Chama, New Mexico

  • In downtown Chama
  • Main Street in Chama, New Mexico
  • The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad stationhouse in Chama
  • Chama Town Offices
  • In downtown Chama
One of the churches on Main Street in Chama

Chama is in a beautiful setting at the southern foot of the South San Juan Mountains and the western foot of the Tusas Mountains in northern New Mexico.

The town was founded in 1881 as a logging and mining center built around a Denver & Rio Grande Railroad stationhouse but these days the folks see a lot of recreational business. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has its western terminus here and brings a lot of people into town. And while Chama doesn't look very big, it's the local shopping center for northern Rio Arriba County.

Chama is a great jumping off point for trips into the San Juans and the Tusas Mountains. The road north out of town crosses Cumbres Pass and Mogote Pass before reaching Antonito, Colorado, the eastern terminus of the railroad. It's a simply gorgeous drive through the San Juan National Forest and down the valley of the Conejos.

The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad ticket office
The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Ticket Office
The Gandy Dancer Bed and Breakfast
The Gandy Dancer B'n'B in Chama
Fast Facts about Chama, New Mexico
Chama, Rio Arriba County, NM 87520
Latitude: 36.8948°N
Longitude: 106.5844°W
Elevation: 7,871'

High School or Higher: 74.6%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 11.6%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 4.6%
Cost of Living Index for Chama: 86.3
Unemployed (August 2014): 7.3%

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $41,390
Median Home Value: $119,850
Median Resident Age: 38.1 Years
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Government, Educational Services, Health Care, Agriculture, Finance & Insurance Services, Arts & Entertainment, Retail Services, Professional Services
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 1,022
Males 508
Females 514
Population by Age
Under 18 197
18 & over 825
20-24 50
25-34 101
35-49 183
50-64 267
65 & over 195
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 676
Non Hispanic or Latino 346
Population by Race
White 682
African-American 8
Asian 3
Native American 52
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 230
Two or more 47