What a catch
By Ellen Miller-Goins
It must be startling for first-time visitors who come up out of Cimarron Canyon to an overlook of the Moreno Valley and Eagle Nest Lake, glassy and blue, beneath Touch-Me-Not and Baldy peaks. Eagle Nest itself is a laid-back mountain town where traffic, noise and other frenzied signs of city life are unknown. All summer long in Eagle Nest visitors can stroll along Therma Drive (Eagle Nest’s main street), which is no more than a mile long. Shops carry locally made crafts and fine arts, sculpture, sterling silver jewelry, Indian jewelry, antiques, pottery, candies, fudge, clothing, souvenirs, T-shirts and much more. The Eagle Nest Farmers Market, Fridays June through Labor Day at Golden Eagle RV Park, features fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, arts and crafts.
Eagle Nest Lake boasts excellent trophy fishing for rainbow trout, kokanee salmon and perch. Anglers can fish from the banks, on a boat or rent a pontoon. Nearby Cimarron Canyon is also excellent for either fly or bait stream fishing.
Eagle Nest is also the headquarters for what is arguably some of the best big and small game hunting in America: elk, bear, mountain lion and deer are taken in both public hunt areas and through professional guides on private land. The Moreno Valley is also well known for spring and fall turkey hunts.
100th Anniversary of Eagle Nest Dam. In 1908, Charles and Frank Springer received a permit for a 140-foot-high concrete dam on the Cimarron River. Construction on the dam, financed entirely by Frank Springer, began in 1916. Charles Springer oversaw the project through to its completion in 1918. Centennial celebration activities and events include history lectures and dam tours on land, boat dam tours, gold panning excursions, self-guided flora and fauna trail walks around the lake, state park interpretive programs and more. Visit the Friends’ website at enl-cc-parkfriends.org for more information.
Annual Eagle Nest Bear Benefit for the New Mexico Wildlife Center, June 17, features day-long activities including special presentations, pie-eating contest, live music, scavenger hunt, rib cook-off, auction, alpaca, raptors and other animals, food, vendors and more. (575) 377-3382.
4th of July Celebrations kick off is Sat. July 1, with the Nashville to New Mexico Hit Songwriters Concert Series. On Sat. July 2, David Chamberlain presents a “Freedom Don’t Come Free” live concert. Saturday also features a celebration in the park with vendors, live entertainment, family-friendly events, and a beer and wine garden in Enchanted Eagle Park. July 4 events include the Annual Eagle Nest Volunteer Fire Department Barbecue and Dessert Sale at 11 a.m., parade, at 2 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.
Re-opening of the E-Town Museum, July 28-31, featuring live entertainment, “kid-friendly” activities and more. The museum is located 5 miles North of Eagle Nest, on State Highway 38. Almost 140 years after gold was discovered in the Moreno Valley, all that remains of the boomtown that once had 7,000 people are a few homes and the skeletal remains of the Mutz Hotel — and the museum.
35th Annual High Country Arts Fest, July 29-30, juried art show, live music, New Mexico True beer and wine garden.
Eaglefest Celebration, Aug. 10-13, Live music, fair in the park, Soaring Eagle 5K Fun Run.
26th Annual Fish Fest, Sept. 2-10, Fishing contest with cash prizes, door prizes, raffles, music, fish fry in the park, and the annual worm eating contest at the Laguna Vista.
Eagle Nest Chamber: 575.377.2420; eaglenestchamber.org
Getting to Eagle Nest: From Taos, take Kit Carson Road, continue on State Highway 64 east about 31 miles.