Imagine a private valley only an hour from Santa Fe, unmarred by the twenty first century, where elk grow fat on native grasses, mule deer fill the valley, and turkey, bear and mountain lion roam freely as they have for centuries. Imagine over 1000 acres of a mountain ranch with as rich a history as any in New Mexico, stretching back well over a century. And finally, imagine water in the form of an incredibly productive trout stream winding for 4.5 miles through this valley in and out of seven high mountain lakes that feature some of the largest trout and finest fishing in the West. What you’ve just imagined is no fantasy, it’s the Cow Creek Ranch, renowned by many as one of New Mexico’s finest trout fishing properties.
Cow Creek Ranch consists of 1054 deeded acres at the very southern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, just east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Situated at elevations from 8500 to 9000 feet, the ranch is near the headwaters of Cow Creek as it meanders its way from the springs of Elk Mountain down to the Pecos River. Once operated in the 1800s as a “boarding ranch” for wealthy English boys to learn Western ranching, the ranch transformed into a guest ranch in the 1930s, it reached its apex as a guest ranch specializing in fly fishing during the past couple of decades and was recently converted back to a family ranch.
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