Sugarite Canyon State Park

An air shaft coming out of a coal mine

Sugarite Canyon State Park is about 12 miles to the northeast of Raton. Sugarite Canyon was originally the site of a large coal mining operation, run by the railroad that used the coal in its steam engines. The coal camp flourished between 1908 and 1941, one of nine coal camps in the Raton area. As usual in the coal camps of the west, there were people of several different nationalities, speaking several different languages, working in these mines. Housing in the camp was segregated by nationality/language, although once the men entered the mine, none of that made any difference.

Lake Maloya was built further up the canyon above the mines as the primary/emergency water supply for the mines and for the people who worked in them (and while it is now the primary water supply for the City of Raton, it is still part of Sugarite State Park - you want to go fishing or picnicking there: pay the State Park fees). Most of the site was leased for grazing after 1941 while sections (the lake areas in particular) were used as a Raton city park until 1985 when management was turned over to New Mexico State Parks.

Looking uphill to where most of the camp and the mine were built
Most of the site of the mine and camp is up that hill
Looking across the canyon to where the mine foremen all lived
The mining company foremen lived across the valley
Concrete steps to where the mercantile used to be
These concrete steps used to lead to the back porch of the company mercantile
The footbridge across Sugarite Creek
Footbridge across Sugarite Creek
A view of Lake Maloya, part of Sugarite Canyon State Park
Lake Maloya, part of Sugarite Canyon State Park
Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License  
Dry Cimarron area map

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Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!