Colfax County, New Mexico, Place Names, N - Z

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Colfax County

NARANJOS -  Spanish for the folks with Naranjo surname, or orange grove. The surname came to New Mexico in 1600. Settlement on NM 120, 20 miles northwest of Wagon Mound. Post Office 1886 to 1888 and 1913 to 1917. (Mora county) map ,topo map,


NIGGER CREEK - Named for a young Black man, whose  name is unknown, arrived in Elizabethtown some time during the boom years of 1865-1890. He made his home on a little creek in the north end of the Moreno Valley, which leads into the Moreno River. Listed in Place names of New Mexico by Robert Hixson.Name probably changed, not found on any map.

NINE MILE CREEK -  In the south end of the Moreno Valley, flows into the Cieneguilla Creek, which then flows into Eagle Nest Lake. Named because it was 9 miles south of Elizabethtown, which in the early days, was the center not only of the Moreno Valley, but the northeastern part of the State during the hectic mining years between 1865 and 1890. Map

NORTH PONIL CREEK - Creek near Baldy Mountain. See PONIL. Map , Trail map,



OCATE CREEK - There are two in Colfax County: 1. Rises in Colfax County then flows southeast through Ocate, below which it is diverted into the Upper Charette Lake and then into Canadian River, map. 2. South of Taylor Springs, map

ORO DREDGING MINE - Oro is the Spanish word for gold. Map

ORTEGA MESA - Ortega is a spanish surname. North of Ocate, and west of Valdez Place. Map

OSHA - The name of an herb, wild angelica root, found in subalpine areas with deep moist organic fungal soils, and smells like spicy celery. It grows in clumps and can be as tall as 7 feet.  It is used for medicinal purposes.It may be confused with Yarrow or Poison Hemlock.  Is is also know as "bear root, porter's lavage, colorado cough root", or as "Ute or hachiga" by Comanche, Jicarilla or Apache Native Americans. This settlement had a Post Office 1894 to 1903; name was changed to BLACK LAKE map

OSHA MOUNTAIN - Between Taos and Colfax counties map .  See CUESTA DEL OSHA PEAK.

OSHA PASS - A gap near the Taos Colfax County line, 3 miles north of Osha Mountain. map

OTERO - This surname appears in 1659, when Pedro Otero is listed in marriage records in Santa Fe. Members of this family are found in 18th century records in Albuquerque and Tome. The family achieved prominence in this and the following century. In Colfax county it was a lively spot near the foot of Raton Pass when AT&SF RR reached there in 1878. The town was located west of Clifton, and named for Miguel L Otero, a congressional delegate from the Territory of New Mexico. After the division point was removed 5 miles north of Raton in 1879, most of the settlement moved with it to the present location of Raton. There are no remains of the town. p.208-9; Ghostowns and map, p.207;

PALISADES SILL - A fine grained porphyritic dacite sill which form spectacular cliff in the Cimarron River Canyon between Eagle Nest and Cimarron. Wikipedia, photos , map

PALO BLANCO - Spanish for white tree or white pole. Populated place, Map;

PALO BLANCO CREEK - Flows south to Holkeo Creek, 15 miles north of Gladstone, north of Palo Blanco Mountain.  Named for Palo Blanco Mountain.

PALO BLANCO MOUNTAIN - 4 miles northwest of Malpie. map

PALO BLANCO PEAK - 15 miles southwest of Capulin in the east end of Colfax county.

PALO FLECHADO - Spanish for "tree pierced with arrows". Mountain pass near Agua Fria. Named because many arrows were found sticking in the trees. There is a Taos Native American custom of shooting the remaining arrows into a large tree after a buffalo hunt. At the summit of the mountain near the pass is the tree containing the arrows. (Taos county) map

PALO FLECHADO CREEK - Rises in the Taos Mountains and flows east to Agua Fria where it joins Agua Fria Creek. map

PARKER ARROYO  - 1 mile west of Hebron; connects with Canadian Red River in north central part of Colfax County. Map

PARTON - Formerly TROYBURGH. Post Office, 1884 to 1886; later mail sent to Raton.

PATTON CREEK - Small stream which flows into Canadian Red River at its source near the Colfax County - Colorado state line in the northwest part of Colfax County. map

PECK'S MESA - North of Holkeo Creek in the extreme southeast corner of Colfax County. Named for an early family in the neighborhood.

PELS - Named for the manager of the Maxwell Land Grant. A center for llumber and mining. p212;

PENA FLOR - Post Office shown on a 1936 Department of Interior map, as 4 miles south of Colorado State line on the Upper Vermejo River. Post Office 1888 to 1901; mail to Catskill.

