One of the questions I struggle with to create and present useful insightful information about the Painted Pony Resort and its' environs of southern New Mexico and Arizona is what is there to do? If guests decide to visit and stay at the Painted Pony Resort will they find activities that are family oriented and fun? While the 316 acre 9 bedroom property has amenities such as wireless wifi, a heated pool, hot tub, pool table, ping pong, telescope, and basketball court that provide family centered activities, in reality it is the ideas guests bring with them that makes their stay enjoyable. Guests bring their ideas and the Painted Pony Resort provides the venue and setting to make these ideas a reality. As a result the Painted Pony Resort has hosted many family reunions, a number of outdoor weddings, workshops, astronomy groups, as well as individual family vacations.
But what about other activities, what is there to do locally? Historically, the area is known for birding and outdoor activities in the Chiricahua and Peloncillo Mountains. Spring is peak birding season in the Chiricahua Mountains with birders filling local lodging and engaging local guiding services looking for that special species for their life list. But over the past 20 years amateur astronomers discovered the area. Southern Arizona and New Mexico are home to a number of large academic telescope facilities drawn by the altitude of Sky Islands, clear skies, and little light pollution, and the amateur astronomy community has also taken advantage of these attributes to build a strong presence in the area. Several dedicated communities exist in the area that cater specifically to the amateur astronomer and the Painted Pony Resort hosts astronomy groups from Canada who wish a clear unobstructed view of the southern night sly. Stargazing at the Painted Pony Resort is a popular evening activity with a 4.5 inch telescope specifically for guest use.
The Chiricahua Desert museum with reptile displays and gardens is a favorite with visitors and is conveniently located at the intersection of Portal Road and Highway 80. It is a great introduction to the reptiles of area and a chance to view some very rare species.
Geocaching is is also a popular family oriented activity and a number of local geocaches are scattered throughout the Chiricahua mountains. These "treasure hunts" develop orienteering skills and require the use of a GPS, but the results are always worthwhile with with some scenic views at each cache location.
Of course a trip out west requires at least one horseback ride. On the east side of the Chiricahua mountains is Hideout Ranch which offers a number of local rides. On the east side of the Chiricahuas is Blue Sky Ranches which also offers trail rides in monument and throughout the mountain ranges.
A more traditional activity in a national forest is hiking. Exploring the sky islands on foot often leads to some interesting discoveries. Although located in the desert the Chiricahuas contain a number of spectacular waterfalls which can be visited on hikes in the area. The Painted Pony Resort provides online maps of a number of hikes in the area chosen for time of year, high elevation hikes for the summer and low elevation hikes for winter visits.
Most importantly, family time is what PPR is all about. The chance to gather, to visit, to renew relationships, all in an relaxed setting where distractions are at a minimum.