About Our Tours

Cowboys Indians Magazine Featuring Ted Turner Expeditions

Ted Turner Expeditions’ (TTX) eco-conscious adventure tours are individually crafted and tailored to their specific locales; these unique adventures are intended to deliver an insightful and restorative experience, and connect people with nature. Through extraordinary guest service and the passion of our expert adventure guides, TTX is committed to making a difference by inspiring individual action to preserve the wonder of nature.

Below is a sampling of adventure tours currently being offered on our properties. Our TTX private guides work individually with each customer to craft the perfect itinerary for their expedition based on desired skill levels and preferences. From planning specific hiking and biking trails, to mapping out the perfect scenic route on each Ranch, we strive to provide an experience that is both exciting and rejuvenating for all who visit these extraordinary properties.

Please contact 1.877.2TURNER or email us at reservations@tedturnerexpeditions.com to book or learn more. Once your expedition is booked, one of our TTX Adventure Guides will contact you to start planning your itinerary.

For press inquiries, please contact CHREDO Hospitality for Ted Turner Expeditions at 828.362.9984 or email at info@chredo.com.

   
Armendaris Ranch

360,000 acres to explore. All expeditions depart from Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa and last 5 hours (including travel time)

A PDF version of our tour menu is available here.

HIKING

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

From canyons to caves, our hikes are designed for various levels of ability, all while providing picturesque views of both mountains and along the Rio Grande Valley.

BIKING

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

The varying desert terrain provides excellent options for bikers of all levels of ability. A great way to explore the Ranch on two wheels!

ARMENDARIS RANCH HERITAGE TOUR

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Learn about the geological and human history of the Armendaris Ranch, while traveling through the Chihuahuan Desert habitat in one of our open-air vehicles. Great potential for wildlife encounters along the way.

FRA CRISTOBAL SUMMIT TOUR

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Ride to the summit of the Fra Cristobal Mountain Range in our open-air vehicles to experience stunning 360-degree views of the region. Keep your eyes peeled for desert bighorn sheep and other exciting wildlife!

PREMIUM EXPEDITIONS

 

ARMENDARIS BAT FLIGHT EXPEDITION

$500 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | 6.5-HOUR TOUR | PACKED DINNER INCLUDED

Experience a wonder of nature and witness an estimated 1.6 million Mexican free-tailed bats take their nightly flight to forage along the Rio Grande. As the bats emerge from the Jornada Bat Cave, Swainson’s hawks and falcons offer a dramatic aerial display. This seasonal event runs from June to September

Get a sneak peek of our bat expedition on our YouTube channel!

HOT AIR BALLOON ADVENTURE

$1500 FOR 4 PEOPLE (max 4 TOTAL) | 4-HOUR TOUR | packed breakfast INCLUDED

Float over the 360,000-acre Armendaris Ranch at first light, where you’ll have the chance to spot bison, antelope and other exciting wildlife just waking up, with only the occasional sound of the balloon burner lifting you skyward. View the pristine earth stretching in all directions, and in the distance, spot iconic sites like the historic El Camino Real Trail and Elephant Butte Lake—an incredible way to experience the Ranches from above!

ALL DAY ON THE ARMENDARIS RANCH

$500 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | 8-HOUR TOUR | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Want to stay a little longer on the Ranch? We don’t blame you! Spend all day exploring the Armendaris Ranch on your own customized itinerary!

   
Ladder Ranch

156,000 acres to explore. All expeditions depart from Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa and last 5 hours (including travel time)

A PDF version of our tour menu is available here.

HIKING

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Unique desert environment provides excellent hiking trails across canyons and streams. Our hikes vary in difficulty based on ability.

BIKING

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Bike along ridge crests and streams on our state-of-the-art, full suspension Santa Cruz Tall Boy mountain bikes. Various levels of difficulty depending on track.

SUNRISE WILDLIFE TOUR

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Early risers have an excellent chance to spot bison, elk, javelinas, deer and more of Ladder’s diverse wildlife, with prime photographic moments along the way.

SUNSET WILDLIFE TOUR

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Seize the “magic hour” when the New Mexico sun sets and encounter bison, elk, deer and more while experiencing the beauty of the Ranch.

