For centuries explorers cut through the rugged Rocky Mountains through Raton Pass to enter the rolling prairies, rimrock mesas and alpine meadows of Colfax County.
Located along New Mexico's border with southeast Colorado, Colfax County is diverse in geography and industry. Plains and ranch land cover expanses of land near Springer and Miami. In the northernmost portion of the county, Raton is the gateway to Colorado. Along the Colorado border lies Valle Vidal, a national forest unit with summer fishing and recreation activities. Traveling west along Hwy 64, visitors pass through the old western town of Cimarron, home to Philmont Scout Ranch. Further west is the Cimarron Canyon with breathtaking scenery, opening at the pass to a spectacular view of Eagle Nest Lake and the Moreno Valley. In the southwestern corner of the county, Angel Fire boasts a growing ski resort only 30 minutes east of Taos.
VERMEJO PARK RANCH
Offers unsurpassed opportunities for fishermen. This private resort and working cattle ranch in a wilderness setting is dedicated to sound land use management.
CIMARRON CANYON STATE PARK
Provides stream fishing along the Cimarron River, beneath the dramatic granite walls of Cimarron Canyon, conveniently located on Hwy 64.
CIMARRONCITA HISTORIC RANCH
offers guided fly fishing trips for novices and experienced anglers. Among the finest private waters in the Southwest for brown trout. 866.376.2482
EAGLE NEST LAKE'S
2,000 acre impoundment alongside Hwy 64 is one of the state's premier kokanee and trout lakes. Fishing is good in open water or through ice for 14-inch and bigger rainbows and is excellent under ice-out conditions.
A 100,000 acre unit of the Carson National Forest, can be reached heading northeast of Cimarron about five miles on Hwy 64 and turning northwest on unpaved Cerrosa Road.
Are about 35 miles from this junction. The ponds are open July 1 through December 31 and are stocked with 15-inch or larger rainbow trout. One pond is reserved for anglers under 12. The daily bag is two 15-inch-or-longer fish. These are ideal float tube waters. The streams are catch-and-release and are good for cut-throat trout.
With 450 surface acres, is about five miles due west of Springer. Fishing is best April through June and September through October for five-to-25 pound northern pike.
MAXWELL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE'S LAKE NUMBER 13
Has some of the best trout fishing in the area and trolling is allowed up to October. This lake has about 500 surface acres and produces rainbows from 16 to 24 inches. The refuge is located just outside Maxwell, about 23 miles south of Raton on I-25
THE CHARETTE LAKES
On a mesa southwest of Springer, are actually in Mora County, but accessible from Colfax County's Hwy 569. These lakes offer good fishing for 10-to-14-inch rainbows and perch. Both Maxwell and Charette Lakes are closed November 1 until March 1 to accommodate migrating waterfowl.