$18,163,680 | 12,071.60 ACRES | AVAILABLE
Encompassing roughly 19 square miles of stunning northeastern New Mexico, the Cross Diamond Ranch sits five miles east of Raton, with paved access by US Highway 64/87.
With a rich history, well-conserved land, and smart improvements, the Cross Diamond is a rare find with near-limitless opportunities for both ranchers and hunters.
Ranches in this area often run yearling cattle through the summer months, expecting gains of 250-300 pounds or more. They then ship the cattle in mid-September before the start of hunting season.
Hunting is big business in northeast New Mexico, and the Cross Diamond Ranch offers remarkable income potential along with exciting adventures for family and friends.
Timothy McAuliffe immigrated from Ireland in 1873 at the age of 16. After stints in Canada, Chicago, and St. Louis—he eventually settled in Raton in 1879, where the emerald hillsides reminded him of home. There he owned both a slaughterhouse and a saloon.
Over time, McAuliffe gradually accumulated an expansive cattle ranch and purchased the Cross Diamond brand from the legendary Charles Springer in 1892.
After McAuliffe’s death forty years later, his daughter Addie took control of the ranch with her husband Earl T. Smith, adding even more land east of town. Then, in 1983, the McAuliffe Ranch was divided between their daughters, Virginia Harkness and Margaret Heringa. Margaret managed what is now the Cross Diamond Ranch and ran it until her semi-retirement in 2012 when her daughter Loretta took over operations with her husband, Donny Butler.
Now, after generations of careful management, the family has decided to sell this beautiful and rare combination of livestock and hunting ranch.
The Cross Diamond Ranch includes diverse terrains with elevations ranging from roughly 6,400-8,300+ feet.
Productive pastures roll through the southern area of the property, with a healthy abundance of native grasses, including grama, western wheat, side oats, and bluestem varieties. Several scenic canyons adorn the middle portions, and the northern boundary provides breathtaking views of the pronounced rimrock along Johnson Mesa.
The interior portion of the ranch becomes rockier as the elevation climbs and provides a generous canopy of juniper, piñon, oak, and Ponderosa pine that surround meadows of cool-season grasses. Hunter Mesa runs along the ranch’s northeastern boundary, where the mesa top holds lush forage and oak brush, serving as a favorite feeding ground for large elk herds.
Approximately 60% of the ranch is estimated to be prime livestock grazing areas. The other 40% is ideal for big game hunting with its rugged hillsides, deep canyons, open meadows, and mountain rim.
Through the generations, the owners of Cross Diamond Ranch have taken great care of the land, and it shows. Typically, a limited number of yearlings are shipped to the ranch at the end of each April (approximately 400). These cattle are dutifully rotated through the grazing pastures during the summer months and shipped out in September, clearing the way for hunting season. There is a cattle lease agreement in place for the 2023 grazing season, but not for 2024 or beyond.
Even at first glance, the Cross Diamond is clearly ideal for wildlife. Besides plentiful elk and pronghorn, the ranch supports a variety of other game, including mule deer, bear, mountain lion, and turkey. Birds of prey and waterfowl are also frequently found on the property.
Currently, the ranch is under a commercial hunting lease agreement through 12/31/2023, allowing for the exclusive harvest of four buck antelope, two mule deer bucks, four bull elk, and one bear. There is no agreement in place for 2024 or beyond.
Fencing and cross-fencing, both 4-strand and 5-strand barbed wire on cedar or steel posts, are well maintained across the open livestock grazing areas of the ranch, with accommodations made for the roaming herds of elk and antelope.
Throughout the property, a combination of 3 windmills, 2 electric submersible wells, 25+ dirt ponds, and 4 live springs provide abundant water for both livestock and wildlife.
The Cross Diamond Ranch is well improved and lovingly maintained. The headquarters, located on the property’s north side and off paved Highway 64/87, consists of a 4-bedroom/2-bath 2,800 sq. ft. ranch owners’ home and a 3-bedroom/2-bath 1,360 sq. ft. guest or manager’s home. Both are in good condition and offer scenic views of the mesas and surrounding area.
Other improvements include hard-wired broadband internet, pipe corrals, scale, feed storage bins, a tack shop, a 400 sq. ft. carport, an 800 sq. ft. workshop, and a 1,600 sq. ft. metal barn previously used as an airplane hangar.
Without question, the Cross Diamond Ranch offers amazing hunting opportunities, serving as a tremendous asset to the property’s overall value.
Elk and mule deer hunters appreciate that the Northern portion of the property is located in Unit 57. This means the landowner determines harvesting rates of the wildlife rather than the state, allowing for greater flexibility in wildlife management.
Pronghorn hunting is regulated by over-the-counter licensing with specific dates to hunt. The ranch also supports bears and the occasional mountain lion. These species are also regulated by over-the-counter licensing.
There are several large ranches near the Cross Diamond. The TO Ranch runs along its eastern boundary, and the vast 570,000-acre Vermejo Preserve is just west of Raton. The 200,000-acre Express UU Bar is near Cimarron, along with the famous CS Cattle Co Ranch.
Nearby recreation opportunities include Sugarite Canyon State Park with fishing and boating at Lake Maloya. Red River, Angel Fire, and Taos are all within easy driving distance of the ranch, offering quick access to snow skiing, water sports, hiking, camping, white water rafting, golfing, jeep tours, fine dining, and high-end shopping.
Elevations in Colfax County, New Mexico, vary from around 6,000-7,000 feet in the open plains to approximately 12,000-12,500+ feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which skirt the western edge of the county.
The average precipitation for the county is approximately 12 inches per year, increasing to around 25 inches at higher elevations. At the Cross Diamond Ranch, historical rain precipitation ranges from 10-20 inches per year, along with several feet of snow.
The Cross Diamond Ranch is competitively priced at $1,600 per deeded acre. All water rights, wind energy, and solar rights will be conveyed with the sale of the ranch. Additionally, one-half of all owned minerals will also be conveyed.
Property taxes in 2022 were only $887.95 or $.08 per deeded acre. The New Mexico State Lease will be transferred and assigned to the purchaser at closing. The current cost of this lease is $1,058 per year or $1.48 per acre.
Ranches of this size and quality are seldom offered for sale. The Cross Diamond Ranch represents one of the most desirable ranch offerings we have been privileged to handle in recent years. We are honored to have been selected to represent the sellers of this exceptional offering.
To schedule a showing, please contact Sam Middleton (817) 304-0504, Jim Welles (505) 967-6562 or Dwain Nunez (505) 263-7868.
Pipe Corrals, Scale, Overhead Feed Storage Bins, Tack Room, Shop, Enclosed Hanger
Mountain Springs. One spring may be deep enough for trout.