LADDER RANCH HERITAGE TOUR

$350 for 2 people; $100 for each additional person (max 4 total) | packed lunch included

Learn about the rich history and ancient cultures of the Ranch while experiencing spectacular scenic vistas and wildlife from our open-air vehicles.

BIRDING

$350 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Ladder Ranch is one of the finest birdwatching sanctuaries in North America, rich in native wildlife and biodiversity. Our expert birding guides are excited to show you their favorite spots!

PREMIUM EXPEDITIONS

 

ALL DAY ON THE LADDER RANCH

$500 FOR 2 PEOPLE; $100 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL PERSON (MAX 4 TOTAL) | 8-HOUR TOUR | PACKED LUNCH INCLUDED

Want to stay a little longer on the Ranch? We don’t blame you! Spend all day exploring the Ladder Ranch on your own customized itinerary!

   
Vermejo Park Ranch

WINTER 2016/2017

WEATHER
Winter weather at Vermejo can bring a variety of temperatures and conditions. One can expect temperatures anywhere from below 0 to the high 50’s. Clothing items that are easily layered to accommodate for cold mornings and evenings yet warmer afternoons, are suggested. Here are some recommendations of what to bring:

Vermejo Park Ranch supplies gear for all activities with the exception of Nordic Skiing. Guests, who wish to ski, must bring their own equipment. Ice cleats, ice fishing rods, an assortment of jigs and spoons, tubes, snowshoes and trekking poles are all provided, however guests are encouraged to bring any personal gear, should they so desire.

Our Company Store does have a small selection of personal care items and medications, however we do suggest you bring any items that you need regularly.

SNOWSHOEING

In the winter months Vermejo is superb snowshoeing country. Our high country contains many tucked away trails, laced with wildlife and incredible views. Suitable for all ages, our snowshoes are designed to fit a variety of sizes, male and female. Never been snowshoeing? No worries! From novice to expert, we have numerous trails that range in difficulty and our staff is ready to accommodate all skill levels. With close to 30 miles of mapped snowshoeing trails, possibilities are numerous. Listed below are our top four:

Contour Trek: Beginner, Varied Length
The length of this trail can be tailored to suit guest interest and skill level. Tucked above the north side of the Costilla Vega, this trek follows a narrow road free from obstacles due to past logging activity. Deeply colored conifers surround and protect you on this low impact trail.

Long Lakes: Beginner- Intermediate, 4 Miles
Now known as 7 Lakes, historic Long Canyon hosts a series of small, yet scenic lakes northeast of the Costilla Reservoir. This lakeside trail is a series of stone and tree, ending at an incredible canyon rockscape. Slight inclines provide an intermediate challenge.

East Fork Ridge: Intermediate, Varied Length up to 4 Miles
This once-was road holds deep snow, and veiled glimpses of Stateline Peak. An inclined loop, this trail provides a slight challenge for beginners or those sensitive to altitude. Length of trail can be tailored to guest preference.

Glacier Lakes: Advanced, 6 miles, All Day Trip
Designed for the extreme outdoor enthusiast, this snowshoe adventure is not short on scenery or exercise. Stateline Peak blesses your journey as you incline through deep snow to our most scenic destination, alpine Glacier Lakes. Lunch is packed with you for this all day adventure and is highly weather dependent.

Most of these trails are located in the high country, an hour’s drive from lodging. Often guides will pack picnic lunches, which can be enjoyed at a number of scenic locations.
En-route guests will enjoy opportunities to view a variety of wildlife and learn more of the history of our expansive ranch. Weather permitting, tracked-Suburban rides through high country Aspens transport guests to trailheads.

 

NORDIC SKIING

When blessed with high snow levels, cross-country skiing opportunities are endless. For those looking for an incredible backcountry adventure, this is the place to be. Interested guests should call ahead to determine availability and snowfall. This activity does require guests to supply their own gear. Downhill skiing is not available at Vermejo.

 

ICE FISHING

Mention ice fishing and one often conjures the image of wheeled ice shacks full of football-watching, “Grumpy Old Men”. Vermejo redefines the sport. In the Land of Enchantment, you can expect sun nearly every day, providing solar-heated adventure in unbeatable landscape. We host Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout, with a 2015 season catch of 28 inches, 7lbs.
Although the frequent winter breeze may chill your bones, our guides are always ready with warm beverages or protected seats in our premium ice shacks. Boxed lunches are served at the lakes and catch-of-the-day is often enjoyed for evening appetizers, prepared by private chef. Believe us when we say, you can’t get this experience anywhere else in New Mexico, maybe even the U.S.