PERRYVILLE - Settlement established in 1877, named for a Mr. Perry who operated a blacksmith shop and worked as a machinist for the placer mines in the Moreno Valley. It had a hotel, a school, a store, and a number of log cabins. Locality in Cimarron Canyon, north of Eagle Nest Lake, just below the dam. The town is gone. Post Office 1894 to 1895; later mail sent to Elizabethtown. Map , Ghosttowns.

PHILMONT SCOUT CAMP - A Boy Scout Camp and game refuge covering 55 square miles. Established in 1938, as a gift of Waite Phillips, owner of nearby Philmonte Ranch.Covers 128,000 acres and stretches north and south of Cimarron about 25 miles. First named PHILTURN. Philmont Website.Map

PHILTURN - See Philmont Scout Camp.

PIGGLY WIGGLY CANYON - Northeast of Johnson Mesa.

PINA - Spanish  for pine tree or pine cone. Northeast of Tafoya, southwest of Kiowa. Settlement was abandoned. Post Office 1900 to 1920. Ghostowns, map.


PINE CREEK - Flows out of the pine covered mountainside in the north Moreno Valley and joins the Moreno River which flows into Eagle Nest Lake. Map

PINE GULCH -  Northeast of Elizabethtown, Map

PINON HILLS - 10 miles west of Springer in the Maxwell Land Grant. NW of Colmor and SE of Miami. Map

PITTSBURG - Once a community 25 miles east of Springer in center of a farming district. In 1922 Ray and Russell Pittman built a grocery store 6 miles northwest of Gladsone. In 1924 a post office was established in their store. First postmaster was Bernice Martin Pittman, Ray's wife.  Post Office 1924 to 1932. Only a small pile of rubble remains. Wikipedia. Ghostowns map.  

POINT OF ROCKS - A mound of syenite rocks, rising from the prairies, from which runs a clear, crystal spring. At the eastern end of the Colfax County line near Ute Creek. A noted battleground and landmark of the Santa Fe Trail. Map. Point of Rocks Historical Marker. map, photo,.


POND CREEK - Rises in Colfax County and flows south to junction of Carisso Creek.

PONIL - Post Office 1879 to 1913. p.224;

PONIL CREEK - Has 3 branches, north, middle and south. They all arise north of Cimarron in adjacent canyons, join and flow to the Cimarron River, 2 miles east of the town, from the Vermejo Park area. Map; North Ponil map; Middle Ponil map; South Ponil map

PONIL PARK - Logging and sawmill town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, at the head of Ponil Creek; about 3 by 6 miles in size. Founded in 1850, abandoned about 1900 along with the towns of Ring, Labelle, Bonito, Anchor, Midnight, and Hopewell. The people moved to Cimarron. A few old cabins are being restored by the owner, Philmont Scout Ranch and the US Forest Service. Map, Ghostowns, photo


POTATO CANYON  - Begins about 4 miles up Canadian Red River and extends southwest 7 miles. An eastern farmer settled here and raised potatoes, selling them to the miners in Blossburg; hence the name. Map

POTATO MOUNTAIN - 5 miles east of raton. Map

PRAIRIE DOG CANYON - Small canyon extends north from the mouth of the Caliente Canyon, which is off the Vermejo River Canyon, 8 miles north of Dawson. Map

PRESTON - On the Ute Division of the AR&SF RR, 10 miles southwest of Raton, where the track branches for Van Houten. Established in 1900.Map

PRESTON POINT - Cliff, map.

PRUDENCIO CANYON -  Prudencio is a Spanish given name. South of 72, west of Folsom. Map

PUERTECITO - Spanish for small mountain pass.

RAEL - A Spanish surname. The town was located northeast of Rayado and southwest of Heck. Post Office 1901 to 1902; later mail sent to Springer. Ghostowns map,

RAILROAD CANYON - Extends from Raton to the Raton Tunnel on AT&SF RR, about 8.5 miles running north and south. The tracks follow this canyon to the highest point on the system, 7,622 feet. Map

RATHBUN CANYON -  East of Yankee and west of Berry Lake.Map

RATON - Spanish for mouse, field mouse or prarie dog. On Interstate I25 and US 64, 8.5 miles south of Raton Pass. The town was established in 1879, with the arrival of AT&SF RR. Now is the County seat. The Post office at this location was Willow Springs 1877 to 1879, Otero 1879 to 1880, and Raton 1880 to predant day. Wikipedia, Photos, map

RATON CREEK - First called WILLOW ARROYO, then WILLOW CREEK. Flows south of Railroad Canyon, north of Raton across Crow Creek Flats to join Una del Gato River, 7 miles south of Raton, and then into Canadian Red River. Map

RATON MOUNTAINS - Form part of the long range which divides northeastern NM from Colorado. Named for numerous rodents which fed here on the pinon nuts. photo

RATON PASS -  Gap named from days of covered wagon caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. The highest point is 7,622 feet. Wikipedia, Photo, PhotoMap

RATON PEAK - Central and tallest peak of the range, directly north of Raton, almost at the Colorado state line.


