Painted Pony Resort is situated in the heart of the San Simon Valley near Rodeo, NM. Rodeo, NM is nestled in between the Chiricahua and the Pelencillo mountains and has been a boom town more than once thanks to cattle, minerals, and the railroads. The San Simon Valley and Rodeo, NM offer the perfect Southwest desert vacation spot.
The weather has four gentle seasons and the area experiences over 300 sunny days per year. The region is rich in history from the early inhabitants around 1000AD called the Mimbre Indians to the travels of Coronado expeditions 500 years later on the way to the Colorado to the wild west cowboys of the late 1800's including the Earps, Curly Bill Brocious, Billy the kid, and the Clanton Gang.
The Chiricahua Mountains are considered a hikers and birders paradise and offers an amazingly diverse range of micro-climates from the desert at the valley floor to an alpine climate as you climb through the range. The lower elevation Peloncillo Mountains are home to a plethora of desert wildlife and foliage and have some spectacular areas to hike and explore.
In the town of Rodeo, NM you'll find a few nicely appointed B&B's, a general store, and the Rodeo Tavern where you can get a cowboy-size meal and a great steak.
Being primarily a ranching area the locals are hard working and family oriented. They welcome newcomers and are always happy to see a new face. Don't be surprised if you get invited to a roping or out to gather cattle if you express even the slightest interest.
The amateur astronomy community is strong with many astronomers residing in nearby Portal, AZ at the Arizona Sky Village. You'll find people in the area who are extremely eager to share their passion for astronomy with you.
The basin and range province of southern Arizona and New Mexico is characterized by a series of north south mountain ranges which rise in sharp relief to the broad flat valleys between them making the area an excellent place to hike. With the Chiricahua mountains to the west and the Peloncillo Mountains to the east hiking is popular past time for both local residents and visitors. A family oriented activity, hiking can be a way to add something special to a family reunion and we can put you in touch with local guides.
Backyard astronomy is a favorite with our guests because of the low atmospheric interference and our location remote from the light pollution around towns and cities. For this reason, the night sky is outstanding and we are the perfect location to view the sky. Join other amateur astronomers around the world to behold the beauty of the heavens.
Favorite observing targets are the Moon, Planets, open clusters, and multiple stars.
If you are an amateur astronomer it would be best to bring your own equipment. However, we do have a basic telescope you are welcome to use.
The Chiricahua Desert Museum in Rodeo, NM (5 miles from the resort) is owned and operated by Bob Ashley and is NM's premier rattlesnake educational outreach and exhibit. The Ashley conducts educational field trips for Family Reunion's and have a wonderful art gallery, animal display and gift shop.
The Boot Hill of New Mexico is famous for ancient Indian archeology. If you want to dig in the dirt, find things that are lost, put together pieces of the past, figure out stories from clues, and learn about the past, then we can point you in the right direction. You will find artifacts on our 300+ acres as well as other sites within driving distance to investigate. We can also put you in touch with locals who will be happy to show you around.
The Sky Islands of the basin and range region of the southwest are exceptional sites for bird watching or observing general wildlife. The north south orientation of these mountain ranges provide migratory corridors between Central and North America at elevations up to 10,000 ft. In addition to endemic species found year round, migrations of a number or sub tropical rare species move through the area at different times of the year. 375 avian species have been identified in and around the Chiricahua Mountains and many local naturalists maintain feeding stations to attract local birds. A number of commercial operations offer birding tours as well as local naturalists, or you can strike out on your own into the Coronado National Forest, with a stop by the American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station to update your species checklist of the Chiricahua Mountains or New Mexico.
There are many exciting and rewarding day trips you can plan while staying at PPR.
We are located about 75 minutes North of the historic mining towns of Bisbee and Tombstone, AZ. On your way down stop at the Geronimo Roadside Monument and drop by Douglas, AZ and have lunch at the famous Gadsden Hotel.
We are 90 minutes South of the beautiful Gila Wilderness & Cliff Dwellings. You should also visit the Spectacular Chiricahua National Monument.