At more than 550,000 acres and 2,000+ miles of road, Vermejo is a private reserve unlike any other in the United States. Situated in Northern New Mexico, the stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and luxury accommodations make Vermejo one of our favorite “playgrounds” to push the bounds of what is possible.
In early June, EXP Journeys’ Partner and Lead Guide, Andrew Roberts, took three guests on a once-in-a-lifetime never-before-done journey that truly encompassed what EXP is all about.
A Private Tented Camp At The Site Of The Old Mining Kilns
With guests showing a passion for motorbikes, nature, and the open road, EXPerience Manager, Annik Boulva, was tasked with crafting a unique journey. “Vermejo seemed like the perfect destination for these guests”, says Boulva. “With a desire to ‘get away from it all’ while keeping the level of hospitality and luxury that our guests are accustomed to; we were able to combine the vast natural wonder of Vermejo Reserve with our luxury mobile tented camp and some of the incredible accommodations offered by Vermejo.”
Riding more than 60 miles per day through sometimes rugged and technical terrain, the group kicked the trip off with a one-night stay at the Main Lodge for skills tests and to familiarize themselves with the bikes. The next morning, they set off for a 70-mile ride that included visiting old and now abandoned mining and logging towns, as well as wildlife sightings that included black bear, wild horses, elk, and herds of bison.
Lead Guide Andrew Roberts
Exploring The Abandoned Mine
The day’s ride wrapped up with some welcomed smiles from the team at EXP Journeys’ luxury mobile tented camp, which had set up camp deep in the Vermejo wilderness. Tonight, our guests were treated to a luxury life under the stars in the remote wilderness.
After a delicious breakfast at camp, the guests got back on their bikes following the Crow River to the southern border of the reserve.
After exploring an old gold mine and challenging themselves to some technical riding, they returned to camp early to enjoy frisbee golf, cornhole, and blow darts with the camp team. Even with the surroundings and excitement of each day, the guests hailed their time playing games with the camp team as one of their favorite memories.
Wild Bison Herds Of Vermejo
The following morning, our guests bid farewell to the camp team and rode off along the Canadian River towards the Vermejo River. The focus for today was animal and ecology conservation, and the incredible work being done by the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and Turner Biodiversity Divisions (TBD). Our guests were given a firsthand look into the conservation efforts to save the cutthroat trout by meeting with conservationists, learning how these efforts were being executed, and seeing the process in action. Gaining a greater understanding of these conservation efforts and the positive outcomes to the region proved to be yet another highlight for our guests.
This evening, we traded a luxury camp for a luxury lodge – Costilla Lodge. Built from timber and stone directly sourced from the reserve, Costilla Lodge sits at an elevation of 10,000 feet with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. For their two nights at the lodge, our clients were the only guests, having the rustic luxury and history all to themselves.
Patio View From Castillo Lodge
Main Living Room Costillo Lodge
For the last full day in the high country, we rode with our guests to the ‘Top of the World’ where you can see nearly the whole reserve. Our guests enjoyed cooling off in the alpine lakes, hiking the rocky landscape, and fly fishing in the rivers, while looking far off into the distance at the curve of the Earth.
The following morning, we rode with our guests down the mountain trails to the southwest corner of the reserve where, once again, our luxury mobile tented camp was waiting, this time situated outside an old cowboy homestead. Our guests enjoying glimpsing into a way of life long forgotten, but not gone. For a final night, we slept under the stars, bathed in the sounds of the wild, the smells brought by the wind, and the crisp air of the southwest.
Top Of The World At Vermejo