Circle A Guest Ranch and Hostel
ADA Accessibility Notes
Unfortunately, the guest rooms are not ADA accessible, though we have been able to accomodate moderately handicapped visitors at times.
The Ranch is a 360 acre inhold within the Santa Fe National Forest, so it's visited by lots wildlife. You can hike the many trails or sit out on the terrace and gaze into the orchard. One of our best assets is silence, except for bird and coyote songs. We preserve an important piece of New Mexico history as one of the few remaining 1920s working guest ranches.
From 550 in Cuba, NM, turn north onto Los Pinos Road. The turn is near mile marker 65. Follow the Circle A signs to stay on Los Pinos Road. After the fifth cattle guard, a sign will direct you to turn right into the hostelry driveway.
Maintaining the wildness of the land is our primary goal. The land is a conservancy-easement, so the area will never be developed. An organization called the Tracking Project holds camps for children and adults to explore ecosystem health, and they report that the Circle A property is robust, with bears, mountain lions, skunks, and racoons all indicating a thriving environment. The local humane society undertook a bird inventory on the property and plans to hold workshops here in the future. Our land is popular for wildcrafting, or the practice of gathering and using native plants. We never use pesticides or sprays of any kind, so we have many rare herbs no longer growing in most forests. Soon we hope to hold herb walks and be part of the Cuba Farmers Market with medicinal herbs. We hold an annual festival in our historic apple orchard. Many of the apple varieties are heirloom, again, because we use no pesticides. As the family's father often said to his children decades ago, "We're just stewards." Now there's a guest ranch on the land, but our outlook is identical. This is meant to be a place where people see how satisfying a simple, sustainable life can be. "It's not that we say no, no, no to using the land," says owner Marion, "we just want to use appropriate technology." Motorized traffic is kept to a minimum, and cattle grazing is not allowed. We wash guest linens and maintain the lodge building with clean, natural, fragrance-free products.
Locally or Family Owned Business Notes
The land was traditionally used by Navajo and Apache for summer camps and grazing areas. John Young, a Mormon settler and Forest Service Ranger bought the land in 1910, and artistic-minded easterners began to visit in the 1920s. Young built the two-story adobe lodge and dude ranch to accomodate the travelers. In 1954, two young school teachers, Alice Bartlett Woolf and Elaine Bartlett Charvoz, purchased the ranch and converted it to a girl’s summer camp where young women could explore the outdoors and the arts. The camp closed when Alice and Elaine retired in 1978, but the property is still owned and managed by the family.
Pet Friendly Notes
No pets allowed because much of the ranch is shared space.
Ranch Activities Available
Our rustic 1900s adobe hunting lodge is a charming place to relax. We have a terrace with a large grill for cookouts. From the ranch there is easy access to many miles of biking and hiking trails, and we are close to well-known regional highlights, like the Continental Divide Trail, Chaco Canyon, Jemez Springs, Cabezon, and more. The property itself is within the Santa Fe National Forest and close to San Pedro Parks Wilderness. We can arrange for guided horseback rides, or you can bring your own horse.
May 1 through October 15
$25 for a bunk, $50-105 for a private room, $200-250 for a large apartment or whole bunk house
- Locally or Family-Owned Business
Breakfast Style Served
Breakfast Not Included
We have five private rooms with shared baths, a honeymoon suite with private bath, a large apartment with private kitchen and bath, two bunk rooms with shared bath, and a yurt. WiFi and a full kitchen are available to all guests.