SANTA FE TRAIL BYWAY INTERPETIVE CENTER
On Highway 64, smack dab in the center of town, across from the visitor center, you will see our fantastic new Santa Fe Trail Byway Interpretive Center featuring historical information and photographs. Please stop by and enjoy this unique taste of Cimarron.
KIT CARSON MUSEUM AT RAYADO (Part of the Philmont Scout Ranch)
Located 11 miles south of Cimarron along Highway 21, in the southeast corner of the Philmont property,the Kit Carson Rayado Museum is a fantastic living history site. As the first permanent settlement in Colfax county and an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail, it is rich in history. Free tours of the reconstructed home are available starting mid-June and run through mid-August. For more information please call: (575) 376-1136.
New Mexico's Most Unusual Museum! Built in 1864 by Lucien B. Maxwell. The Aztec Grist Mill is in the southwest corner of Cimarron, It was built to provide ground grains for the Maxwell Ranch and the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation, as well as Santa Fe Trail travelers. Today it is operated as a museum and houses working mill parts, life-size figures of local history.
Open Summer Only. Schedule varies. Please call the Visitor Center for more information: (575) 376-2417.
OLD TOWN CIMARRON WALKING TOUR
Stop by any local business or our Visitor Center and pick up a self-guided Historic Walking Tour of Old Town Cimarron map and its companion, A Brief History of Cimarron. The historic walking tour includes a look at the old jail, stage office, St. James Hotel, and more. In all there are 14 historic sites dating back to the mid 1800s within a short 30-60 minute walk. Brass plaques mounted on stone pillars guide the way and present information about each historic site, and local history, including the Santa Fe Trail, Lucien Maxwell and his 1,713,000-acre Land Grant, and the Colfax County War. Download Historic Walking Tour or A Brief History of Cimarron.
LEGENDS BY LANTERN LIGHT TOURS
Interpretive, guided tours of Old Town Cimarron by lantern light while telling local history, legends, and ghost stories
LOCATION: Tours meet in front of the St. James Hotel
CONTACT: (575) 445-8373
PHILMONT MUSEUM AND SETON MEMORIAL LIBRARY (Part of the Philmont Scout Ranch)
Serving as Philmont's Visitor Center, the Philmont Museum is the first place to stop. The museum features exhibits of a Scouting, Southwestern, and/or Philmont theme. The Seton Memorial library contains the personal library, art, and collections of Ernest Thompson Seton, famed artist, naturalist, and one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as other books of historical and Scouting interest. Summer Schedule - Beginning Memorial Day weekend, open everyday 8 to 5. Winter Schedule: Monday through Saturday 8-5 Call: (575) 376-1136
THE ST. JAMES HOTEL (Part of Express Ranches)
Serving as cook for General Grant and President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Henri Lambert (1838-1913) drifted west in 1864 in hopes of finding gold. Initially settling in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, Lambert moved to Cimarron in 1872 and built this hotel at a cost of $17,000. Its saloon, restaurant, and 43 rooms were witness to at least 26 murders during Cimarron's wilder days, most committed in "self-defense." Clay Allison, Black Jack Ketchum and Buffalo Bill Cody have all left their mark on the St. James, as attested by the numerous bullet holes in the ceiling of the main dining room. The St. James is also famous for its ghosts.
Self-guided tours are available year round. (575) 376-2664
THE VILLA PHILMONTE (Part of the Philmont Scout Ranch)
Built in 1926-27, the Villa was the ranch home for oilman Waite Phillips and family. The home has been preserved much as it was in the days the family enjoyed the ranch. Tours are available year round for a donation of $5. Summer tours run on a regular schedule and can be arranged at the Philmont Museum. Please call (575) 376-1136 for a current schedule.
CAPULIN VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Although long extinct, Capulin Volcano offers visitors excellent opportunities for observing and understanding volcanic formation and 10 million years of geologic history in Northern New Mexico. (575) 278-2201
FORT UNION NATIONAL MONUMENT
Fort Union was established in 1851 as the guardian of the Santa Fe Trail. During its forty-year history, three different forts were constructed close together. The third Fort Union was the largest in the American Southwest, and functioned as a military garrison, territorial arsenal, and military supply depot for the southwest. The largest visible network of Santa Fe Trail ruts can be seen here. (505) 425-8025
CIMARRON CANYON STATE PARK
Beautiful all times of the year. A great place to fish, hike, view wildlife, camp, picnic, or just stretch your legs. The Palisades are also located in Cimarron Canyon State Park approximately 15 miles west of Cimarron (400 feet high crenellated granite formations naturally created 1.5 million years ago). Many other interesting spots to explore! (575) 377-6271
EAGLE NEST STATE PARK
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. At 8,300 feet in elevation, the park offers a cool retreat from the summer heat for fisherman, boaters, campers and wildlife enthusiasts. The new campground offers 19 dry sites with a vault toilet and community water available. A new state of the art green visitor center features exhibits, a classroom, and expansive patio overlooking the lake. An abundance of animals—elk, bear, mule deer, eagles, turkeys and other birds—inhabit the area, making Eagle Nest Lake an ideal location for wildlife viewing. In the winter, ice fishing and snowmobiling are popular sports when ice thickness permits. Snowmobiling is limited to the lake surface. (575) 377-1594
SUGARITE CANYON STATE PARK
Near Raton, New Mexico. The Coal Camp Interpretive Trail winds through the ruins of the Sugarite coal camp. Coal mining in the area provided an important economic boost to the region and state. The visitor center provides information about the coal camp and the area's history. An extended cliff of basaltic rock columns, often referred to as "caprock," is the dominant geologic feature at the park. About 12 million years ago, broad sheets of molten lava erupted from a nearby volcano, forming layers of basalt rock 10 - 100 feet thick. Rock climbing is allowed on the caprock. (575) 445-5607
VIETNAM VETERAN'S MEMORIAL STATE PARK
Angel Fire, New Mexico. The Memorial was established in 1968 by Victor and Jeanne Westphall to honor their son, Lt. David Westphall, who was killed in Vietnam in May 1968. When it opened in 1971, it was one of the first Memorials of its kind in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. Until recently, it was funded and maintained by the David Westphall Veterans Foundation. The Memorial was formally transferred to New Mexico State Parks in 2005, making it the state's 33rd park. Now it is the only state park in the U.S. dedicated solely as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (575) 377-2293
OTHER LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
- Colfax—Ghost Town ruins along Highway 64 about 12 miles east of Cimarron right before the railroad tracks
- Dawson Cemetery: Follow the small sign just after the railroad tracks heading north on Highway 64 about 12 miles east of Cimarron near the Colfax Tavern.
- Elizabethtown Museum and Ghost Town
- Ponil Park—In the Valle Vidal (Carson National Forest). Park at the Whiteman Vega parking area—first one in the park and head south along the old road. Some ruins of cabins remain and parts of lumber mill.
- Valle Vidal Unit of the Kit Carson National Forest
- Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area (highest point in New Mexico)
- See our History Page for more in-depth information and downloads regarding local attractions.