Photo: Horseback riders

Guided rides take guests at Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa through the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico.

Photograph courtesy Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa

By Kim Brown Seely

Families love 450-acre (180-hectare) Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa. Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos, it's got the vibe of a soothing, secluded retreat but also includes a sports program guaranteed to wear out the most active offspring. One day kids learn about camping—setting up a tent, taking a hike. Another day they focus on sports—making pinewood derby cars and racing each other down a handmade track.

The lodge offers hiking, skeet and trap shooting, and morning yoga, but with their own stables and 13 horses, riding is Bishop’s specialty. Spend a morning on a guided ride (ages eight and up) on the Yellow and Blue Ridge Trails, where you’ll tramp through juniper and dry grasses and wildflower fields and cross Big Tesuque Creek for stunning ridgetop views all the way to the Colorado Rockies.

Where to Play

Sign up for horsemanship lessons to perfect your riding skills—you’ll learn techniques on how to communicate with your horse and maybe even try out bareback riding. Then join in on an early morning ride for breakfast burritos on Mesa Vista or a sunset ride to take in distant mountains silhouetted by pink skies. Take an afternoon to check out Santa Fe's art scene (most galleries are on Canyon Road), then visit the lodge's 14,200-square-foot (1,319-square-meter) spa for an outdoor massage or hatha yoga.

At Day's End

Join a BBQ ride for steak, homemade cobbler, and dancing to the tunes of Santa Fe honky-tonk icon Bill Hearne as the sun goes down. With drinks and music flowing, don’t worry about staying well past dark—let guides take care of your horse and hitch a ride back in one of the lodge’s van shuttles.

Details

Doubles from $189; www.bishopslodge.com

Based on articles from National Geographic Adventure and updated by Greer Schott

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