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Brilliant Canyon Ranch: Raton: NM Ranch for Sale

Offered at Listed At $10.5 Million
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Listed At $10.5 Million

Raton, NM
Status: Sold
Acreage: 3,790 Deeded Acres
County: Colfax | Water: Yes | Elevation: 8,000 Feet

Listing Broker: Susan Johnson
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The spectacular Brilliant Canyon Ranch is located twelve miles west of Raton, New Mexico, in Colfax County. Brilliant Canyon Ranch sits in the northeast quarter of the, 585,000 acre, renowned hunting resort of Vermejo Park Ranch. Brilliant Canyon Ranch is the only privately owned acreage within the boundaries of Vermejo Park. A perpetual easement, on the Vermejo Park ranch road, is owned by and grants access to Brilliant Canyon Ranch. Its close location to Raton with hospitals, schools, motels and restaurants, adds to the numerous features of Brilliant Canyon Ranch. Trinidad, Colorado, is also only a short distance away with a newly remodeled downtown, fine shops, and restaurants. Three new motels and a new Jack Nicklaus golf course and housing community are currently under construction in Trinidad.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch is located close to numerous ski resorts including Angel Fire, Red River, and Taos Ski Valley, which are each about an hour to an hour and a halves drive from the ranch. The quaint village of Taos is approximately an hour and a half away and additional skiing and shopping can be found in and around the picturesque village of Santa Fe, which is south of Taos and about two hours from the ranch. Both Trinidad and Raton have airports capable of handling light jet aircraft. The closest municipal airports are located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or Pueblo, Colorado. The closest international airports are Albuquerque and Colorado Springs, which are each about two to three hours drive from the ranch.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch consists of approximately 3,790 deeded acres.
�An island in the sea� is how some people refer to Brilliant Canyon Ranch since it is surrounded on all sides by Vermejo Park. It is one of the most scenic and ideally located ranches in the area. Its location, inside the park, adds unsurpassed peace and tranquility to the ranch making it a rare gem. �Seeing is believing.� One must see the lush grassy valleys, and pine covered hills, of Brilliant Canyon Ranch to fully appreciate its striking beauty. From the moment you step foot on the ranch you get the feeling of being �home at last�.

With 22 documented lakes, ponds, and springs Brilliant Canyon Ranch abounds in water. The long finger-like canyons of the ranch are the natural drainage for these lakes, ponds, and springs to the Canadian Red River. In 1994 a complete detailed description on the ponds, lakes and springs was compiled. Each was measured, valued, described and photographed to show and document ownership. There are three wells that supply the upper and lower headquarters of the ranch, along with spring water.

There are five crystal clear spring fed lakes or ponds with rainbow trout in them. Trout have been taken out of these ponds ranging in size from twelve to twenty four inches. The largest of the ponds is approximately three to four acres in size and has a small boat docked on it for fishing and fun.

At present there are no cattle on the ranch and there have not been any for quite some time. Brilliant Canyon Ranch is being managed strictly for recreation and wildlife. However, the ranch is capable of supporting approximately 200 yearlings.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch is a hunting paradise being totally surrounded by Vermejo Park. The �buffer zone� (which is an area of land owned by Vermejo Park that lies between the Colorado/New Mexico line and Brilliant Canyon Ranch) is difficult for Vermejo Park to access and is leased to Brilliant Canyon Ranch, providing an additional 4,500 acres of hunting ground. Brilliant Canyon Ranch, with its natural and undisturbed habitat is like a magnet to the areas game and wildlife. The elk herds in this area come in from the Canadian River drainage to the southwest and the Vermejo-Colorado property to the northwest. One of the many joys of Brilliant Canyon Ranch is the fact that you can drive around the ranch on just about any given day and see elk, deer, bear, turkey, and wild horses, among other wildlife. If you take a moment to, you can gaze into the crystal clear lakes and see trout swimming in the cool water.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch is located in Game Management Unit 55A and seasonally receives 19 bull elk permits of which 4 are archery permits and 15 are rifle permits. The archery season runs from September 1 through September 22. The rifle season opens on October 1 and runs through December 31 on any consecutive 5 days. The ranch is also in the process of applying for a special mule deer permit which if received will allow a hunt during the December rut.
The terrain of Brilliant Canyon Ranch is mostly rolling hills at an elevation between 7,000 and 8,000 feet with a panoramic view of bigger mountains all around. From the ranch the Spanish Peaks can be seen to the northwest in Colorado and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range and the Big Costilla Peaks, at 13,000 feet, can be seen to the southwest in New Mexico.

There is a wide variety of old growth majestic conifers on the ranch, which are mainly Ponderosa pine along with Douglas fir, balsam, pinon and juniper. Some areas of the ranch also have aspen, cottonwoods, and oak trees. It has been estimated that there is around 15 million board feet of mature timber on the ranch.

