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VACATION IDEA: 'Firearms Wonderland,' Canyon Madness Ranch, New Mexico

By: Teresa Mull

“Getting away from it all” certainly has its perks. But “roughing it” for an extended period can get a little tiresome, leaving you more exhausted, cranky, and run-down than when you first entered vacation mode.

At Canyon Madness Ranch (CMR), though, you don’t have to choose between being remote and having access to amenities. The 14,000-acre get-away is the perfect destination for the world-weary seeking to escape the stresses of life without leaving behind modern-day luxuries.

Last weekend found your trusty correspondent rumbling down a long dirt road in the picturesque New Mexican desert. I was greeted by Kody Mills, CMR Firearms Director, and followed his Humvee the rest of the way to the ranch. The “Teepee Lodge” is something that must be seen to be believed. Perched along the top of a steep ridge, the lodge almost looks as if it is itself a rock formation jutting out of the hillside:

CMR’s website explains:

“…[T]he Teepee Lodge’s architectural concept was designed by notable Mexican Cabo San Lucas architect, Alejandro Uribe.  Despite the unparalleled scenic beauty of the building site, the location was so remote and difficult that it was an architectural, engineering, and construction tour de force to get this construction completed without major setbacks.”

The lodge’s interior is luxurious, with intense and refreshing climate control, enormous lodging suites, and comfortable common areas. CMR provides satellite telephone and internet services and Dish satellite TV. (How they manage this in a place you’d bet your life is totally “off-grid” is beyond me!)

If/when you recover from your first viewing of the “architectural wonder” that is the CMR lodge, you’ll be met with a second breath-taking experience: the view from the lodge deck of the Encierro Canyon and Canadian River:

Next comes the fun and games! CMR touts itself as a “firearms wonderland,” and a place “where extreme is our passion.” From the CMR site:

CMR’s firearms programs are designed to appeal to a full range of amateur/hobby users to professional or expert firearms enthusiasts.
It is distinctly unique for a luxury ranch to offer shooting experiences that range from hand gun ranges to rifle ranges as well as military style weapons starting with AR-15s to AR pistols and leading to super long-range scoped rifles.  CMR provides these opportunities in unmatched terrain with target distances starting from 1 mile to a record-breaking distance of 2.5 miles for North America using Kiote Rifle’s Rougaroo ELR and Overland-Match models.  CMR also boasts an opportunity to shoot a Barrett M82-A1 (50 cal.) on a Humvee that was a veteran of the Iraq war.

CMR also features a twelve-station championship quality sporting-clay course designed by the notable Pete Blakeley, a pre-eminent course designer in the United States.  At the end of this course, CMR offers a “dessert” activity named the “Covey Rise” where five clay-throwing machines ejects a myriad of clays randomly and in multiples. This crowd pleaser is most fun for many shooters engaging these “birds” at one time.  There is also an independent trap shooting course for those interested in another dimension of shotgun shooting.
Equipped with interactive targets set up for both recreation, training and competitions, the ranch is well-suited for handgun and rifle shooting for both recreational and vocational guests. CMR's Firearms Wonderland is also suitable for use in professional training and national competitions.

I spent my first morning – after the most restful, silent sleep I’ve had in a long time – shooting sporting clays on the championship 12-station course.

The next day we went horseback riding, and I could have stayed a month longer to absorb the desert air and landscape, partake in ATV rides, hikes, long-range rifle shooting, fellowship with like-minded friends, and, of course, evening lounging on the CMR deck:

Not convinced? CMR sums up its mission irresistibly:

The Canyon Madness Ranch experience is for those that yearn for the best of scenic beauty and the best of adventurous activities. Escape the hectic nature of your daily lives and enjoy a luxurious outdoors paradise like never before.  CMR reminds you of a time in the wild wild West more than a hundred years ago yet allows you to experience twenty-first century comfort.  While luxuriating in modern conveniences, live the lifestyle of those that migrated from East to the West along these canyons during the nineteenth century.  Amidst this primitive beauty, one can easily imagine that one can be suddenly challenged by Apache Indians on horseback --- what an eerie feeling for one living in the twenty-first century!
Very few if any vacation destinations can offer both serenity and excitement in a setting of breathless scenic beauty and modern-day luxury.  Canyon Madness Ranch is one of those rare places on earth. Join us and you will be forever transformed!

For more information, visit https://canyonmadnessranch.com/.

Teresa Mull (teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.

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