Banderitas Creek Ranch New Mexico: The wildlife-rich Banderitas Creek Ranch is situated along the meandering banks of Banderitas Creek and the Ocate River in northern New Mexico, just 60 miles south of the Colorado border. Nestled on the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains, the ranch lies only a few miles southeast of the ski resort of Angel Fire. The environmental mix here has worked out perfectly for this ranch to become a remarkable wildlife mecca. First, its elevation of 7150 to 8200 feet is high enough to provide healthy forests of mixed ponderosa, fir, pinion and oak and relief from summer’s heat, but low enough for mild winters to be the norm. Second, abundant water from two substantial springs and two streams makes the ranch a magnet for wildlife of all kinds. And finally, a site that is surrounded on three sides by state land keeps wildlife-disrupting development at a minimum, creating a true sanctuary that hasn’t changed significantly for generations.
The Banderitas Creek Ranch is 630 deeded acres, plus an adjoining State lease of 2920 acres. Forested canyons and mesas are typical in this part of New Mexico, and the Banderitas Creek Ranch provides a healthy mix of terrain and vegetation that creates micro-biomes that are suitable to a remarkable variety of wildlife. Most noticeable are elk, which roam the area in great numbers, and can often be found on the ranch by the score, but a strong population of mule deer frequent the canyons as well. Black bear are common, too, and elusive mountain lions hunt on the ranch. Coyotes, foxes and small game are present in abundance, as well as significant flocks of wild turkey, which find the habitat almost ideal. All of the wildlife has benefitted greatly by a careful forest stewardship program of 500 to 600 acres, which has not only created a healthy habitat for wildlife and cattle, but has also reduced danger from wildfire.
With its great abundance and diversity of wildlife, the Banderitas Creek Ranch will capture the heart of even the most ardent hunter. The State of New Mexico annually issues 4 mature bull elk tags, 6 either sex elk bow tags, and 2 antlerless elk tags to the ranch. Licenses are available over the counter for deer, bear, turkey and mountain lions. With some of the best access to the adjoining state land being from the ranch property, the hunting opportunities here are among the finest in the region.
Nothing matters more than water in the Southwest, and numerous water sources help irrigate the Banderitas Creek Ranch. In addition to the perennial Banderitas and Ocate Creeks, countless minor springs appear on the ranch, and a new solar well produces 200 gallons of high quality water per minute. Although yet undeveloped as such, the springs have potential to feed trout ponds, that could become trophy fisheries, adding to the potential of making this property a fishing as well as a hunting retreat. Outstanding public fishing already exists nearby at Eagle Nest Lake and the renowned fly fishing destination of the Cimarron River.
The area around the Banderitas Creek Ranch has been valued by humans for centuries. Petroglyphs on the ranch itself and an abundance of arrowheads testify to the long presence of Jicarilla Apaches. In the late 1800s, the Chavez brothers homesteaded the ranch, which was then acquired by the Blattman family in 1938. Long established as a cattle operation, it has recently supported 200 steers in the summer months and 25 cow/calf units year-round. These animals are supported in part by 30 acres of irrigated alfalfa, which are appreciated by the elk as well!
Present improvements on the ranch include the original adobe and stone 1800s ranch house, complete with oak floors, and a newer 1100-square foot home nearby. Three sheds accompany these homes, including a bunkhouse once used to house ranch hands. Recently, a Temple Grandin-inspired corral has been constructed for the humane handling of cattle.
Although it feels unspoiled by the 21st century in the highest degree, the Banderitas Creek Ranch is nevertheless well-connected to the outside world. The ranch is accessible year-round via State Highway 21, with Interstate 25 is only 25 minutes away. State of the art fiber optics reach the ranch, enabling fast and reliable communication via the internet. The ski resort town of Angel Fire is only 45 minutes distant, and the full-service small city of Las Vegas about an hour away. The cultural hubs of Taos and Santa Fe are within easy driving distance, only about 90 minutes and two hours away, respectively.
We at Harrigan Land Company get excited when ranches with wildlife values like the Banderitas Creek Ranch come onto the market. Having been managed carefully for wildlife values for over 80 years, the Banderitas Creek Ranch shows that the natural world can thrive when given a chance. If mere living isn’t on your agenda, we believe that the Banderitas Creek Ranch might just enable you to thrive in all that’s important in life as well.