casa del Gavilan. These are the large Western mule deer and, though somewhat skittish, they sometimes graze quite close to guests. Elk, turkey, and coyote can occasionally be seen near the Casa or on the Casa trails. Black Bear (in either a black or "cinnamon" coloration) occasionally visit the area but are rarely seen at the Casa. Many nearby wildlife preserves also offer good opportunities to view birds and wildlife. These wildlife preserves include the following:
    Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, Route 1, Box 399, Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701 (505)425-3581 - Best viewing in Spring, Fall and Winter. Visitor Center, Day Use Only, Food Nearby, Refuge Literature Available,
    Auto Tour Route, Hiking Trails, Wildlife Viewing Sites, Hunting.
    Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, PO Box 276, Maxwell, New Mexico 87728 (575)375-2332 - Best viewing in Fall and Winter. Visitor Center, Refuge Literature Available, Wildlife Viewing Sites, Motorized Watercraft Permitted, Fishing.
    Colin Neblett Wildlife Area - New Mexico Game and Fish, Northeast Office, 215 York Canyon Road, Raton, New Mexico 87740 (575)445-2311
    Located west of Cimarron on Highway 64.
    Sugarite Canyon State Park - HCR63 Box 386, Raton, New Mexico 87740
    (575)445-5607 Located 10 miles east of Raton on New Mexico 526.
    Clayton Lake State Park - Clayton Lake State Park offers excellent trout, catfish and bass fishing. A half-mile away is the lake's spillway and the dinosaur trackway, containing more than 500 footprints of various dinosaurs. Located 2 hours east of the Casa, north of Clayton, New Mexico.
    Box 20 Seneca, New Mexico 88437 (575) 374-8808
Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking is available on rivers of varying personalities including:
    The Cimarron River - The upper 25 miles from the Eagle Nest Dam to Cimarron offers fast whitewater as it passes the spectacular scenery of the palisades of Cimarron Canyon State Park. The 25-mile stretch from Cimarron to Springer is a slower section that winds through cattle country.
    The Canadian River - When the water flow permits, some of the finest scenery in northeast New Mexico can be experienced in the Canadian River Gorge in the 75-mile stretch between Taylor Springs and Conchas Reservoir.
    The Rio Grande River is one of the most spectacular rivers for rafting this side of the Grand Canyon. The black walls of the canyon rise hundreds of feet over the river as it winds its way through the lava beds of the Taos Valley. Contact the Bureau of Land Management's Taos office at (505)758-8851 for a recording of additional information.
Cross-Country Skiing is available on the trails surrounding the Casa, however these trails are not groomed. The hills and mountains to the west, as well as the pastures to the east, offer various terrains to match any skill level. For other cross-country ski areas near Casa del Gavilan, please contact the following:
    Enchanted Forest (575)754-2374, Located 3 miles east of Red River in the Carson National Forest, this area boasts the most extensive Nordic ski area in the state with 32 marked and groomed trails covering 20 miles of forested slopes and alpine meadows.
    Angel Fire Resort (800)633-7463, Located 30 miles west of Casa del Gavilan, Angel Fire maintains three loop trails, each three miles in length, on the resort's golf course. Lessons and ski rentals are available.
    Villa Vidal/Carson National Forest - Questa Ranger District (575)586-0520
    Santa Fe National Forest - Las Vegas Ranger District (505)425-3534
    Sugarite Canyon State Park - Raton, NM (505)445-5607
Downhill Skiing can be found in several areas near the Casa including:
    Angel Fire Resort (800)633-7463. Located 30 miles west of Casa del Gavilan. Family-oriented resort in the high Moreno valley. Angel Fire features a spacious snowboard park.
    Red River Ski Area (575)754-2223. Located 50 miles northwest of Casa del Gavilan. Family-oriented ski area located in a quaint, former mining town where nearly every business is walking distance.
    Taos Ski Valley (575)776-2291. Located 75 miles northwest of Casa del Gavilan. Beginner as well as world-class skiing with a top-ranked ski school. No snowboards permitted.
    Ice Skating is available at the following:
    Montezuma Ice Pond Located west of Las Vegas, New Mexico, on Highway 65. One of the few outdoor ice arenas in the area featuring its own Zamboni. No admission is charged but bring your own skates.
    Sugarite Canyon State Park (575)445-5607. Located 50 miles northeast of Casa del Gavilan, a 60-foot by 100-foot area is open for ice skating on Lake Maloya. The park's regular day admission is charged. Rental skates are not available.
    Taos Ice Arena (575)758-4160. Located outdoors in the Kit Carson Plaza just north of the Taos Plaza this Arena offers an ice hockey program, skate rentals, and individual and group lessons. Admission is charged at this arena.
Golf is available at the following areas:
    Angel Fire Country Club, Drawer B, Angel Fire, NM 87710 (575)377-3055
    Eighteen holes, par 72, 6,624 yards
    Raton Country Club Municipal Golf Course, PO Box 83, Raton, NM 87740
    Nine holes, par 35
    Clayton Municipal Golf Course, PO Box 4, Clayton, NM 88415 (575)374-9957
    Eighteen holes, par 72, 6,324 yards
    New Mexico Highlands University Golf Course, East Mills Avenue, Las Vegas, NM 87701 (575)425-7711 Nine holes, par 36

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