A Beautifully Scenic New Mexico Drive to a Serene and Relaxing Destination.
It has been a week since I last posted and I admit I am a little out of steam. Lots of ideas – no motavation, so I thought I’d write about the why of this.
We took the long weekend off and went to Heron Lake, New Mexico for a relaxing weekend of sailing, fishing and some of doing nothing at all. Now I am still stuck in vacation mode.
Sailing in the desert, you ask? That question always comes up, and we have been doing it for 20+ years all over the state. When our kids were younger we would pack up the car, hook up the boat and go camping with a few other families. Our favorite place, Heron Lake, was where we went on most three day weekends. We hadn’t done it in 10 years so my daughter thought it was time for a reunion. This time we rented a cabin at the Stone House Lodge. Some of the younger folks still camped at our old spot down on the lake, but were right up to the cabins at mealtime. Kids.
Heron Lake is a 5900 acre mountain lake in Northern NM, enclosed in beautiful Heron Lake State Park. Closest town is Chama – home of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad that take you to Antonito, Colorado and back. This ride is a great afternoon diversion in summer or winter, but especially in the fall for the foliage.
Right next to Heron Lake is El Vado Lake in its own State Park, and if you look at the Google Map (satellite mode), you can see what I mean. Literally RIGHT next to each other. The Stone House Lodge is on a gradual cliff that overlooks El Vado Lake, but the drive to Heron is only a couple of miles to one of the boat ramps.
The Stone House Lodge has all the amenities you need. There is small store when you can buy the necessities you forgot to bring, fishing equipment, and licenses, as well as a cafe with a short menu of great home cooking and a few NM dishes, with Chili, of course, (red or green?). Lodging varies from private cabins and apartments to a stay at the infamous Stone House and all have a fantastic view El Vado Lake. Pictured to the right is the view from our cabin porch. There is also RV parking and plenty of room for your cars and boat trailers. If you don’t have a boat, no problem – they rent boats too.
El Vado Lake is for speed boats and jet skis, but Heron is a no-wake lake and is preferred by sailors and fishermen, so that is where we hang out. The sailing is fantastic and challenging because of the changing winds. The fishing is fantastic. I have posted a picture here of a lake trout that a fellow caught the morning I went over to the store to get on the internet. They had no batteries for their camera, so I snapped off a few photos for them on my Mac. Who says a computer has no place camping?
The drive to this area of New Mexico is one of the most scenic the state has to offer, and moves through the beautiful Abiquiu Valley, of Georgia O’Keefe fame. She made her home here and you can see her paintings in the views before you as you make your way through the landscape. Google Maps has very bad, in fact, wrong directions to the Stone House Lodge – so use this (my) map instead. I have tried in vain to get the Google placement changed. It took us 3.5 hours to get up there, but only 2.5 hrs to get home. Go figure.
If you would like to relax in a scenic New Mexico Mountain setting, or want a try at one of those enormous Lake Trout, or some Kokanee Salmon, consider a trip to these fine northern New Mexico Lakes. And also consider starting and/or ending your trip here with us at Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast in Albuquerque.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!