The historic Cross L Ranch is situated in the mesa country and Dry Cimarron Valley of Northeast New Mexico, approximately 40 linear miles northwest of Clayton, New Mexico and 11 linear miles east of Branson, Colorado. The ranch is divided by State Road 456, which runs through the scenic Dry Cimarron Valley from Branson, Colorado to Kenton, Oklahoma.
28,019.76 +/- Deeded Acres
6,403.47 +/- New Mexico State Lease Acres
The Cross L Ranch was founded in 1871 by brothers Nathan, Jim and William Hall. A few years prior, the brothers drove a herd of cattle up the Goodnight-Loving Trail from their ranch near San Saba, Texas to Colorado. On the way they crossed through the Cimarron Valley and fell in love with its beauty and productivity. Here, they decided to one day make their home. That day came in 1871 when the brothers assembled 2,500 mother cows and drove their way to what would become the Cross L Ranch. The "White House" at the ranch headquarters was built in 1873.
The Cross L Ranch has an extremely diverse terrain. The property is a combination of river bottom country, canyons, rugged side slopes, and mesa tops. State Highway 456 runs in an east/west direction through the central portion of the ranch, with approximately 40% of the property being to the north of the highway and the remaining 60% being to the south. This highway runs through the lower elevations of the property, being along Emery Vega and the Dry Cimarron River bottom. It is estimated that Emery Vega and the Dry Cimarron River Bottom portion of the property comprises approximately 15% of the total acreage within the ranch. This area of the ranch is generally about a mile wide running along the highway. Immediately south of the highway and also just to the north of the Dry Cimarron River Bottom, the ranch dramatically elevates to mesas and mesa points. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the ranch is comprised of high elevated mesas, with the remaining approximately 35% of the property being steep canyon country and rugged elevated side slopes of the mesas.
The upper portions of the elevated mesas have a gently sloping and rolling terrain, with elevations running from just above 6,000 feet to over 6,300 feet. The rugged side slopes and canyons have elevations from around 5,500 feet to 6,000 feet, and the elevations along Emery Vega and the Dry Cimarron River Bottom range from 5,300 feet to 5,500 feet.
Cottonwood trees are scattered all along the Dry Cimarron River, and the Vega and bottomland areas have a moderate to sometimes dense canopy of cholla. As the ranch begins to elevate, the country becomes extremely rocky throughout the canyons and on the mesa side slopes. Juniper, Pinon Pine, Mountain Oak brush and scattered areas of Ponderosa Pine are common in these rough rocky areas. Mostly, the ranch has sandstone rock outcroppings; however, a volcanic lava flow has left the remains of Malpai rock in a portion of the Dry Cimarron River Bottom.
The Dry Cimarron River enters the ranch on the west side of the property, north of the highway, and meanders in an easterly direction through the entirety of the ranch. Live water and/or holes of water can be found throughout this river. The Emery Vega country, which is located near the west side of the ranch, south of the river, is a productive gently sloping bottomland. A portion of this Vega country is irrigated with two center pivots and ditch irrigated with adjudicated water rights from the Dry Cimarron. Two center pivots irrigate approximately 280 acres with irrigation water provided by six wells. Another 200 acres +/- are flood irrigated with adjudicated water rights out of the Dry Cimarron River.
The Cross L Ranch is fenced and cross fenced into approximately 23 main pastures. In some places, canyon walls and rim rocks form the natural operating boundaries and pasture divisions of the ranch.
The Cross L Ranch is very well watered. In addition to the Dry Cimarron River, the ranch is watered by two windmills, six wells equipped with electric submersible pumps and one solar well. The water quality is generally good. The ranch is improved with approximately 35 miles of buried waterline, which is used to transport well water over many areas of the ranch. Drinking troughs are located along this waterline, and nine water storage reservoirs, each holding several thousand gallons, are used in connection with this waterline network.
In addition to the water wells and waterlines, several dirt tanks have been constructed in places. An attractive spring fed creek is found in Cow Canyon.
The ranch includes 286.125 acre-feet of water rights out of the Dry Cimarron River for the purposes of flood irrigating 190.75 acres. The water rights were adjudicated by decree in 1933. 170.625 acre-feet have a priority date of August 31, 1890. 77 acre-feet have a priority date of June 30, 1871, which are some of the earliest priority dated water rights on the Dry Cimarron River.
The Cross L Ranch is very well improved. The well maintained ranch headquarters are situated off of the north side of the highway in the eastern part of the ranch. The headquarters are located in an attractive setting in the Dry Cimarron bottom.
The improvements include the original Cross L Ranch house, or "White House", constructed by the Hall Brothers in 1873. This home includes 24-inch thick adobe walls and has been home to the ranch manager for many years. Adjacent to the manager's home is a small bunk house and metal shop building.
The owner's home is elevated above the other headquarter structures and offers excellent views of the surrounding meadow and distant mesas. This brick structure includes two bedrooms and two baths.
Below the owner's home is a very attractive adobe two-bedroom guest house. This structure was originally constructed in the late 1800's.
At the north end of the headquarters is the Red Rock House. This is a two-story structure that contains six bedrooms and three baths.
The cattle working facilities on the Cross L Ranch are excellent. The headquarters includes the main shipping pens. The pens are of pipe and sucker rod construction with a hydraulic squeeze chute, scales and horse stalls with small apartment. There is also a good set of shipping pens on the upland plains in the southern part of the ranch.
The wildlife features of the Cross L Ranch are excellent. The ranch has not been heavily hunted in the past. Game species include Elk, Mule Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Pronghorn Antelope, Turkey, etc. The Cross L Ranch is located in New Mexico Big Game Unit 58. The ranch receives 5 either sex elk rifle land owner permits, 3 either sex elk archery permits, 8 cow elk permits and 5 buck pronghorn antelope permits.
The Cross L Ranch is over 80% deeded. The state lease acreage is found in four remote blocks, the majority of which are not accessible to public hunters. The annual state lease cost is approximately $1.15 per acre.
Average precipitation for the area is approximately 17 inches per year with 30-40 inches of annual snowfall.
The Cross L Ranch represents one of the best maintained ranch operations currently listed for sale in Northern New Mexico. As an added bonus, 50% the seller's owned minerals will be conveyed. If you are looking for a quality, diverse, recreational and livestock ranch, this offering deserves your attention. Seldom does a ranch of this size and quality come on the market in this area of New Mexico. This fine, historic, ranch is realistically priced $995 per deeded acre. To schedule a showing, or for additional information, please contact Sam Middleton.
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