Laguna Vista Lodge is the perfect host for your mountain adventures
By Josephine Ashton
Laguna Vista Lodge in Eagle Nest is not just a fly-by stop over, it’s a staycation. General Managers Kaycee and Steven Sandoval will assure you’ll feel right at home in one of the 12 charming country-style rooms in the two-floored Main Lodge. Bringing family or friends? Make a reservation for one of the 13 cabins which face Eagle Lake, or the historical residence, any one of which might be haunted.
After a day out and about the countryside, fly-fishing at Eagle Nest Lake, or viewing the spectacular waterfalls in Cimarron Canyon State Park, you best cozy up for drinks in the Saloon and dinner in the steakhouse next door.
The restaurant site harks back to the 1890s, situated in the lobby of an old-time hotel, The El Monte. Watch out for the famed lady ghost, said to have lived upstairs — she may be on the lookout for gold nuggets that fell from the notorious hotel-saloon’s gambling tables.
Activities are so many and so varied in the Eagle Nest area, a browse-through of the lodge’s website will divvy up a chapel for weddings, Eagle Nest Lake for fishing, hiking and backpacking in Cimarron Canyon, Carson National Forest and Coyote Creek State Park.
Veterans won’t want to miss the Vietnam Veteran’s Chapel & Memorial — 10 minutes away on US 64 towards Angel Fire. Laguna owner Bert Clemens is himself a veteran, having served with the U.S. Army from 1961-1964 in Germany at the Berlin Wall.
Be sure to bring your phones and cameras — wildlife abounds — bird watching is plentiful. And take care, as elk, deer, bear, turkey and grouse may be out and about.
And more ghosts? Elizabethtown Museum: a ghost town 5 miles north of Eagle Nest, where a state marker and a few stone walls remind visitors that the “discovery of gold on Baldy Mountain in 1866 brought a rush of fortune-seekers…” The town, once a “roaring mining camp,” had, by 1875, become virtually a ghost town.
Eagle Nest, located in between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Cimarron Range, with perhaps 300 residents, is a colorful one. Originally called Therma, the town, which resulted from the building of Eagle Nest Dam in 1918, was renamed Eagle Nest in the 1930s, having survived both prohibition and illegal gambling.
Whether coupling-it, or making a reservation for family and friends, the Laguna Vista Lodge has been offering accommodations for 36 years. “We are always updating our rooms,” the Sandovals explain. “We’ve been featured in True West and Sunset magazines, and recently, The Travel Channel’s ‘Resort Rescue’ did an episode at our place.”
Flip a coin —or a gold nugget if you get lucky —and choose between trout fishing or, depending on the season, golfing or skiing. Maybe just a walk by the river, or a leisurely browse along the boardwalk with its quaint shops.
Check out the Eagle Nest Chamber of Commerce site for special events, like the High Country Artisan Festival, the Balloon Rally, Fireworks and Parade, Father’s Day Fish Fest and more!
Laguna Vista Lodge is 35 miles east of Taos via US 64 and 152 miles northeast of Albuquerque. The Lodge’s website has directions that will get you there from north, south, east or west.
Laguna Vista Lodge 51 East Therma Way, Eagle Nest 575-377-6522 email@example.com lagunavistalodge.com/activities eaglenestchamber.com/events legendsofamerica.com/nm-eaglenestlake