RAYADO - Spanish for streaked. Certain Native American tribes were called "rayados" by the Spanish because of horizontal lines painted on their faces.  This was a trading point on NM 21, 23 miles west of Springer, and 12 miles south of Cimarron. When this settlement was established in 1848 by Lucien Maxwell, Cimarron did not exist. This was the first settlement east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It became a stagecoach stop along the Santa Fe Trail. In 1857 settlers from this town went to establish Cimarron. Post Office 1873 to 1881 and intermittently to 1919. Waite Phillips purchased the townsite in the 1920's, donated the land to what is now part of Philmont Scout Ranch. The remains have been fully and authentically restored by the Boy Scouts of America and is open for summer tours.  If you are working with the 1980 US Census, handwriting spelling Rayado was misread as Mayaar.  Wikipedia, photoMap, Ghostowns,

RAYADO CREEK OR RIVER - passes through Rayado and joins Urreca Creek 11 miles west of Springer. Map

RAYADO MESA - 14 miles west of Springer in the Maxwell Land Grant. Map

RAYADO PEAK - A summit on the Rayado River near Rayado Pass. Map

RAYADO STATION - 5 miles south of Springer.


RED HILLS - A ridge with an elevation of 10,682 feet. Map. Red Hills Camp map.

RED LAKES - Former community 10 miles sothwest of Black Lakes on NM 38. Map

RED MOUNTAIN - There are 2 in Colfax County. 1. A summit northeast of Tinaja about halway to 193, near county road A11. Map;  2. A summit off state road 72 east of Berry Lake. Map . Red Mountain Mine map.

RED RIVER CANYON - Begins at Red River Peak, 4 miles south of Raton and flows into Canadian Red River at the northwest corner of Colfax county. Map

RED RIVER PASS - At the Taos Colfax County line, the north end of the Moreno Valley where Nm 38 crosses the mountains into Red River Country.


RED RIVER PEAK - Small pointed peak or summit at the mouth of the Little Red River Canyon. Named before the stage coaches came across Raton mountains. Map

REED CANYON - Ghost town near site of Elkins at the head of the Vermejo River. Named for "Cump" Reed from Missouri, an early settler in 1875.Map

RING - At one time in Ponil Park on North Ponil Creek in the Maxwell Land Grant. So called because the Ring Road ended in a circle where an engine could be turned.

RING PLACE - To get there: turnoff is on US 64 at the  7 mile mark between Cimarron and Colfax. It is marked by a Valle Vidal sign, at 21 miles the dirt road becomes FR1920, and is 9 miles further to McCrystal Creek campground, then a 15 minute walk. In 1890, cattle rancher, TimothyRing bought 320 acres from the Maxwell Land Grant Co.The 2 story house had 6 bedrooms. The house might have also served as a wagon stop since it was on the road from Elizabethtown to Trinidad, Colorado.Timothy and Catherine Ring had 7 daughters: margaret, Mable, Maude, Myrtle, Annie and Amy. Timothy Ring died of tuberculosis in 1906, the property was sold back to the Maxwell Co. In 1937 it was sold to millionaire cotton broker Benjamin Clayton, who stayed there once.Family photo included in source 5 below. Closed January - March. Photo , Map , location.

RIO COLORADO - The Spanish name for the Upper Canadian River. That is the Canadian river, north of the Mora River to the Colorado border. See mapby the US Geological Survey,page 7. Refer to Canadian River.

RIO DEL PLANO -  Anglicized "river of the plains or flats". Northeast  of Springer and flows into the Canadian Red River

RIO PLANO - Flows west from Chico to enter the Canadian River north of Springer; course is over high, relatively smooth terrain, explaining the descriptive name. Map

RITO - Rito is spanish for little river.

RITO AZUL - A stream near Trinchera, with an elevation of 5,843 feet. Map

RITO BERNAL -  In the northwest corner of Colfax County, flows into the Vermejo River.

RITO DEL ORO. Spanish for little golden river. In the northwest part of Colfax county, flows into the Vermejo River.

RITO LEANDRO - Leandro is a spanish given name. Flows into the Vermejo River.

