Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Bear Mountain Lodge, Silver City, New Mexico
Nominated By: Amy Weber, Brooklyn, New York, June '09
The Bear Mountain Lodge that was operated by the Nature Conservancy closed on October 6, 2009. However, new owners reopened the property and we have heard only wonderful reviews.
Price Range: US$140-$170 # of Rooms: 11 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes Bear Mountain Lodge so Darn Good? The beautiful Bear Mountain Lodge is owned and operated by the Nature Conservacy, and offers free guided hikes around the hotel’s amazing grounds and nearby nature preserves. The lodge is comfortable and quiet, the staff is friendly and accommodating, and breakfast is delicious.
Location: Bear Mountain Lodge sits on 178 acres of mixed desert grassland and pinon-juniper woodland, and is just ten minutes from Silver City, a neat little historic mining town in southwestern New Mexico. Silver City is the home of two museums that showcase the area’s rich history and include world-class collections of Mimbres pottery. Other popular excursions from the Lodge include a hike along the Catwalk trail over Whitewater Canyon and a trek to the fascinating Gila Cliff Dwellings.
Rooms: The main lodge dates back to 1928 when it was opened as the Rocky Mountain Ranch School for Boys. The Nature Conservancy inherited the property in 1999 and completely renovated the lodge with the goal of maintaining its historic character. Highlights include hand-hewn beams, stone fireplaces, and bathrooms with 1920’s-style block tile and fixtures. Bear Mountain’s eleven rooms are located in three separate buildings, the main Lodge, Myra's Retreat, and the Wren's Nest, which has its own kitchen. We stayed downstairs in the main lodge in a large, comfortable room with a great patio.
Food: Breakfast includes a hot entrée, home-made baked goods, cereal, and fresh fruit. Guests can also help themselves to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, orange-bearmountainlodge biscotti, avocados, and other tasty snacks all day long. For a nominal fee, the lodge will pack you a filling lunch for your day’s outing.
Vibe: Bear Mountain Lodge is laid-back and very comfortable.
Things to Keep in Mind: The Lodge has no televisions or radios and has quiet time between 10 pm and 7 am so birders can wake up early. In addition, alcohol is not allowed in any of the Lodge’s public spaces.