El Rito, New Mexico

  • In downtown El Rito
  • In downtown El Rito
  • The oldest church in New Mexico
  • An early mercantile in El Rito
  • Northern New Mexico College in El Rito

El Rito was one of the first Spanish settlements in northern New Mexico. The oldest church in New Mexico is here, restored to its' original splendor back in the 1980's. This is a beautiful little valley on the El Rito, surrounded by Carson National Forest. The National Forest has a Ranger District office in El Rito.

The town was originally named "El Rito Colorado" (the little red creek) but that was shortened by the Postal Service so as not to be confused with anything in the State of Colorado.

El Rito is also home to the El Rito campus of Northern New Mexico College.

El Rito shrine
The Shrine next to the old church
Fast Facts about El Rito, New Mexico
El Rito, Rio Arriba County, NM
Latitude: 36.35°N
Longitude: 106.185°W
Elevation: 6,875'
Major Occupations:
Forest Products
Educational Services
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 808
Males 383
Females 425
Population by Age
Under 18 173
18 & over 635
20-24 49
25-34 81
35-49 145
50-64 199
65 & over 136
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 684
Non Hispanic or Latino 124
Population by Race
White 428
African-American 8
Asian 0
Native American 9
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 338
Two or more 25