RITO PRESA -  Spanish for little river that has been controlled, ie a ditch, trench or dam. A small tributary of the Cimarron River. Perhaps named for an irrigation or fishing dam in the stream. Map

RITO SECO - "rito seco" spanish for dry creek. A stream in Abeyta with an elevation of 5,732 feet. Map

ROAD CANYON - There are 2 in Colfax County: 1. Extends between Canadian Red River Canyon and Vermejo River Canyon in the northern part of Colfax county near the Colorado state line. One of the trails into the Vermejo country came down through this canyon; thus the name road canyon. Map ; and 2. East of Schomberg and Tinaja, west of 193. Map; ROBINSON - There are 2: 1. Old name for RAYADO; 2. Another is a locale south of Springer. Map

ROBINSON MOUNTAIN - Northwest of Capulin, just inside the Colfax Union County line. Named for the Robinson Hoover Commission Co. of Kansas City, Missouri, which served the livestock men of Colfax and Union counties in the early days. Post Office 1882 to 1883. Ghostowns map.

ROCKHOUSE CANYON - North of Brilliant. Map

ROUND MESA -  Off 193, south of the 64 junction. Map 

RUST*ON RANCH -  Charles Glasgow proved dry farming worked here, initially owned 1/2 interest of 9,000 acres.situated near Colfax. Bought out his partner. p.218.

RYADO - Post Office 1873 to 1881; changed to RAYADO

SAIL ROCK -  Peculiar rock formation in Cimarron Canyon, resembling the sail of aboat moving in shallow waters.

SALTPETER CREEK - The stream begins 5 miles below Dawson where it empties into Vermejo River, map, and flows south through a canyon  of the same name.
SALTPETER MOUNTAIN -  A summit 15 miles southeast of Dawson, on banks of Saltpeter Creek. Map

SALYERS CANYON  - Begins in northwest part of Colfax county. Runs southeast to Vermejo near former Elkins Post Office. An early settler had this name. Map

SAN FRANCISCO MESA - Franciscan pioneers of NM named many places for their founder St. Francis of Assissi. FORMERLY called AHOGADERA, "place of the drowned" because a sheepherder had lost eight hundred sheep in the stream.

SAN FRANCISCO PASS -  Connects the north western part of Colfax county with Colorado, 5 miles east of the Colfax Taos county line.

SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS - This mountain range runs north and south in the southernmost section of the Rockies, extending from southern Colorado to Santa Fe and Pecos. It forms the western boundary of Mora County. Also called the SIERRA MADRE MOUNTAINS as late as 1790. Present name started at the beginning of the 19th century and seems to be associated with the birth of the Penitente religious society.


SANTA FE TRAIL - Two branches, the Mountain Route and the Cimarron Route, of the trail go through Colfax County. Wiki

SAUA CREEK - Perhaps a corruption of the spanish word "sacia" or "sap". The creek flows into the Canadian Red River at the Colfax Harding county line. Named for maple trees along its bank.
SAWMILL CANYON - The more well known one heads in Gallo Mountains; runs northeast into Largo Creek, 13 miles east of Agua Fria Mountain. There are 3 in Colfax County: 1. south of the Colorado state line, north of 555. Map; 2. North of dawson and northwest of Koehler and south of 555. Map; and 3. Between Cimarron and Ute Park, south of 64. Map.
SAWMILL CREEK - There are two sawmill Creeks in Colfax county. One in the north end of the Moreno Valley that empties into the Moreno River, which flows into Eagle Nest Lake. The other, flows into the Canadian Red River above the town of Red River. Along both creeks there were sawmills.

SAWMILL LAKE - Northeast of Los Lefebres and state road 120. Map

SCHOMBERG - On AT&SF RR, 5 miles north of Maxwell. Named for a manager of the Maxwell Land Grant. Map 

SCHOMBERG CANYON - Northeast of Koehler. Map

SCHUREE CREEK - Tributary to the Ponil, northwest of Cimarron.

SEALLY CANYON - Southeast of Ring Place. Map

SEELEY CANYON -  Begins near Gardiner in Dillon Canyon and extends west. Map
SEGAL CREEK - 10 miles southeast of Maxwell.

SENODAN CREEK - In the south end of the Moreno Valley, flowing into Cieneguilla Creek, which flows into Eagle Nest Lake.  Senodan was a family name in the area.

SHEEP SPRING CANYON - West of Brilliant, north of 555 in the Raton Mountains. Map
SHEEP SPRING CREEK - West of Brilliant, north of 555 in the Raton Mountains; flows into the Canadian Red River. Map

SHOTGUN CANYON - North of Koehler, northwest of Van Houten. Map

SIX MILE CREEK - Flows east from the Taos Peak region into Eagle Nest Lake in the Moreno Valley.

