Mora County

Admire the soft contours and warm colors of adobe walls. Breathe in the pungent piñon smoke from a woodstove, mingled with the spicy smell of chile cooking. Watch the bright ribbons of water that flow through green fields. History lies around every bend. The old west lives on. Slow down — there’s a herd of cattle ahead, ambling up the road on its way to summer pasture. Real life adventure awaits the intrepid traveller. This is Mora County.

Mora County has a well-deserved reputation as New Mexico’s prettiest place. The rugged, scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the western portion gradually level off to a high grassy prairie, where scattered peaks and ridges occasionally rise out of the rolling plains. Mora County stretches the length of its Mora River watershed from the spine of the Sangre de Cristo Range in the west to the Canadian River in the east; the eastern boundary of the county is formed by the steep-sided Canadian River Canyon. The streams that make their way through the county and lakes lying on it are the lifeblood of the land.

Large scale ranching operations on the eastern plains constitute a major source of income. For many years Mora County has experienced high unemployment rates and low per capita income.

Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest are all located in the western part of Mora County, offering access to remote fishing in the abundant mountain streams.

Mora National Fish Hatchery Technology Center demonstrates the reuse of water in the production of game fish. Built with state and federal funds in 1993, it was the first of its kind in the nation and an important demonstration project for the whole country.

Morphy Lake State Park is an isolated and primitive mountain jewel that sits on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness in a pristine pine forest. The pretty lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. For a quiet fishing experience filled with solitude, take Hwy 94 south of Mora to the town of Ledoux to reach this state park.

Coyote Creek State Park, 14 miles northeast of Mora on Hwy 434, is one of New Mexico's smallest state parks but has all an outdoor enthusiast needs. Coyote Creek, a tributary of the Mora River, is a favorite destination of serious anglers.

Fort Union National Monument A Fort For a Young America. Exposed to the wind, within a sweeping valley of short grass prairie, amid the swales of the Santa Fe Trail, lie the territorial-style adobe remnants of the largest 19th century military fort in the region. For forty years, 1851-1891, Fort Union functioned as an agent of political and cultural change, whether desired or not, in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest.