$49,396,410 | 32,466.52 ACRES | UNDER CONTRACT
Spanning an area encompassing over 50 square miles, the Laughlin Peak Ranch is located southeast of Raton, New Mexico, the County Seat of Colfax County. Access to the property is provided by a maintained graded county road.
This area of Northeastern New Mexico is highly recognized as having exceptional hunting along with outstanding livestock grazing throughout the more open native grass portions of the country. Many cattle ranchers in this area run yearling cattle through the summer months expecting gains of 250-300 pounds or more, shipping the cattle in early October, so the property will be vacated in time for hunting season. Hunting in Northeast New Mexico is big business, and the Laughlin Peak Ranch offers some of the best hunting to be found in the entire state.
The Laughlin Peak Ranch was purchased by the current owner in 2007 and the property has been operated as a cattle ranch and family hunting ranch during this ownership. No commercial hunting has been allowed. After many years of careful management of the property, the decision has now been made to sell this extremely scenic combination livestock and hunting ranch.
The terrain of the Laughlin Peak Ranch is very diverse. Elevations on the property range from approximately 7,000 feet to over 8,800 feet. Rolling and hilly, very productive open pastureland is generally found throughout the exterior edges of most of the ranch. There are several very pronounced mountains located through the middle and on the exterior edges of the ranch.
Laughlin Peak, with an elevation of over 8,800 feet is the dominant mountain on the ranch and in this entire area of New Mexico. Laughlin Peak is the highest mountain in New Mexico east of Interstate 25, and this mountain can typically be seen for many, many miles. Other mountain peaks on the ranch include Raspberry Mountain, with an elevation of 8,000 feet; Turkey Mountain, at 7,800 feet; Crater Mountain, at 8,000 feet; and several other un-named prominent mountains.
Some rougher and sloping areas of the ranch have scattered limestone and/or sandstone rock outcrops. There are numerous volcanic craters in the area, with one or more being on the property. Malpai lava rock is common around Crater Mountain and other areas of the ranch. The open grazing areas of the ranch generally have a solid turf of very palatable native grasses, such as grama, western wheat, some side oats and bluestem varieties. The interior portion of the ranch generally becomes more rocky, more broken, and steeper and has a moderate to dense canopy of juniper, piñon, and Ponderosa pine. This portion of the property also has areas of oak brush and other good browse.
Overall, it is estimated that approximately 50% of the ranch is described as prime livestock grazing areas and the other 50% is rugged and mountainous, interspersed with wide valleys, open meadows, and mountain peaks.
The Laughlin Peak Ranch can truly be described as one of the premier native wildlife ranches in the state. In early Fall of 2022, an extensive game survey was performed on the property. The ranch was flown for two-hours in a Cessna 182 equipped with GPS. During this two-hour flight, 440 elk were observed. A total of 22 groups of elk provided an average of 20 elk per group. Group sizes range from 2 elk to 148 elk. The survey estimated 49 bulls for every 100 cows with 49 calves per 100 cows. The survey also observed 159 pronghorn antelope with a buck-to-doe-to-fawn ratio of 17/100/51. It should be noted that this survey only counted the elk and pronghorn in full view during the flight. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the ranch is moderate to heavy timber, so it is likely that half or more of the elk population could not be viewed from the air. A copy of the recent wildlife survey is available upon request.
Besides having an outstanding population of elk and pronghorn, the ranch supports a variety of other wildlife, including mule deer, bear, turkey and an occasional mountain lion.
As mentioned, there has been no commercial hunting on the ranch during the present ownership. Hunting has been reserved for only family members and a select few friends. Typically, 4, to not more than 7 bull elk are harvested annually. Several cow elk are generally harvested for meat. Approximately 2 pronghorns are harvested each year. Last year, a family friend was excited to harvest a 385 Boone and Crockett bull during his visit to the ranch. That said, it becomes clear that the wildlife on the property flourish in great numbers with very little hunting pressure.
