Type: Fitness Trail, Nature Trail
Length: 3.00 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - Off leash
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Snowshoeing
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No
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Location: In Climax Canyon Park, in Raton, New Mexico
State(s): New Mexico
From 2nd Street in downtown Raton take Apache Ave west until it dead ends at the Climax Canyon Park entrance/parking area. Trail head 100ft west of Climax Canyon Park parking area on the southwest end of gated loop service Rd.
West of Raton lie the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In the late 1800’s the Climax Mine was established in one of the small canyons of those foothills. Eventually, as downtown Raton expanded, the city acquired the property the now abandoned Climax Mine was on and the area became known as Climax Canyon Park. For decades the park was undeveloped and used by the citizens of Raton for a variety of activities. Due to the lack of good management principles the park was beginning to show the effects of erosion, vandalism, litter and other adverse impacts. When the City of Raton’s Dept of Parks and was created in 2010, one of its top priorities was to develop a trail system in Climax Canyon Park along with a comprehensive management/maintenance plan for both the trail and the park as a whole.
In 2011, with assistance from New Mexico State Parks, the National Park Service, and the Philmont Scout Ranch Conservation Department, planning began for the first phase, or what would become known as the east loop of the Climax Canyon Trail. In order to begin construction, local Raton business and community service organization contributed the matching funds necessary to have the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps begin construction. Local volunteers completed the construction of the first phase and all of the second phase, or west loop, under the guidance and direction of the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program. Once the trail was completed the Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program worked with the City of Raton to develop a Comprehensive Management Plan for the park and trail.
With the scenic views of Raton and the surrounding mountains and mesas, and the potential for encountering wildlife, Climax Canyon Trail has become a favorite recreation location for the residents of Raton and its visitors. It is the site of the annual Climax Canyon 5k and is frequented daily by walker and hikers. Schools use the trail as a field trip location to teach students about ecology, biology, geology, and natural science. Due to its historic significance as a former mine site, the Climax Canyon Nature Trail is one of Raton’s outdoor recreation treasures.
Width: 20 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil, Compacted
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock
Average Grade: 3%
Elevation Low Point: 6,800
Elevation High Point: 7,240
Year Designated: 2018
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsBrochure: Brochure with map and info available at trail head
Map: Relief Topo Map
Map: Relief Map
Website: Raton Parks and Recreation City Parks
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
City of Raton
PO Box 910
Raton , NM 87740
I could not do the whole trail, because it started raining, but what I did hike was nice. The trail is nicely groomed and there were some good views.
June 16, 2018
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