Doug & Barbara Peterson

Doug & Barbara Peterson
Barbara & I at a scenic overlook on the skyline drive in the Rocky Mountain National Park, 8-13-2016

Monday, August 12, 2019

Summer Trip 2019, Cimarron Canyon State Park, Cimarron, NM


Tolby campground 
Toby Creek, a trout fisherman's paradise

Cimarron Canyon State Park is located just east of Eagles Nest, CO. in the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, spanish for blood of Christ. Toby campground is the head quarters for the park located high up in the foot hills of the mountains at about 8,000 feet. The days in the summer here are pleasantly cool with highs near 80 and lows at night in the mid to upper 40's. The park is nestled in a river valley with abundant trout fishing opportunities for campers that love to fish.

Cinarron Canyon State Park visitors center at Tolby campground

Trout fishing is popular in the parks rivers and lakes

The Palisades Sill formation in Cimarron Canyon State Park

Sun flower enjoying the high mountain rays of the August sun
During our visit we took a drive through the park to the old western town of Cimarron, NM, located on the Santa Fe wagon trail. We enjoyed the many historic buildings and museums in town including the St. James Hotel. Many a gunslinger of the likes of Doc Holiday and Jesse James spent time at the hotels saloon drinking and playing poker. The St. James is haunted and is the subject of many a TV show featuring ghost hunters how explore many of the known haunted places around the country. For the brave visitor rooms are available for an over night stay. The food is excellent at the St. James as it was founded by the chief for President Lincoln back in the day. The tradition continues to this day of good food and drink. The rooms are themed and named after the hotels many famous visitors who passed through this area during the hay day of the old west back in the eighteen hundreds.

The haunted St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM

Lobby of the St. James Hotel

Bat Masterson lower left and Wyatt Earp upper right,
famous guests at the St. James

A ghostly image can be seen in the window to the far right.
We discovered this image after reviewing my photos on our way back home.


Jesse James another famous guest at the St. James

The original bar and saloon at the St. James.
Many a gunslinger meet their maker at the St. James

While in Cimarron we also stopped at the Aztec Grist Mill which is now home to a museum that chronicles the areas history. This building is also haunted according to the volunteer who was on watch the day of our visit. He mentioned that he heard plates and cups clanking in the chuck wagon at times along with other strange happenings at unexpected times. I guess many a story can be told regarding the lives and unfortunate deaths of the many hard scrabble folks who came through here on the old Santa Fe trail.

The Old Aztec Grist Mill which is home to the historical museum

Original Chuck wagon used on the Santa Fe trail

Two headed calf 
While walking around town observing some of the historic buildings in town I spotted a male deer with a good set of antlers near a apple tree that attracted him to the area. I love this picture as he is look right at me not far away.

The deer are at home in Cimarron
New Mexico has a lot of western appeal and is a great place to see a variety of landscapes from the deserts in the south to the mountains surrounding Taos and Santa Fe. It is truly the land of enchantment. 

Eagles Nest Lake

The town of Eagles Nest, New Mexico

Cimarron Canyon State Park

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