Raton, New Mexico

Raton, New Mexico
—  City  —
Raton, New Mexico
Downtown Raton
Location of Raton, New Mexico
Coordinates: 36°53′49″N 104°26′24″W / 36.89694°N °W / 36.89694; -104.44
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Colfax
 - Total  dunams (19.0 km2 / 7.3 sq mi)
 - Land
 - Water
Population (2000)
 - Total 7282
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87740
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-62060
GNIS feature ID 0902335
Website http://www.raton.info/

Raton is a city in Colfax County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 7,282 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Colfax County. The city is located just south of Raton Pass.



Ratón is the Spanish word for a mouse (literally "small rat"). The Raton Range and Raton Peak are located immediately north of the town. The Raton Range is a 75-mile long ridge that extends east from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Raton Pass and the Raton Basin are also named for the Raton Range.

The post office at this location was named Willow Springs from 1877 to 1879, then Otero from 1879 to 1880, and has been named Raton since 1880.[1]:286


Raton Pass had been used by Spanish explorers and Indians for centuries to cut through the rugged Rocky Mountains, but the trail was too rough for wagons on the Santa Fe Trail.

Raton was founded at the site of Willow Springs, a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The original for the Raton townsite were purchased from the Maxwell Land Grant in 1880. In 1879, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway bought a local toll road and established a busy rail line. Raton quickly developed as a railroad, mining and ranching center for the northeast part of the New Mexico territory, as well as the county seat and principal trading center of the area.


Raton is located at (36.897082, -104.439912).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19.0 km²), all of it land.

Elevation: 6 680 ft (2 036 m)


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,282 people, 3,035 households, and 1,981 families residing in the city. The population density was 992.4 people per square mile (383.1/km²). There were 3,472 housing units at an average density of 473.2/sq mi (182.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.04% White, 0.23% African American, 1.59% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 16.19% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 56.96% of the population.

There were 3,035 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,028, and the median income for a family was $31,762. Males had a median income of $24,946 versus $18,433 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,223. About 14.8% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.






Sugarite Canyon State Park is located 12 miles (19 km) NE of Raton, NM. Elevation 8,800 ft (2,682 m). Camping, Fishing, Hiking.

NRA Whittington Center - Located 15 miles (24 km) SW of Raton, NM. Largest NRA shooting range in the US. National Competitions. High power rifle, skeet.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge which is located approximately twenty-five miles south of Raton. The refuge offers excellent birding opportunities during the spring and fall migrations. It consists of several lakes, fields and woodlots managed for birds and the areas other wildlife.

The Philmont Scout Ranch is the largest youth camp in the world by size and number of participants. It is owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America used as a National High Adventure Base in which crews of Scouts and Venturers take part in backpacking expeditions and other outdoor activities. It is located five miles south of Cimarron, New Mexico, another outpost on the old Santa Fe Trail.

Raton was the site of New Mexico's first horse racetrack, La Mesa Park, which closed in 1992. In 2008, the New Mexico Racing Commission approved a proposal to build a new racetrack in Raton. The facility is expected to open in 2010.[2]

Notable natives and residents

See also


  1. Julyan, Robert (1998). (Revised ed.). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. . 
  2. . City of Raton. 2009-01-25. http://www.ratonnm.gov/news/featured/horse-racing-returns-to-raton-in-2010/. Retrieved 2 February 2009.  [dead link]