Top Tours for Summer
Read about tours you won’t want to miss this summer straight from our Activity Manager for Southern New Mexico– David Barfield!
Birding is especially enchanting on both ranches whether it be on the Ladder to see all of the species that inhabit the Animas Watershed, especially the neotropical migrants, or to see the amazing raptors that have adapted their behavior to prey on the millions of bats on the Armendaris. Here on property, wonderful field experts are ready to share their deep appreciation for our feathered friends (such as the one pictured, a Say’s Phoebe) with you as well as their migration patterns, eating habits, and other birding opportunities on both ranches. These tours put you in the field with knowledgeable guides and leaves you with the only problem – having to go home.
The Jornada Bat Caves are an experience that will fill you with awe. Stand breathless as you witness the emergence of over 1.5 million bats as they set out in search of insects. They will feed until they have eaten their entire body weight or more every night – something we can relate to when dining at the Sierra Grande Lodge! Watch as the bats form a river in the sky as they depart the caves, stretching as far as the eye can see. This wild yet natural migration beckons the Swainson’s hawks, and other raptors alike, to try their skill making a meal out of a few of the bats, as the circle of life plays out in front of you.
Journey through either of the ranches to see the wonder that they offer with incredible wildlife including elk, deer, bobcats and bears. On the Armendaris, you may have the unique opportunity to see an Oryx or desert bighorn sheep in the Fra Cristobal Range. On the Ladder, each watershed holds great opportunity to see any number of different species. Both Ranches hold bison which is always a treat to see — especially as the babies grow through the summer. Our professional guides will also talk about the incredible stories of the conservation efforts we have on both Ranches with the Chiricahua leopard frogs, Bolson tortoise, and Mexican gray wolves. These projects are held close to our hearts and to the utmost importance among our staff, as we work to preserve natural habitats for these species to grow and thrive.
On any of the tours, you will be surrounded by history dating back to the prehistoric ancestors that walked these foothills, trekked the mountain ranges, and braved the waters. To name a few: Paleo Indians, the Mimbres people, the Spanish who endured the harsh Jornada Del Muerto (Journey of the dead), and the Apaches. Immerse yourself in culture and history as you learn more about the ties to the great battle of the Civil War in this region and visit the homesteads where settlers made their mark dating back to the 1880s.
Your experience on either property begins with you and what you would like to see and do. We have mountain bikes perfectly equipped for you to hit the trails on with expert biking enthusiasts to guide and assist you! Cycle at our favorite time, in the cool of the morning, and continue your tour in one of our UTV’s later in the day! Off road to the far reaches of the ranches to experience the vast beauty and overall enchantment of Southern New Mexico. It will be easy to see why we call this home.