Our Icing Fishing venues:
Bartlett Lake– At ~75 acres Bartlett is VPR’s largest ice fishing venue. Formed by wind, this sandstone bowl-turned lake is by far a guest favorite and beautiful to boot.
Bernal Lake– Don’t let the size of this 11 acre lake fool you- over 20 inch monster trout have been caught in this tucked away gem. Historic Bernal Cabin provides a hint of history.
Adams Lake– Close to 60 acres in size, our catch records dating back to the 1970’s show it to be one of guest’s favorite angling spots. Our winter season proves no different. Known for beautiful “browns and brookies” large rainbow are also frequently hooked.

 

TUBING

It’s not just for the kids! A great activity for all ages, we provide slick-bottomed sled tubes for the ultimate winter playground adventure. We have several designated sledding hills, and when snow conditions are right, we can really catch some air. We’ve entertained all ages- from 5 to 70- so strap on your goggles and get ready for gravity influenced fun.

 

RELAXING

Enough adventure for the day? Casa Grande is the ideal location for tucking oneself away from the winter elements. This historic home hosts a number of reading nooks and sun rooms. Enjoy either with a good book, brandy, or house-made hot cocoa.
Casa Grande’s Great Room (below) boasts a beautiful marble fire place perfect for warming one’s bones, cocktails and conversation. We also offer in-room massage services, perfect for a stress-free Escape. Massages are booked prior to arrival and occasional last minute weather does prevent this amenity.

 

SUMMER 2017

WEATHER
Spring weather at Vermejo Park Ranch can be very unpredictable with possible bouts of rain and snow, and temperatures dipping into the low 30’s. During the day the sun can warm things up into the 50’s or 60’s. Dressing in layers, and having a wind and waterproof outer layer is key to staying comfortable. Layers under the outer shell need to be synthetic fabrics; cotton is not ideal. Also recommended are waterproof boots.

Summertime at Vermejo is beautiful! Expect temperatures to range between 50 and 60 degrees overnight, warming up to approximately 80 degrees during the day. In July and August it can sometimes get as warm as 90 degrees, but cool evenings provide a nice balance.

Lightweight clothing with ample sun protection is recommended as UV rays are strong at elevation. A rain jacket and fleece for the cool mornings and afternoon showers. If people plan on hiking and getting out to explore the wilderness, we advise lightweight pants instead of shorts to protect legs against tree limbs, briars etc.

 

HIKING

With 920 square miles of private land to explore, the hiking possibilities at Vermejo Park Ranch are immense. Differing ecosystems with varied terrain, presents a multitude of hikes fit for hikers of all levels and interests. Whether a short stroll next to a meandering stream or an intense trekking adventure, our seasoned guides can lead the way!

Hikes are rated in difficulty on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the most difficult). From low country to high country, each include beautiful scenery and plentiful wildlife. There is something here for everyone! Hiking include:
Leandro Creek (2)
Even on the hottest summer day this hike is nice and cool.
Ash Mountain Meadows (3)
At the base of Ash Mountain are some beautiful meadows with incredible views.
Devil’s Bluff (5)
A more extreme hike with rock scape views, steep grades and ends tucked away in high country meadows.
For your safety, Vermejo Park Ranch requires that all hikes outside of our main complex area be guided- it is easy to get turned around in 920 square miles! For guests who prefer solo adventure exploration, there are some select hiking trails within a few miles of the main complex that may trekked unguided. We ask that those wishing to explore these trails schedule their trips through the Front Desk, where guests will receive a localized map and hand-held radio. Front Desk staff keep track of all solo adventures in the unfortunate case of emergency.

 

HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback riding is a good way to see some of the best country at Vermejo Park Ranch. Available from mid-May until September, corrals are located in Vermejo High Country. Rides leave from the #2 Camp corrals at 9:00 am and average 1 to 1.5 hours long. Other ride types are listed below.
1-2 Hour Morning Rides
◦ Depart at 9:00 am
◦ Depart at 11:00 am
4-5 Hour Ride with Picnic Lunch
◦ 7 Lakes Trail
◦ County Line Trail
All Day Ride
◦ Behind “the Wall” with picnic lunch.
◦ 4 riders max, 16 years of age and up.
Each of the longer rides leave at 9:00 am, include a picnic lunch, and generally return around 1:00 pm, with the exception of the All Day, which returns around 3:00 pm. All Day rides (4-5 hours) are dependent on the rider’s skill level. We do not recommend this ride option for beginners and young children.