SIX MILE GATE - A populated place, north of Cimarron, on 204. Map

SIX HORSE CANYON -  North of 555, south of Colorado state line. Map

SLAGLE - Southeast of Chico and Troy, northwest of Tafoya, and west of Kiowa. First postmaster, Florence B. Slagle. Post Office 1901 to 1902; later mail to Chico. Ghostowns map.
SLAGLE CANYON - 5 miles west of the Chico post office. Map

SMITH CANYON - Northwest of Brilliant. Map

SOLDIER HILL - A hill in Willow Springs, now Raton. p.207

SOUTH PONIL - Little stream southwest of Cimarron. See Ponil Creek.
SOUTHSIDE - Abandoned settlement south of Johnson Mesa.  Post Office, 1878 to 1879. Ghostowns map.

SPEILMAN CANYON -  North of dawson, Map


SPRING ARROYO - Small stream that flows into the Canadian Red River. Map

SPRING CANYON - There are 5 in Colfax County: 1. North of Colfax, south of Dawson, map;  2. Northwest of Casa Grande, map; 3. South of the Colorado state line,west of Brilliant,  map; 4. Just west of Van Houten, map; and 5. East of Chico towards 193,map.

SPRING CREEK - Flows through Spring Canyon, 3 miles east of Dawson and empties into the Vermejo River.

SPRINGER - Town on US 85, NM 58 and 199, 41 miles south of Raton on the Cimarron River. Settled in 1879, and became the third county seat in 1882, Raton followed in 1897. Two brothers named Springer gave their name to the town: Charles a rancher near Cimarron, and Frank a lawyer and official of the Maxwell Land Grant Co. Post Office 1879 to the present. Wikipedia, photos, Map
SPRINGER ARROYO - North of Maxwell, map

SPRINGER RANCH - Formerly the Dick Steel Ranch. p.68;

SPRINGER LAKE - 3 miles northwest of Springer. Map. SPRINGER RESERVOIR - Map

SPRUCE CANYON - Northwest of Van Houten west of 64 and I-25. Map


STAGE CANYON - Begins 5 miles north of Dawson and runs west from the Vermejo River Canyon.

STEEL RANCH - Named for Dick Steel. Purchased from Lucien Maxwell before he sold his land Grant. Known today as the Springer Ranch. p.68

STERN POST OFFICE - 10 miles northwest of Cimarron on Ponil Creek in the Maxwell Land Grant. Named for an early settler. Map


STINKING CANYON - Between Casa Grande and Banning Place, Map

STOCKTON - South of Clifton. The Stockton family owned ranches in several NM counties. Postmaster, William H. Stockton. Post Office, 1878. Map , Ghostowns map,

STOUT CANYON - Begins 7 miles north of Dawson and extends east from Vermejo River canyon. Named for a Pennsylvania pioneer who made his home here. Map

STUBBLEFIELD CANYON - West of Brilliant, northeast of Casa Grande. Behind locked gates about 32 miles northwest of Raton off york Canyon Road. Catskill is nearby. There were 14 beehive ovens, almost 30 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. Map, Best Ghost Towns p.52,

SUGARITE - Former coal camp, east of Raton on state road 72, 3.7 miles from the junction with I-25, is another junction, Sugarite is 1.7 miles on the lefton NM 256. It was a ranching community before it became a coal town. By some accounts it was considered the most beautiful coal camp. The name evolved from the name "chicarica"  which is still the name of the creek that flows through the canyon. In 1909 the Chicorica Coal company opened 3 mines in the canyon. This high quality coal was in demand for home heating, from as far as Nebraska. By 1912 the population  was 1,000, and had 2 story school, a store, clubhouse, and a saloon. The bawdy houses were down the road at Yankee, which boasted 8.  Although a smaller community than Yankee, about 5 miles away, it lasted longer by 20 years. The only remains, are foundations on the eastside of the canyon, and the ruin of the Ensign mansion.  Post Office, 1912 to 1944. Best Ghost Towns  p55; p.223, photo,;  See CHICARICA. Map; SUGARITE CANYON - photo, Map; SUGARITE MINES - Map1, Map2, Map3.

SUNNY SIDE - An unincorporated trailer Park akon State Road 21, between Rayado and Miami. Wikipedia ,Map

SWASTIKA - 5 miles west of Raton in Dillon canyon. Formerly a coal mining town owned by the St. Louis Rocky Mountain and Pacific Co. The Gardiner-Swastika branch of AT&SF RR once extended from Dillon to Swastika for the purpose of shipping coal. It became a sister community to Brilliant, having the same owners and being half a mile away, in 1919. When Brilliant closed, it became the principal coal producing town in Dillon Canyon. Post Office 1919 to 1940; changed to BRILLIANT in 1935. Now part of Ted Turner's property. See Vermejo Ranch. map, Best Ghost Towns p.52-54,

SWEETWATER - Post Office on Sweetwater Creek, 1878 to 1882; later mail to Springer. Map

SWEETWATER CREEK - east of NM 21, 7 miles north of Mora, along the southern border of Colfax County; flows into Ocate creek, which enters the Canadian Red River. Map

TABER MOREY CANYON - West of Brilliant, Map

TAFOYA - Tafoya is a Spanish Surname. Ranching community on county road 8 miles northwest of Farley. The first Tafoyas, the three sons of Juan de Tafoya Altamirano, natives of Mexico City, came to NM shortly after the Reconquest of 1692. Post Office 1936 to 1953. Map.  

