Fodor's Expert Review Elk Mountain Lodge

37485 NM 126, Jemez Springs, New Mexico 87025, USA See on Map

Set amid towering evergreen trees in a majestic part the Jemez Mountains, this rustic but beautifully appointed log cabin–style hideaway contains five spacious rooms and expansive decks with sweeping views of the surrounding peaks, meadows, and rivers. It's easy to feel completely relaxed in this stunning setting, and although it's a 75-minute drive from Santa Fe, the lodge is a perfect jumping-off point for visiting the many notable attractions along the way, including Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The remote mountain setting is wonderful for getting away from it all, but keep in mind that the lodge is a good distance from the shopping, dining, and museums of Santa Fe.


Accommodations in this handsome, remote hideaway capture the rusticity of a mountain lodge, but they exude warmth and elegance. Radiant-heated flagstone or tile floors, cathedral ceilings, exposed-log walls, premium linens, and well-curated Western artwork create an inviting ambience, and the views out the tall windows remind you constantly of the gorgeous setting. All rooms have small kitchenette areas with microwaves, refrigerators, barbecue grills, and coffee makers. One room is a detached cabin with a romantic second-story loft sleeping area and its own outdoor hot tub.


The bathrooms in this contemporary lodge are airy and well-designed with ample counter space. Rooms have deep two-person soaking tubs, and the heated floors feel especially nice on a chilly winter morning in the mountains.


A warm and inviting space to curl up with a book, watch movies on a large satellite TV, or simply warm up by the wood-burning stove, the great room has comfortable seating and lots of room to spread out and relax. Off the room, there's a large deck with panoramic views of the mountains and meadows.


There's no restaurant, but rates include delicious (and filling) full breakfasts in the attractive great room.


The lodge has no bar, but you can grab wine, beer, or liquor down the road at the small grocery in Jemez Springs.


Getting Around

This small lodge is set in a rural part of the Jemez Mountains, far from any large towns, so a car is a necessity both for getting here and exploring the area.


You can count on cheerful Highway 4 Coffee (15-minute drive) for terrific espresso drinks, breakfast fare, and light lunches. If you're looking for a great meal before or after visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, the Pig + Fig Bakery & Cafe (45-minute drive) serves tasty gastropub fare, including breakfast sandwiches in the morning and Kobe beef sliders with manchego cheese and and the signature hot pig and fig sandwich (with honey-cured ham, Brie, and fig jam) later in the day. There's a nice beer and wine list, too.


In a historic building in the heart of tiny Jemez Springs, Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon (15-minute drive) is a funky, bric-a-brac-filled tavern that's good fun for grabbing a beer or a stiff drink and soaking up the town's local vibe. You can sample some of the oldest and most acclaimed wines in the state in the tasting room of Ponderosa Valley Vineyards (30-minute drive). Keep in mind that this is a daytime activity, as the tasting room closes at 5 pm.


Despite its alpine location, mountain lodges are a relative rarity in the Santa Fe region. This upscale contemporary lodge about 60 miles west of Downtown Santa Fe feels at once far removed from the fray yet close enough to key attractions to serve as a handy base camp. The five log cabin–inspired rooms are beautifully designed and outfitted with plenty of creature comforts, and at opportunities nearby for hiking, wildlife viewing, and fishing abound.



Phones: 575-829-3159

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