Group Size, Age & Safety
Wranglers can safely take 1-6 riders together. There is a weight limit of 250 lbs per horse for safety reasons.
All age groups are welcome! Children under 5 years-of-age need to ride with an adult. Older children can ride by themselves.
Groups larger than 6 are divided between two rides.

Occasionally last minute cancellations of scheduled rides take place due to heavy rain or other inclement weather conditions. This is often determined the evening before a scheduled ride by our Horseman.

 

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Mountain biking can be a wonderful way to explore the Ranch. With over 10 miles of trails around the headquarters area guests can grab a map, a radio, hop on a bike, and go.
For those seeking more adventure, arrange to have one of our guides to take your family and friends riding in the backcountry on our endless miles of two-track roads.

 

FISHING

Fishermen and sportsmen alike have been coming to this haven for wildlife & fisheries for over 100 years. Visionary owner, William Bartlett, constructed many of our well-known trout fishing venues in the early 1900’s, which continue to provide unparalleled excitement for anglers of all types.

Our diverse property currently boasts 16 trout-rich lakes, great for any style of fishing: walk the banks and sight cast to rainbows, browns and brookies, enjoy world-class dry fly fishing and deep nymphing; or cast from one of our many boats.

If moving water is your game, our 30 miles of stream provide isolated adventure in varying terrain. Reel in wild trout in either high country meandering waters or our iconic southwest setting on the Vermejo River.
At 585,000 acres, Vermejo’s fishing venues are spread far and wide, however most of them are accessible by vehicle and range from 20 minutes to an hour from lodging.

Lower country lakes include Munn, Bartlett, Adams and Bernal ranging from 11 to 75 acres in size and each with their own historic character. A guest favorite, Munn Lake often features lakeside bison, bald eagles and incredible views of iconic Vermejo mountain peaks. Our waters host large populations of rainbow, brook, brown, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Most fish average one to two pounds in weight, but numerous three to nine pound fish are caught annually. Ever heard of fly fishing for carp? When you tire of trout, Munn is the perfect location for stalking these freshwater submarines!

A tucked away gem, Bernal Lake is a bit smaller in size and home to some of the ranches larger trout and historic Bernal Cabin provides a hint of history. Located 15 minutes from any of these venues lies the Vermejo River,
one of the greatest and under-fished Rio Grande cutthroat trout venues in the West- a great opportunity for solace.

High country fisheries include two main streams, Costilla & Casias Creeks, as well as a series of lakes: Glacier Lakes, 7 Lakes, Costilla Reservoir, No. 1 Lake, and our favorite, Casias Lakes. Casias is four kettle lakes nestled at tree line that offer wild Rio Grande Cutthroat and alpine beauty. While it is just under a mile to hike to this venue, many consider Casias Lakes the “Jewel” of Vermejo. Whichever your preference, high country or low, all provide outstanding wildlife viewing, incomparable scenery, and world-class fishing adventures.

 

SHOOTING

All shooting must involve a guide and guests must be 12yrs old to participate. Please feel free to bring your own shotguns, bows, and rifles. The ranch provides everything you need to shoot sporting clays, archery, and rifles.

Sporting Clays are designed to simulate “real hunting” scenarios to improve hunter skill and have fun with friends. Vermejo Park Ranch provides three sporting clay games: skeet, sporting clays, and 5 stand.
Skeet includes clays coming from a high house and low house.
Sporting Clays includes walking to 10 different stations, each station with a different configuration.
5 Stand includes a variety of shots from 5 different shooting stands.
If you prefer bow and arrow, try out our new 3D archery range. Archery includes 8 stations of 3D targets depicting different types of animals. Each station has 3 different shooting placements depending on skill level.
The rifle shooting provided is with .223 and .17 caliber rifles at our designated rifle ranges.