TAOS PASS - At the south end of the Moreno Valley; the pass where US 64 crosses the Taos Mountains into Taos county. Map

TAOS PEAK - 6 miles west of Eagle Nest Lake almost on the Colfax Taos county line. Map

TAYLOR - North of Taylor Springs, Map

TAYLOR CANYON - North of 64/87, and north of Tivotte Reservoir. Map

TAYLOR SPRINGS - 8 miles southeast of Springer on the Canadian Red River, off 56/412. Sometimes called TAYLOR. Named for Elijah Taylor, who started Taylor Springs Ranch many years ago. Post Office, 1905 to 1909 and 1909 to 1941. Map.

TECOLOTE CANYON - Tecolote is Spanish for owl. East of Maxwell, northwest of Chico. Map


TEMPLE - On the Rio del Plano. 18 miles northeast of Springer, near Chico. First started with the Temple Ranch, then became a small community, now abandoned.

TEMPLE PEAK - In the southeast corner of Colfax county, near Chico. Named for the Temple family. Map


TENAJA MOUNTAIN - See Tinaja Mountain

THERMA  -  Post Office 1821 to 1835. See EAGLE NEST.

THOMPSON - 20 miles west of Des Moines. Once a station on the old SLRM&P RR, 4 miles west of Vigil. Named for William Lee Thompson, who moved here from San Lorenzo in Grant county in the 1870's and established a store and a fruit orchard. p.223;

TINAJA - Spanish  for a large earthern jar used for liquids. Small settlement 16 miles south of Raton. Map

TINAJA ARROYO CREEK - South of Eagle Tail Mountain; flows into Canadian Red River. Named for Tinaja Mountain, directly east. Map


TINAJA AND EAGLE TAIL MOUNTAINS - These two peaks lie 12 to 16 miles south of Raton. Descriptive names chosen by early stage drivers on the Santa Fe Trail, for Tinaja is flat on top and has a short, narrow neck like a jar. Eagle tail reminds one of the sloping, swooping, back of an eagle. Map

TIN PAN CANYON - Extends west of Dillon Canyon a few miles beyond Blossburg. Named for s shining tin pan nailed to a post by a miner as a guide to his friends who were to follow him to his camp. Map

TOLBY CREEK - Tributary of Cimarron River, emptying into it from the south just below Eagle Nest Dam.Name recalls the mysterious death of a preacher named Rev. Thomas J Tolby, who was found murdered here, during the Land Grant Wars of Colfax County. Map; TOLBY MEADOW - Map;  TOLBY PEAK - Map


TOOTH OF TIME MOUNTAIN - west of Philmont Ranch and 9 miles southwest of Cimarron. An immense wind cut rock having the appearance of a tooth, on top of a ridge. map;

TORIL - Spanish for bull pen. Located on the AT&SF RR, 6 miles south of French. Map

TOWNDROW - 6 miles from the Colorado state line, just south of NM 72. Map
TOWNDROW PEAK - On Johnson Mesa, 10 miles east of Raton. Named for an early family now scattered over northern New Mexico. It is one of two peaks on the mesa. Map

TOWNER - First postmaster, John C Towner, Post Office 1877 to 1878.

TRES HERMANOS PEAKS - Spanish for  "three brothers", 13 miles east of Maxwell and 24 miles south of Raton. The three  peaks are close together and are  linked near the summits. Map

TRINCHERA - Spanish "trench". Post Office 1882 to 1883; later mail to Madison.

TRINCHERA CREEK - Rises in the north east corner of Colfax county; flows north into Colorado to Purgatoire River. Map

TRINCHERA PASS - In the northeast corner of Colfax county at the east end of Johnson Mesa; cuts through mountains into Colorado, which explains the name. Elevation 7,110 feet. Map

TROY - Named for the Troy family, homesteaders here. First postmaster, Daniel Troy. Post Office, TROYBURGH , 1878 to 1884; changed to PARTON.

TROYBURG MESA - West of Capulin, south of 64 an north of 193. Map

TRUJILLO MESA -  Trujillo is a Spanish Surname. Off 193, north of Chico. Map

TWIN BUTTES - West of Folsom, south of 72. Map

TWIN LAKES -  Northwest of Ring Place and west of Banning Place, Map

TWIN LAKES RESERVOIR - On 64, northeast of the 505 junction. Map


TWIN MOUNTAINS -  Small cinder peaks on NM 7, between Des Moines and Folsom.They supplied C&S RR with cinders for ballast. This source also furnishes cinders for building blocks.