The lush valleys and mountain meadows of Brilliant Canyon Ranch are covered in mountain muley, gramma, pine dropseed, western wheat, and other mountain grasses. These grasses are watered by eighteen to twenty two inches of moisture a year in the form of rain and snow.

The climate of Brilliant Canyon Ranch is characterized as seasonal with temperatures averaging in the 70�s to 80�s in the summer and rarely exceeding 90. Afternoon thundershowers cool down the evening temperatures throughout the six months growing season from April through October.

Winter daytime temperatures range from the teens to the mid forties. Winter snows throughout this area of the Sangre de Cristo�s are quite common and under normal conditions, this mountain area becomes a winter wonderland from December through February. After that things warm up and spring is not far behind.

Going back in time�..In 1841 Mexico granted land to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda. The 1.7 million acres, of granted land, had been occupied by Jicarilla Apaches and Spanish settlers who had ranched and farmed the area.

Beaubien and Miranda hired Lucian Bonaparte Maxwell to oversee and operate the land that had been granted to them. At some point in time Lucian Maxwell married Maria de la Luz Beaubien, a Beaubien daughter. Maria Beaubien was a very active businesswoman. The Apache and Spanish settlers continued to operate and work the land under the guidance and care of Beaubien and Maxwell. In 1869 the entire land grant was sold to European (Dutch) investors who began to refer to the land as the Maxwell Land Grant, a name still used to this day. The European investors began running out the Apache and Spanish settlers with assistance from the United States Government. Over time the Maxwell Land Grant has been sold off and private properties such as Vermejo Park, the UU Bar Ranch, the Philmount Scout Ranch, and the C S Ranch have been established along with numerous other smaller ranches. Translating Properties by Maria Montoya. Mining has also been a big part of the history of the area. The Purgatory River or �River of Lost Souls� near present day Trinidad got its name when Spanish soldiers carrying gold where attacked and killed by local Indians. Because they died without the benefit of clergy present to administer absolution to them, their souls were believed lost to wander into eternity.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch still has remnants on the property today of sites from the early history of the land, containing archeological remains from indigenous peoples to European settlers, and adding a vast amount of history to the ranch.

Other points of interest and history in the area are the Kit Carson Museum and State Park, Cimarron State Park, the Philmont Scout Ranch, and the Valle Vidal National Park.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch was at one time the headquarters ranch for a larger summer grazing unit. The entire 3,790 acres are fenced with steel posts and five strands of barbed wire, separating it from Vermejo Park.

The Lower Headquarters was recently remodeled into a bunk house/small hunting facility. It also has a barn, scales, shipping corrals, and several outbuildings for storage. The Upper Headquarters, located approximately one-half mile above the Lower Headquarters, consists of larger hunting accommodations, along with barns, corrals, shop, and garages.

The ranch is serviced by telephone out of Raton, it has propane heat, and is equipped with individual automatic Onan �electricity on demand� generators.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch also has its own road working equipment. This includes a dozer and grader, along with agricultural equipment such as seed drills, and harrow and discs, for planting supplemental forage for wildlife.

Brilliant Canyon Ranch is one of the more exclusive private ranches available today. All things aside, this ranch is one of the most beautiful and peaceful ranches we have ever been on. It is truly a ranch that will bring peace to the soul and joy to the heart. �Brilliant� defined as dazzling, sparkling, and profound.

The lovely valleys, grassy meadows, lakes and ponds with trout, and the rolling pine covered hills take one back in time. Back to a time when life was simpler and the stress of the modern world did not exist.

One can say with certainty that Brilliant Canyon Ranch will bring its new owner countless hours of enjoyment from fishing and hunting to time spent relaxing with family and friends.

Total Acreage: 
3,790 Deeded Acres
Total Leased Acreage: 
Water/Water Rights: 
8,000 Feet
High Mountains
Borders Public Land: 
Year Round Access:
Great Elk, Turkey and Bear Hunting
Private Trout Fishing Lakes
Yearly Taxes:
Game Unit #:
Unit 55A
Estimated Annual Income:
Nearest Town:
Trees on Property:
Heavily Treed
MLS Number: 
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The listing data on this web site is provided on an "as is" basis and for information and reference purposes only. We do not claim to review the accuracy of information and other materials available online about the clients that utilize its services. All those that review this site should take the appropriate precautions to verify all information. Neither or IMCD of Colorado, Inc., and/or its affiliates can be held liable for typographical errors, layout error, or misinformation contained herein. Listings that are featured on this web site may be listed by another broker.

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Premier Ranch Properties

P.O. Box 987
Berthoud, CO  80513
Phone 844-363-0520


Susan Johnson
Owner/Qualifying Broker
Cell 505-469-4303

Jay Platt
Associate Broker
Cell 575-740-3243

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