A Brief History

Cloudcroft, New Mexico
The Most Enchanting Part of the Land of Enchantment!

One hundred years ago, the railroad was completed between Alamogordo, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The railroad’s owners were intrigued by the majestic mountains to the East of Alamogordo and soon sent a survey party to the summit. They discovered untouched wilderness — a wonderland of wildlife, plants, and trees. They were also impressed with the way the clouds blanketed the ground because at 9,000 feet above sea-level, Cloudcroft was literally in the clouds. The name Cloudcroft is a term related to an English description of a clearing covered in clouds.

Soon after, an excursion train was established to the top of the mountain and the village of Cloudcroft was born.

For the first half of Cloudcroft’s existence, the train was the only means of travel to the village (except possibly by pack mule). In the mid-1940s, the first highway to the village was opened — taking away much of the train’s logging and excursion business. The train discontinued service to the village in 1948.

Cloudcroft New Mexico Trestle

Mexican Canyon Trestle
For 50 years the Alamogordo-Sacramento Mountain Railroad carried passengers and freight from the desert floor into the tall pine country of Cloudcroft, climbing 6,000 feet. The train line was abandoned in 1948.

Although it has been over a half century since the train chugged into the sleepy mountain village, the spirit of the old railroad still prevails, with signs of it obvious in many places.

Today, Cloudcroft has all the amenities of modern living while still hanging on to it’s heritage of rugged pioneer life. It is the destination of thousands of visitors each year. In the summer, it is a wonderful place to get away from the heat of the lower elevations (Cloudcroft is an average of 20 degrees cooler than Alamogordo, sixteen miles and 6,000 feet lower.) The village area features summer pastimes such as horseback riding, fishing, golf (the Lodge Golf Course is the highest in North America), camping, hiking, biking, hunting, and, of course, shopping. Cloudcroft is the home of many of America’s most accomplished artists in many different disciplines. Their original works are available in many of the village shops.

In the winter, explore a vast winter wonderland on cross-country skis or snow-mobiles. Ice skate on the village rink, or ski at Ski Cloudcroft.

Cloudcroft Burro Street

Historic Burro Street.
Cloudcroft (altitude 9,000 feet) celebrated its Centennial in 1999.

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