Valerie Wilson Travel

Vermejo – A Ted Turner Reserve

Welcome to your very own private National Park! If you like National Parks, you know how hard it can be to stay within its confines. With only a limited number of hotels permitted within its boundaries, securing a reservation can require years of planning. At the Ted Turner Reserve however, you get the best lodgings situated right within the heart of the “park”.

Vermejo is nestled in Northern New Mexico, spanning over 500,000 acres, a four-hour drive south from Denver International Airport in the charming town of Raton. Rather than drive, you can arrange private air travel directly into Raton. The journey to the destination entails a scenic 40-mile driveway, with the possibility of encountering elk and other wildlife that call the reserve home. Given you are in the southern Rocky Mountains, Vermejo has cool summers and even crisper winters.

When Ted Turner purchased Vermejo in 1996, his vision was to restore the land to a state of vibrant, rewilded health. To combat the effects of overgrazing along the riverbanks, the cattle were removed, and enclosures were thoughtfully constructed along the Vermejo River to bar grazers and allow natural vegetation to recover.

This new growth prevents erosion and creates even deeper, narrower channels that support cool water fisheries and serve as a vital food source for riparian species. Make sure you do not miss the invaluable opportunity to witness these pioneering projects in action! Witness the new growth vegetation, carefully crafted beaver ponds, and catch a glimpse of a Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. This species has experienced a resurgence on Vermejo, all thanks to these dedicated conservation efforts.

Within the confines of the reserve, a wealth of exhilarating activities awaits. You can embark on hikes, biking trails, conquer the via ferrata, partake in fishing expeditions, and even engage in the art of ice fishing. For those inclined towards marksmanship, shooting experiences beckon, and archery practice is available. There is horseback riding and notably, you can go on a true safari experience. Over 1,200 bison roam the land alongside antelope, elk, bears, and much more. Either two half-day activities or a full-day activity is a complimentary part of your stay, accompanied by expert seasoned guides. Speaking of the guides, it’s worth noting, they very well could be the crown jewels of the Ted Turner Reserve. The guides are very well-versed in Vermejo’s history, land, and wildlife, and will tailor activities and explorations to your skill level, ability, and interests. Their passion is apparent, and they were a joy to be around!

During your downtime, you can relax at the spa with a massage, or simply enjoy stunning sunsets and starry nights. Delicious meals are expertly crafted by the Italian head chef and are included along with all nonalcoholic beverages. This all-inclusive lodge in the USA is a truly one-of-a-kind experience!

There is truly nothing like Vermejo. With just 38 rooms, the lodge’s unique approach assigns half the staff to hospitality, while the other half tends to the land. Their efforts involve meticulous testing, measurement, and preservation, as the land holds valuable minerals and natural gas resources, the proceeds of which support the reserve’s mission.

This distinct arrangement is what sets Vermejo apart from any other property in the travel industry. It’s a place where purpose meets luxury. A stay here is highly recommended for a range of travelers – whether you’re a group of friends, a couple looking for a romantic getaway, a girl’s trip, a boy’s bro-cation, multi-generational families, weddings, or a team-building retreat. Vermejo promises a fabulous and unique experience for all!