UNA DE GATO CREEK - Spanish for "cat'slaw", Rises in Johnson Park near the Colorado state line and flows southwest. Map 

URRACA - Spanish for magpie. Settlement on NM 21, 22 miles northwest of Springer and 5 miles south of Cimarron.

URRACA CREEK - Rises near Clear Creek Mountain and Black Mountain in the southwest part of Colfax county; flows east, passing 5 miles south of Cimarron to Canadian Red River. Map

URRACA DAM - Northwest of Rayado, southwest of Cimarron. Map

URRACA MESA - 12 miles southwest of Cimarron. Map

URRACA PLACE - populated place, northeast of Rayado, north of Miami. Map
UTE CREEK - Post Office 1868 to 1895; later mail to Mt Baldy. Creek - map

UTE LAKE STATE PARK AND RECREATION AREA - Dam is earth filled structure 5,750 foot long, impounding the Canadian the Canadian River just west of Logan. Designed for industrial and recreational purposes.

UTE PARK - Settlement and area in Cimarron Canyon on US64 between Eagle Nest and Cimarron, and at terminal of Ute Park branch of AT&SF RR. At one time inhabited by the Ute people. Other settlers moved in about 1867. It was part of the Maxwell Land Grant. Post Office 1908 to present day. Wikipedia, Map; p.224;


UU BAR RANCH - formerly the Property of Waite Phillips. See Philmont.

VALDEZ CANYON - Valdez is a spanish surname. Northwest of Dawson, Map

VALLE VIDAL -  Spanish for valley of abundant life. In 1982, 100,000 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, northwest of Cimarron, were donated by the Chicago millionaire William H Bartlett estate to the US Forest Service.  At the 7 mile marker between Cimarron and Colfax, there is dirt road road to the north, marked by a sign, Valle Vidal 21 miles. The road follows Cerososo Canyon to ring Place.  Wikipedia, Map

VAN BREMMER CREEK - Rises in Van Bremmer Park northeast of Cimarron, near Dawson Canyon, and flows southeast for 25 miles to join Vermejo River 10 miiles west of Maxwell. Map

VAN BREMMER CANYON - Off 64, west of Colfax. Map

VAN BREMMER PARK - Area 4 square miles in the midst of tall rugged mountains. At the head of the Van Bremmer Creek, and 6 miles east of Costilla Peak. Map; p.224;

VAN BRUGGEN CANYON -  Southeast of Tinaja, northwest of Chico. Map

VANDERITOS - Post Office, 1886 to 1887; mail to Halls Peak; 1907 to 1907; mail to Aurora.

VAN HOUTEN - Abandoned mining town 6 miles west of US 85, and 18 miles southwest of Raton. Named for Jan Van Houten, of Raton, manager of coal mines and American Representative of the Dutch syndicate which acquired the Maxwell Land Grant from Lucien Maxwell. Van Houten became the president of the St Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Co., associated with the grant. In 1910 the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad extended a line to Van Houten and the community began to grow. By 1915, there were l500 residents, 2 hotels, many businesses. The town was largely populated by Germans, Austrians and Italians. The Red Cross of this town raised the largest per capita investment for WW I effort than any other town in America. Post Office 1902 to 1952; Original coal mining camp name was called WILLOW. There is only one house left, the roofless Mule building, other ruins, and the mine entrance. For many years the property was owned by Kaiser Steel, today is owned by the National Rifle Association and is part of the Whittington Center.  Map , Ghostowns; p.223;

VAN HOUTEN CANYON - Map;  Mine #1, mine #4.

VASQUEZ and ABEYTA LUMBER MILLs - One, 4 miles from Catskill. The second shortly up the creek. Process 15,000 feet of lumber daily. p.211.

VERMEJO - In Spanish the letters "v" and "b" have been interchangeable. The spanish word  "bermejo" means reddish, or light brown, or matchless as in unsurpassed.

