A small village in the Lincoln National Forest's Sacramento Mountains in Southeastern New Mexico. It is located approximately 20 miles southeast of the somewhat larger tourist community of Cloudcroft. Its population has been estimated to be approximately 70 people, though that number may include some hunters and summer residents who don't reside in the area year-round. The village was originally called Chiquita after a nearby creek. Its post office was established on March 22, 1935 -- soon after, it was decided to change the name of the village to Sacramento.

The village is blessed, like the rest of the Sacramento Mountains, with a very mild climate -- summer temperatures range from 45-70 degrees, winter temps are generally from 19-42 degrees, and the annual temperatures average between 31 to 57 degrees. The average rainfall for a year averages out at about 30 inches, and the area gets about 70 inches of snow every year.

A large part of why Sacramento exists is the Sacramento Methodist Assembly, a camp of about 230 acres, which has been owned and operated by the United Methodist Church's New Mexico Conference since 1931. The camp caters to church camps and retreats, though any group is welcome to stay there, if the space is available and the necessary fees are paid. Lodging ranges from motel-style rooms to dormitories to rustic camps. Other facilities include a large dining hall, outdoor basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, a softball field, horseshoe pits, a large chapel, a canteen/snack bar/gift shop, numerous outdoor worship areas, including the beautiful Point of Silence and Chapel in the Sky, a small duck pond, and Skipper's Hall (named for Dr. Bryan "Skipper" Hall, one of the camp's founders and a longtime camp director), which offers meeting rooms, basketball, volleyball, and even roller-skating. (The old Skipper's Hall, which burned down years ago, was solely devoted to skating and was thus the most popular building in the camp, outside of the snack bar.)

Other sights to see in Sacramento include the rustic, antler-bedecked post office, the volunteer fire department, the Federal Building (actually just an office and garage for some of the Forest Service personnel), Chiquita Creek, a small pet cemetery in someone's backyard, and the heartstopping beauty of the Sacramento Mountains.

While you're here, you should plan on some hiking (get up early and go just after dawn -- it's peaceful and quiet, and you might see some animals) and some nature watching (if you're lucky, you can see some deer, but otherwise, enjoy the sky, the pines, the clouds, the mountains, the astounding mixture of aromas in the air, the awe-inspiring sound of wind rushing through a hundred trees). Be sure to take some pictures of the post office, throw some crackers for the ducks, and go buy something from the gift shop. You should also go visit some of the small towns in the area, including Cloudcroft, Weed, Mayhill, and the solar observatory at Sunspot.

Many happy memories

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.