Wagon Mound, New Mexico

  • In downtown Wagon Mound
  • In downtown Wagon Mound
  • In downtown Wagon Mound
  • In downtown Wagon Mound
  • On the slope above downtown Wagon Mound
  • Wagon Mound itself

The town of Wagon Mound sprouted at the foot of the Wagon Mound, often touted as "the last great natural landmark on the Santa Fe Trail," (now it's a designated National Historic Landmark). The Cimarron Cutoff went through here before joining with the Mountain Branch near Watrous, about 20 miles further south. Las Vegas is about 40 miles south from here and Santa Fe is about 60 miles beyond that. But the volcanic outcroppings and lava palisades are a great natural landmark that can be seen from 60 miles away to the north and east. When the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad came through in 1881, this was a natural place to build a town. And as a railroad-founded town, Wagon Mound may be the only incorporated town in all of Mora County.

This is big horse and cattle country with large ranches all around. As you can see from the photos, Wagon Mound used to be reasonably prosperous. Until the I-25 came through about 50 years ago and now, virtually all the traffic just whistles on past. When I lived in Santa Fe I knew some folks who lived in Wagon Mound. They told me they really enjoyed the peace and quiet, and the slower lifestyle. One of my friends taught at the Wagon Mound schools. He said the ranchers insisted on good behavior and good manners from the students, and an excellent and challenging curriculum from the teachers. He thought Wagon Mound was one of the best school systems he'd ever worked in. His partner worked for the state Department of Education. If it wasn't for the politics in Santa Fe, they'd probably still be living in Wagon Mound.

I seem to be in Wagon Mound about once a month these days. The local folks are really friendly and they've got some great architecture around. There's even a house on this one hilltop right in town that looks like something out of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.

The population of Wagon Mound is down almost 15% since 2000.

The newer church in town
The newer church in town
Former boardinghouse in Wagon Mound
This looks like a former boarding house
Nice home in Wagon Mound
Some folks have taken pretty good care of the older homes
Fast Facts about Wagon Mound, New Mexico
Wagon Mound, Mora County, NM 87752
Latitude: 36.0072°N
Longitude: 104.7072°W
Founded: 1881
Elevation: 6,201'

High School or Higher: 69.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 7.2%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 2.4%
Cost of Living Index for Wagon Mound: 84.0

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $29,500
Median Home Value: $77,300
Median Resident Age: 42.9 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Government, Construction, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Agriculture, Retail Services, Social Services, Waste Management Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 11.8%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 314
Males 167
Females 147
Population by Age
Under 18 53
18 & over 261
20-24 8
25-34 28
35-49 52
50-64 91
65 & over 75
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 265
Non Hispanic or Latino 49
Population by Race
White 244
African-American 2
Asian 0
Native American 7
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 52
Two or more 9