Taking luxe off the beaten path

The new eight-suite lodge at Canyon Madness Ranch, set to open in northeast New Mexico this spring. Photo Credit: Canyon Madness Ranch
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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

Pandemic-era travel has been all about getting outdoors and as far away from others as possible.

And New Mexico has long offered many easy ways to get far off the beaten path.

With just 2 million people in what is the fifth-largest state, the Land of Enchantment has a diverse range of remote mountain, desert and broken mesa landscapes that offer a range of outdoor activities.

What's always been largely missing, however, has been luxury offerings that capitalize on those beautiful wide open spaces.

But that's changing.

Ted Turner in recent years has opened two of his three vast New Mexico ranches to luxury tourism.

And come April, a new outdoor playground, Canyon Madness Ranch, is set to open on 14,000 acres in remote northeastern New Mexico, just a five-hour drive from Denver, two hours from Santa Fe and three-and-a-half hours from the state's largest airport in Albuquerque.

The ranch, which will accommodate just 16 guests, promises to go way beyond the traditional dude ranch, offering a variety of equestrian activities, sports shooting, archery, hiking, river kayaking, fishing, ATV rides, even rock climbing for experts who want to venture out on their own.

While just a few hours east of the more traditional mountain landscapes of better-known New Mexico mountain destinations like Taos and Ted Turner's Vermejo Ranch, Canyon Madness is set between two picturesque canyons: the Canadian River Canyon and the Enciero Canyon, a box canyon with seas of red clay and deep crevices. Views look out to the red sandstone cliffs of the Canadian River Canyon.

Views from the lodge at Canyon Madness Ranch, which is set on 14,000 acres in northeastern New Mexico.
Views from the lodge at Canyon Madness Ranch, which is set on 14,000 acres in northeastern New Mexico.

Canyon Madness Ranch is owned by Dr. Dennis Law,  a retired surgeon from Englewood, Colo., who also owns four large luxury large villas and a luxury town home on the beach at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The main house at Canyon Madness Ranch, known as Teepee Lodge, is brand new and was designed by Mexican architect Alejandro Uribe, who is known for luxury and resort residences in Cabo San Lucas.

The lodge has twin teepee-shaped peaks with balconies that are cantilevered over the edge of the river 800 feet below. Its eight suites include private living rooms and sliding glass doors that open to the balconies.

In addition to pool and foosball tables, amenities in the lodge include the owner's private gun and art collections; a large, remote-controlled outdoor hot tub; an expansive commercial kitchen; and a menu featuring ranch-raised meats and farm vegetables.

To celebrate its April opening, Canyon Madness Ranch is offering a weekly rate of $3,500 per person per week, including activities, food and beer and wine. The rate is $700 a night for bookings of three to five nights.

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