New Mexico March 26, 2018
The Mining Town Ruins Hiding In This New Mexico State Park Are Hauntingly Beautiful
Mining towns popped up all around New Mexico in the 1800s and early 1900s but you’ll find that few are still inhabited. A few have managed to survive economic hardships but the majority have succumbed to time and weather, leaving behind just ruins of the dreams that once existed on the land. Today, we’re going to check out one little town almost forgotten to time that you can visit at a New Mexico state park.
This particularly picturesque spot is Sugarite Canyon State Park. Located just a short drive from Raton, it sits along the New Mexico-Colorado border and is a surprising find if you've never visited.
The state park is home to some incredibly beautiful landscapes, which won't take you by surprise if you've visited any part of northern New Mexico! Lake Maloya is one popular spot for fishing, boating, and hiking.
During a visit here you just might encounter some wildlife!
In fact, you'll find a large number of hiking trails all around the state park, ranging from an easy 0.18-mile boardwalk trail to a strenuous 3.7-mile trail through aspens and great elevation climbs.
Two of the trails will actually take you to the park's hidden gem: the ruins of an old mining town.
This is part of what remains of Sugarite, which was
founded as a coal mining town in 1909. The town was around for about 35 years until the mines were eventually closed, the post office shut its doors, and the town was officially abandoned in 1944.
Some buildings and evidence of the mines still stand, like this old oven. Access requires a hike via the River Walk Trail (0.56 miles) or the Coal Camp Interpretive Trail (0.9 miles). Additional hiking on the interpretive trail will take you to two of the old mines as well!
As always, be sure to practice the
Leave No Trace principles
, bring more water than you think you may need to drink (approximately 8-10 ounces per mile of hiking) and avoid interacting with wildlife.
Sugarite Canyon State Park is located about
6 miles from Raton via NM-72 and NM-526. You can find details about visiting the state park by checking out the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department website.
Feel inspired to explore another beautiful state park in New Mexico? If you want to head to the southern portion of the state, read
There’s An Awesome Rock Ranch Hiding In New Mexico And You’ll Want To Visit.