A Turning Point in Turner Country
The state’s largest landowner is opening his two enormous ranches near Truth or Consequences to eco-tourism. It could be a pretty big deal.
Right after you go past the Bosque del Apache while driving down I-25, you cut through a corner of the Armendaris Ranch. Soon you come up along-side some muscular brown mountains that stretch for the next 27 miles and loom over Elephant Butte Lake. That’s the Fra Cristobal Range, and it’s all part of the Armendaris, too. Ted Turner owns the ranch, and his house is on the other side of the mountains. The view from there is of a vast sea of high-desert grassland that washes up to distant mountain shores, and Turner owns almost all of that as well.
After another 20 minutes or so of driving, you cast your gaze in the other direction, to the southwest. Most of the land from here to the Black Range is part of the Ladder Ranch, also owned by Turner. By the time you get to the turnoff for Caballo Lake and scenic Highway 152, you’ve been driving through Turner country for the last 60 miles.
You backtrack to Truth or Consequences, the town that lies between the two ranches, and check in to the best hotel around, the Sierra Grande. Turner has owned it since 2013. You settle in to your room and peruse the menu of television stations. Among the options are TBS, CNN, and TNT—all started by Turner. When it’s time to eat, you go downstairs to the new restaurant and order a bison burger. The meat was raised on one of Turner’s 15 ranches, maybe even one of the ones you just drove past.