VERMEJO PARK - Ranching community on NM 234, 30 miles west of Raton on Vermejo River. When AT&SF RR was built over the Raton Mountains, most of the inhabitants moved to Raton. Vermejo Park is the center of the old (1902)  William H. Bartlett Estate (Chicago Millionaire), a 350,000 acre ranch, now owned by Ted Turner. The Vermejo Park Ranch now includes the locations of of the following towns: Gardiner, Swastika, Brilliant, and Blossburg. It is a private gated property and permission to visit must be obtained. Post Offices, Vermejo, 1874 to 1883; Cimilorio, 1883-1898; Vermejo 1902 to 1907; Vermejo Park 1907 to present day. Map; p.221-3;  


VERMEJO PEAK - Summit in Taos County, 11,611 feet elevation. Map

VERMEJO RIVER -  Rises in the northwest corner of Colfax county; fed by many smaller streams. Flows through Vermejo Canyon, through Dawson, and southeast to join the Canadian Red River 6 miles south of Maxwell. Along its banks, the earliest settlers of northeastern NM made their homes. Map

VERNON - Ranching community on SP RR, 18 miles southeast of French, and 10 miles southeast of Taylor Springs. Post Office 1911 to 1917. Ghostowns map

VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA CITY - Postal records list Taos, Mora, and Colfax counties for this station. between April 9, 1868 and October 22, 1869. it was in 1866 that three men sent to assess work on a previously located copper mine located near the top of Baldy Mountain, camped on Willow Creek, and accidentally discovered rich gold placers. This site was on the Maxwell Land Grant. When a camp began to form here, Maxwell named for his daughter, Virginia. The town had a store and a Post Office from 1868 to 1869. Before Virginia City had a chance to mature, the populace moved to a more promising camp, 5 miles northwest, Elizabethtown. Nothing remains of Virginia City. Map, Ghosttown; p.216-7;

WALDRON CANYON -  South of Koehler. Map

WALLACE - 28 miles west of Des Moines. Said to be named for General Lew Wallace, author of "The Fair God", and "Ben Hur". While Governor of New Mexico Territory 1878-1881, he tried to settle one of the most famous feuds in western history, the Lincoln County War.
WERSONICK CANYON - Above Yankee, where a family by this name lived.

WET CANYON - In the extreme northwest corner of Colfax county. Map
WHISKEY CREEK - Tributary to the Ponil northwest of Cimarron.


WHITSON - Post Office 1878.

WILDER LUMBER MILL - Immense sawmill in Catskill, 1890. p.211

WILLIAMS CANYON -  South of Colorado line, west of Brilliant and northeast of Casa Grande. Map

WILLOW - Post Office 1902; Name changed to VAN HOUTEN in 1902. See Van HOuten.

WILLOW ARROYO - See Raton Creek

WILLOW CANYON  -  East of Van Houten, map

WILLOW CREEK - There are 2 in Colfax County: 1. 3 miles south of Elizabethtown in Eagle Nest. All eyes focused here, when gold was discovered in 1867. map, p.219, p.66: and 2. South of the Raton Municipal Airport, map.; p.219


WILLOW SPRINGS - Raton was once knwon as Willow Springs. Post Office 1877 to 1879; 1914 to 1917; p.206; later mail to Corrumpa. Map.  WILLOW SPRINGS OVERLOOK - The spring was once a camping site and forage station on the Santa Fe Trail. photo; WILLOW SPRINGS RANCH - p.207;  Historical Marker - Map.

WILSON MESA - There are 2 in Colfax County: 1. North of Ute Park, off 204. Map;  2. North of 64, past Tivotte reservoir and south of 72, map.


X A RANCH -p.233;

YANKEE - Former coal town and trading point on NM 72, 8 miles northeast of Raton. Founded in 1904 by Wall Street brokerage firm of E.D. Sheppard and Co., and named it Yankee, because several Boston men were involved in this coal mining venture. AD Ensign, representing a group of Eastern investors, was the promoter of the building of AT&SF RR from Raton to Yankee. Town was owned by the railroad, but abandoned because of faulty manipulation of the capital involved. Coal mining was later resumed. Peak population of 2,000. Post Office 1906 to 1922. MapBest Ghost Towns p.55;p215

YANKEE CANYON - 10 miles east of Raton. NM72 winds through this beautiful canyon, to Johnson Mesa. Map

YANKEE MINES - #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, Yankee Reynolds Prospect Mine.

YORK CANYON - Near the site of former Elkins post office, at the head of the Vermejo River. Map

YORK CANYON DAMS -#1, #2, #3.   YORK CANYON MINES - West York, West Strip, #1, #1 Tex-Mex, Prospect.

YOUNG CANYON - Near the former site of Elkins, at the head of the Vermejo River. Named for the Young family, pioneers from Missouri.

YOUNGBLOOD CANYON - Southeast of Chico and northwest of Farley, off 193. Map


            1. New Mexico Place Names, A Geographical Dictionary. T.M. Pearce, Ina Sizer Cassidy, Helen S pearce; The University of New Mexico Press, 1965. LCCC No. 64-17808.


            3. Your guide to the outdoors.

            4. Ghosttowns of New Mexico

            5. New Mexico's Best Ghost Towns; A practical Guide. Phillip Varney. University of New MexicoPress. Photos

            6. Ghost Towns Alive: Tips to New Mexico's Past. Linda G Harris. Pamela Porter. Photos and historical detail.