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Sugarite Canyon State Park

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This page is a soft redirect.  - elevation #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.6,950 ft(2,118 m)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Location of Sugarite Canyon State Park in New Mexico

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Sugarite Canyon State Park
New Mexico State Park
The Sugarite Canyon State Park Visitor Center located near the entrance of the park
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This page is a soft redirect.United States

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This page is a soft redirect.New Mexico

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This page is a soft redirect.Colfax

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This page is a soft redirect.Raton

36°57′33″N 104°23′10″W / 36.95917°N 104.38611°W / 36.95917; -104.38611Coordinates: 36°57′33″N 104°23′10″W / 36.95917°N 104.38611°W / 36.95917; -104.38611{{#coordinates: 36|57|33|N|104|23|10|W|type:landmark_region:US-NM primary name=

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This page is a soft redirect. Area

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This page is a soft redirect.3,600 acres (1,500 ha)

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This page is a soft redirect. Founded
1985
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This page is a soft redirect. Management
New Mexico State Parks Division
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City of Raton, NM State Parks Division [1]

Sugarite Canyon State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, featuring a historic early-20th Century coal-mining camp and natural scenery at the border of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. The park is located on the Colorado–New Mexico state line Script error: No such module "convert". northeast of Raton, New Mexico.

Setting

Sugarite Canyon is located east of Raton Pass in a sparsely-populated region of lofty, steep-sided, flat-topped mesas; cone-shaped volcanoes; and old lava flows. Sugarite Canyon State Park, Script error: No such module "convert". in size, consists of a stream valley flanked by basalt cliffs with Bartlett and Little Horse Mesas to the west and Horse Mesa on the east. Altitudes in the park are from Script error: No such module "convert". at the park entrance to Script error: No such module "convert". on top of Little Horse Mesa. The park is about Script error: No such module "convert". long and Script error: No such module "convert". wide.[2]

Most of the park is heavily forested with Ponderosa Pine and Gambel Oak forests. Along Sugarite Creek at lower elevations is a riparian forest of willow and cottonwood. Douglas fir, White Fir, and Aspen forests are found at higher elevations on north facing slopes. The flat top of Little Horse Mesa is a grassy meadow. Wildlife species in the park include mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, turkeys, and elk. The two artificial lakes in the park, Lake Maloya (120 acres) and Lake Alice (3 acres), and Sugarite Creek, are stocked with Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Brown Trout. Abundant butterflies, wildflowers, and views down the Sugarite Valley to the Great Plains far below are highlights of the park.[1]

Climate

July is the warmest month with an average high temperature of Script error: No such module "convert". and an average low of Script error: No such module "convert". at Lake Maloya, elevation Script error: No such module "convert".. January is the coldest month with an average high of Script error: No such module "convert". and a low of Script error: No such module "convert".. The all-time high temperature is Script error: No such module "convert". and the all-time low is Script error: No such module "convert".. Precipitation averages Script error: No such module "convert". per year with July and August the wettest months and December and January the driest. Most summer rain comes in afternoon thunderstorms and most winter precipitation is in the form of snow, which can be heavy, especially at higher elevations. Droughts are not uncommon in the summer.[3]

History

The name Sugarite derives from either the Comanche and Ute name for a bird found in the Canyon or the Spanish name, Chicarica, for chicory, a plant found here. Sugarite Canyon was used as a water supply for Raton as early as 1891. The lakes continue to be used for that purpose.[1] Coal mining in the canyon began in 1894 and the town of Sugarite was established as a coal-mining town in 1912. Sugarite had a population of nearly one thousand at its peak. The mines began to shut down in 1941 and in 1944 the post office and railroad were shut down.[4] Sugarite Canyon State Park was established in 1985 and now receives about 125,000 visitors per years. The park's land is owned by the city of Raton and leased to the State of New Mexico for 99 years.[1]

Activities

Visitor Center and ruins of Sugarite. A visitor center is near the park entrance station and an interpretive trail follows and crosses Sugarite Creek through the ruins of the once thriving town and coal mine. An admission fee of $5 per vehicle is charged to enter the park.

Fishing and boating. Lakes Maloya and Alice are popular for trout fishing. Sailboats and boats powered with electric motors are permitted on Lake Maloya. A boat dock permits easy launching.

Camping and picnicking. Eleven sites in Lake Alice Campground have electric hookups. 41 developed sites in Lake Alice and Soda Pocket Campground offer tent camping. Picnicking is permitted at both campgrounds. Group shelters are located in Gambel Oak Group Area.

Hiking and horseback riding. There are Script error: No such module "convert". of hiking trails in the park. Several trails beginning at the visitor center lead to ruins of the coal camp and follow the stream in the valley. The longest trail (6 miles) is Ponderosa Ridge/Opportunity Trail which begins at Lake Maloya spillway, follows a small stream, then climbs through an evergreen forest to a spectacular view, then descends again to its starting point. Little Horse Mesa Trail, a Script error: No such module "convert". round trip, climbs steeply to the highest point in the park on Little Horse Mesa. The Mesa top is flat and nearly treeless and has excellent views. Horse stables are located near Soda Pocket Campground.[1][5]

File:Lake Maloya.jpg
Lake Maloya looking east northeast from near the dam.

Cross country skiing. Available all winter although some roads and facilities are closed.[1]

Rock climbing. Rock climbing is permitted in the park although bolting is not. Climbers should check in with rangers at the Visitor's Center.[5]

Wildlife areas. Adjoining Sugarite Canyon State Park on the north in Colorado are two State Wildlife Areas (SWA): Lake Dorothey (5,152 acres) and James M. John (8,339 acres). The public road leads north from Lake Maloya and terminates shortly in a small parking lot. A campsite, picnic area, and restrooms are located here. A Script error: No such module "convert". trail leads to Script error: No such module "convert". Lake Dorothey, which offers trout fishing and is situated in a meadow at an elevation of Script error: No such module "convert".. Beyond, an unmarked trail leads Script error: No such module "convert". to the summit of Fisher Peak Mesa in James M. John SWA. Elevations in Lake Dorothey SWA range from Script error: No such module "convert". to Script error: No such module "convert". and in James M. John SWA from Script error: No such module "convert". to Script error: No such module "convert".. Access to both areas is by foot or horseback only.

File:Lake Maloya from near Lake Dorothey.jpg
A view of the upper end of Lake Maloya from near Lake Dorothey

The wildlife areas offer hunting for elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, turkey, and small game. James M. John SWA is closed from December 1 to April 1 every year.[6] An annual butterfly festival counts and identifies butterflies in the meadows near Lake Dorothey. The 2006 one-day count was 637 butterflies of 38 species.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Sugarite Canyon State Park Management and Development Plan" (PDF). Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Sugarite Canyon State Park" (PDF). New Mexico State Parks. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Average Weather for Sugarite Canyon State Park, NM". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dry Cimarron Scenic Byway". www.Legends of America.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Wildernet. "Recreation Guide for Sugarite Canyon State Park". Interactive Outdoors Inc. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ Colorado Division of Wildlife. "James M. John SWA". Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Cary, Steve. "Sugarite Canyon - Dorothey Lake 2006 Butterfly Count a Flapping Success". New Mexico State Parks Division. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 

External links

Template:Protected Areas of New Mexico