Cimarron, New Mexico

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Cimarron, New Mexico
Downtown  Cimarron
Downtown Cimarron
Motto: "Where the Rockies Meet the Plains"
Location of Cimarron, New Mexico
Location of Cimarron, New Mexico
U.S. Census map
U.S. Census map
Coordinates: 36°30′34″N 104°54′56″W / 36.50944°N 104.91556°W / 36.50944; -104.91556Coordinates: 36°30′34″N 104°54′56″W / 36.50944°N 104.91556°W / 36.50944; -104.91556
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Colfax
 • Total 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
 • Land 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 6,430 ft (1,960 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,021
 • Density 510/sq mi (196.8/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87714
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-15440
GNIS feature ID 0887606

Cimarron is a village in Colfax County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,021 at the 2010 census.[1]

Philmont Scout Ranch,[2] an extensive "high-adventure base" operated by the Boy Scouts of America, is located just south of Cimarron. The Chase Ranch (famous for its heart-shaped brand and allegedly the Marlboro Man's place of origin), Ted Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch,[3] the CS Ranch,[4] the UU Bar Ranch[5] (formerly the property of Waite Phillips), the Clearview Ranch of the western singer/songwriter R.W. Hampton, the Elliott Barker State Wildlife Area, the Valle Vidal, Cimarron Canyon State Park,[6] and Carson National Forest[7] are also located in the Cimarron area.

The village is a pioneer of the four-day school week, which it originally implemented in the early 1970s, during a time of rising fuel and utility prices.[8]


To avoid the rocky and mountainous Raton Pass, wagon traffic used the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail during the 1840s. Thereafter, Mountain Branch near Raton Pass became more popular with traders, immigrants, gold-seekers, and government supply trains.

West of Cimarron is the Palisades Sill, with high cliffs surrounding a modest flow of the Cimarron River.

In 1842, Lucien B. Maxwell, a fur trapper, came to the Beaubien-Miranda Ranch in northern New Mexico and courted and married Luz Beaubien, one of the owner's six daughters. He eventually inherited the ranch and built a huge mansion in 1858 on the future town site.

Maxwell built the Aztec Mill in 1864. It is preserved as the Old Mill Museum, operated by the Cimarron Historical Society. The museum's collection includes working mill parts; Native American tools, weapons and pottery; Maxwell Land Grant paperwork and documents; and other materials.

Cimarron was officially chartered in 1859 and was named for the Spanish word used to describe a mustang, meaning "wild" or "unbroken". Cimarron was the county seat of Colfax County beginning in 1872, when it replaced Elizabethtown. At that time, Cimarron was a stage stop on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. In 1881, the county seat was moved to Springer, a town on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It was during this time that Lucien Maxwell sold the Maxwell Land Grant to a group of investors, with the resultant Colfax County War in which more than two hundred people were killed.

Final homeport of USS Cimarron[edit]

As a tribute to many dedicated crew members, USS Cimarron's key artifacts were donated to Cimarron, since it is the closest village to the Cimarron River's headwaters at Eagle Nest, New Mexico. Her ship's bell became the village high school's bell.


Cimarron is located in west-central Colfax County at 36°30′34″N 104°54′56″W / 36.50944°N 104.91556°W / 36.50944; -104.91556 (36.509467, -104.915496),[9] on the north bank of the Cimarron River where it emerges from the Cimarron Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. U.S. Route 64 passes through the village, leading west up the Cimarron Canyon 23 miles (37 km) to Eagle Nest and northeast 40 miles (64 km) to Raton, the Colfax County seat. New Mexico State Road 58 leads east from Cimarron 19 miles (31 km) to Interstate 25 north of Springer.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village of Cimarron has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all land.[1]

Climate data for Cimarron
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 47
Average low °F (°C) 16
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.3
Source: [10]


Old Aztec Mill in Cimarron
St. James Hotel

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 917 people, 382 households, and 255 families residing in the village. The population density was 479.5 people per square mile (185.4/km²). There were 449 housing units at an average density of 234.8 per square mile (90.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 77.54% White, 0.11% African American, 1.09% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 17.23% from other races, and 3.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 58.89% of the population.

There were 382 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the village the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 106.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $27,875, and the median income for a family was $30,677. Males had a median income of $26,125 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,248. About 9.1% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]