As we hiked up the trail to Williams Lake, NM this past July in the light rain, we couldn’t help but notice what appeared to be an Austrian ski chalet at the point where the trail turns to the left and begins to climb. Constructed of massive logs, the Bavarian Inn is built in the same manner as the ski-in/ski-out chalets placed alongside trails and near ski hills in Germany. In fact, when standing on the large deck of this structure, the ski lift for one of the Taos Ski Valley hills crosses right above us.
As we concluded our nearly two hour hike in the rain at approximately 2 pm, having had no lunch in our rush to get a headstart on the rains, the idea of a late lunch at this marvelous structure seems ideal. The guys take the dogs to the car, where they received water and multiple treats for their efforts and were able to rest a bit in the car with the windows open, safe as it was still 58 degrees and raining. Meghan and I ventured immediately inside the chalet in search of a table and some sustenance.
There is a fire burning in the massive tiled fireplace and the logs seem even more massive on the inside. Wooden chairs and cozy benches are covered with throws made of toasty faux animal fur, perfect for cuddling up with when chilled from skiing down a mountain in February, or from hiking down a mountain in the soaking rain in July!
When the guys join us, Terry and I discover they already have the Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest bier on draft, a treat in October, a gift in July! We order steaming bowls of a thick homemade beef and potato stew, which is served with the most deliciously warm fresh-baked bread, which was worth the trip alone. As we are warmed by the fire, our insides are fed and warmed by the delicious food. We linger a bit longer than we need to, not a problem with the restaurant as it is not a prime meal time and there are plenty of tables available for the surprisingly steady flow of diners entering the restaurant between 2:30 and 3 pm. But, having just partaken of their hospitality, it is easy to see why folks would drive 30 miles north of the tiny village of Taos Ski Valley on a narrow mountain road, simply to dine here. The experience is worth effort!
Read more about New Mexico camping and things to do in New Mexico.