 

SUMMER 2017 RANCH TOURS

Imagine hikes in high mountain meadows with incredible scenery, tours through long-abandoned village sites, wildlife viewing and endless opportunity for rest & relaxation. Our wildlife is just that “wild”. With 920 square miles of property, Vermejo Park Ranch uniquely provides dynamic habitats for more than 76 mammals and 200 bird species. While we can never promise a sighting of a specific species, we can ensure abundant opportunity.
Mule deer, elk, prairie dogs and even porcupines are frequently spotted within a few yards of the Main Lodge.
An assortment of native wildlife such as Rocky Mountain elk, North American bison, pronghorn, and mule deer can regularly be seen on the Ranch. The entire spectrum of colors for black bear, as well as rarely seen mountain lions and bobcats also roam the Ranch. In addition, the high country is home to Big Horn Sheep, pika, the occasional marmot, and the endangered Rio Grande cut throat trout.
For bird enthusiasts, our five distinct ecosystems create the perfect chance to encounter a wide variety of bird types, from the colorful Western Tanager to the more elusive Mountain Plover.
Scattered across the property are abandoned turn of the century coal mines and logging operations with remnants of the communities that worked them. Guests can visit adobe ruins, pit houses, charcoal kilns, and other encampments along with some of their artifacts. The ranch possesses a rich cowboy history as well, with cowboy camps and abandoned cabins built in the 1920’s still visible on the property.

 

BABES & BLOOMS TOUR

July 12 – July 16, 2017
Summer is a special time in the Rocky Mountains. Seasonal rains bring to life brilliant flora and freshly born wildlife roam the landscape, testing their legs and bounding with life.
The “Babes & Blooms” tour is centered around prime wildflower season, an excellent time for macro photography. There are also an abundance of wildlife offspring (think bison calves, elk calf nurseries, and mule deer fawns) which will make the toughest of grown men smile with affection.
Babes & Blooms is a three day, four-night package event you won’t want to miss!

 

4 PEAKS IN 5 DAYS – TREKKING TOUR

June 25 – July 1, 2017
Whether you’re a new visitor to Vermejo Park Ranch or a returning guest looking to further explore the property, our 4 Peaks in 5 Days Tour is perfect for those looking for a bit more adventure. This program is designed for the outdoor enthusiast accustomed to high elevations and rugged terrain.
As the name suggest, participants will ascend four signature Vermejo peaks, over the course of five days; one each day of their stay, with a day of rest scheduled between the second and third hike.

Guests check in Sunday, June 25th at noon for a day of acclimation and rest at Casa Grande, where all participants will be lodged. Orientation and soft tours will be offered that evening with guided hiking commencing the following day (pre-sunrise departure). Participants will summit one peak each day of their stay, with the exception of June 28, designed to be a day of rest. On this day, participants may create their own agenda: massage, fishing, sporting clays or skeet shooting, horseback rides, historic tours or good old fashioned relaxation. Each evening, guests return to the ranch for fine dining and rest.

Due to the physical nature of this program, interested participants must submit a Pre-arrival Hiking History & Health Questionnaire (please call the front desk at 575.445.3097). Reservations are confirmed after the submission and evaluation of each questionnaire. This screening process is for the safety and enjoyment of all involved.

 

LIFE ON THE PRAIRIE TOUR*

August 12 – 16, 2017

*With this tour, there’s an optional “light painting” workshop that will extend to August 18th
Vermejo Park Ranch truly has it all! Filled with history from the pioneer era, settlements, and mining operations and to the historic Vermejo Park Lodge. Photographer, Sean Fitzgerald will show us the way, as we focus on the gems of these historic prairie sites as well as our abundance of wildlife. We will adjust the itinerary depending on the weather and those serendipitous opportunities that will likely present themselves.

 

ELK RUT & ASPEN TOUR

September 25 – 29, 2017
The Elk Rut & Aspen tour is unlike any photography experience we know of. Enjoy the annual elk rut up close and personal, just as archery hunters do (just leave the bow behind and be sure to pack your best wildlife lens). Our well-trained guides can provide incredible advantages for those looking to capture spectacular wildlife images, allowing one to relive the drama, again and again. This tour is sold as a 2:1, photographer : guide ratio. All single photographers will be paired with another guest during the photo outing.

 


Ted Turner Expeditions – Contact

By Phone
1.877.2TURNER

By Email
reservations@tedturnerexpeditions.com