Without question, the Laughlin Peak Ranch is considered to be a premier working cattle ranch, complimented with outstanding hunting opportunities. Because the current owner has elected to only very selectively hunt the ranch for many years, the wildlife population and quality is considered to be second to none.
From the standpoint of elk and mule deer hunting, a licensed hunter appreciates that the property is located in Unit 56, which means the landowner determines harvesting rates of the wildlife rather than the state. Because the harvesting of wildlife is left up to the landowner, rather than the state, this allows greater flexibility in the management of wildlife. Pronghorn hunting is also regulated by over-the-counter licensing with specific dates to hunt.
The ranch also supports good populations of turkey, along with bears and occasional mountain lions. These species are also regulated by over-the-counter licensing. In summation, the wildlife features on the Laughlin Peak Ranch are a tremendous asset to the overall value of the property.
The owner of the ranch is very conservation minded and his management and conservation practices are apparent when touring the ranch. Under typical conditions, 1,000-1,500 yearling cattle are shipped to the ranch in May of each year. These cattle are scattered throughout the open grazing areas of the ranch through the summer months. In October the yearlings are shipped and all livestock are typically vacated.
The Laughlin Peak Ranch is fenced and cross-fenced with most of the operable fencing being maintained throughout the open livestock grazing areas of the ranch. In the Conifer Forested areas, most of the fences have been removed or abandoned in order for wildlife to freely roam in this large protected area of the property. This protected portion of the ranch is considered to be a true wildlife sanctuary covering an estimated 50% of the entire ranch.
The property is watered by a combination of windmills, electric submersible wells, solar wells, earthen ponds, and several live springs. From a livestock and wildlife ranching perspective, the property is adequately watered for the day-to-day operation of the ranch. There are several miles of buried waterlines used to transport well water to numerous livestock/wildlife water troughs and to all structural improvements.
The Laughlin Peak Ranch is considered to be well-improved. The main headquarters, which are located on the east-central side of the property consist of a ranch manager’s home, frame barn with an upstairs bunkhouse, along with two duplicate owner’s homes. Each of the two owner’s homes features 4-bedrooms and 3-baths. Both homes have fireplaces, full front and back porches, and each home offers very scenic views of the ranch. Other improvements at the main headquarters include shipping pens, round pens and a roping arena. Overall, the improvements are well maintained. An old, very charming cabin, known as the Honeymoon Cabin, is located in the north-central portion of the ranch. This cabin is in an isolated area and has been very well maintained considering the age of the structure.
Towards the western portion of the ranch is the Bracket Camp. This camp has been well maintained and is located in a scenic setting.
Other ranch improvements include a set of shipping pens on the western portion of the ranch along with livestock pens, where needed. Electricity and high-speed internet have been run to all improvements.
Elevations in Colfax County, New Mexico vary from around 6,000-8,000 feet in the open plains grasslands to approximately 12,000 feet to over 12,500 feet in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, which skirt the western edge of the county. Average precipitation for the entire county is approximately 17 inches per year, increasing to approximately 25 inches in the higher elevations. Based on the elevations of the Laughlin Peak Ranch, it is estimated the average precipitation is approximately 20 – 21 inches per year. This would include several feet of snow annually.
We are extremely proud to offer the Laughlin Peak Ranch for sale. This ranch is quality throughout and pride of ownership along with careful management practices make this ranch a property that anyone would be proud to own. Views from higher elevations are spectacular from any direction.
The Laughlin Peak Ranch is competitively priced at $1,750 per deeded acre. All owned minerals, water rights, wind energy and solar rights will convey with the sale of the ranch. Property taxes are only approximately 15₵ per deeded acre and the 4,200 acres of New Mexico State Lease will be transferred and assigned to the purchaser at closing. The current cost of this lease is approximately $4,900 per year, or $1.17 per acre.
Ranches of this size and quality are seldom offered for sale. The Laughlin Peak 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 seller in the sale of this exceptional offering.
To schedule a showing, please contact Sam Middleton – office (806) 763-5331, cell (817) 304-0504.