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New Mexico: Farmington – Kokopeli’s Cave

I am always on the lookout for unusual places to stay on our travels around the country and on one such road trip we were heading from the Grand Canyon eastwards towards Louisiana and I decided to book us in for a couple of nights at Kokopelli’s Cave bed and breakfast in Farmington, New Mexico.

You can check availability and make reservations on their website. The Cave is closed during the winter months not because it is cold but due to the fact getting down to the cave from the cliff tops can be a little sketchy in the snow and ice. This is not a cheap place to stay. It costs $290 per night to two people with a minimum stay of 2 nights. The cave can sleep up to 8 people but each extra person costs $50 per night. This is a lot more than we’d usually pay for somewhere to stay but I really wanted to try it out and so I didn’t mind splashing out for once.

What or who is Kokopelli ??

Many people might have seen a depiction of Kokopeli if they have travelled around America, particularly in the Western States.

Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head) who appears in the legends of several Western State Native American tribes. According to a Hopi myth Kokopelli’s sack contained babies to be left with young women. Whilst in Navajo folklore, Kokopelli is a God of harvest and plenty.

Getting to Farmington itself is simple enough but the cave itself is a little more tricky. When we visited we met the manager at their house in town and was escorted to the site.

The cave house is built into the vertical cliffs of Tertiary Ojo Alamo sandstone and overlooks the La Plata river valley some 300′ below. The cave itself is 70′ below the surface.

The entrance is located in the cliff face and is reached by walking down a sloping path and steps cut into the sandstone along the pathway. From the Cave and the cliff tops, you get amazing views of the beautiful southwest sunsets over the beautiful La Plata River valley and the four states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado that make up the Four Corners.

The Cave is a man-made cave and was originally intended to be a unique office for Bruce Black, the owner who is a consulting geologist. When this plan didn’t materialize, they decided to make it into a bed and breakfast.

The Cave itself is pretty spacious at 1700 sq. ft and is very cosy considering it is something that has been hewn out of the side of a cliff. The nice thing about the underground setting is that the temperature in the Cave stays between 68° and 73° year around – which some might feel is a little chilly.

The Cave consists of a master bedroom, living area, replica Native American kiva, dining area, full kitchen and bathroom with rock walls incorporating a waterfall shower and Jacuzzi tub. There are two porches with sliding glass doors; one off the main entrance and the other off the master bedroom. With the exception of the bedroom and bathroom, all the rooms are located around a large central sandstone pillar that separates the Cave into its various component rooms.

Despite the Neanderthal settings, the Cave is very cosy, extremely utilitarian and potentially romantic – having two children with you does not help in that regard. The replica kiva is a very nice touch. Of course, it was de rigeur to use to try out the jacuzzi at least as far as Jack and Emily were concerned.

The entryway is fairly small but it is the perfect place to watch the sunsets towards the West. It is also a great place to meet the local wildlife, who seem to be totally fearless when it comes to human visitors.

Overall, we were very impressed with Kokopelli’s Cave. It is extremely unique and would be a great place to spend a romantic weekend. It is closed during the winter season and even at other times of the year access requires a bit of walking on uneven ground – so it is not suitable for wheelchairs or people who are not steady on their feet. Also, I would not recommend taking very young children there.

Also, it is a bit spendy – but if you don’t mind a bit of a hit to the pocketbook for a different experience then you should try it out if you are in the area.

Location:87 Road 1980, Farmington, New Mexico
Map:Google Map
Type:Bed and Breakfast
Prices:290 per night, plus $50 per additional person based on 2 people. $50 extra per    night person up to 8 people (2-night min)



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