Tour historic ranch… while you can!

View from high up in the Robert Mutz Ranch. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…. The approximately 4,000-acre Robert Mutz Ranch, located in and around the forming mining boomtown Elizabethtown in the Moreno Valley, is for sale but for now, Red River Stables and Red River Mountain Adventures are offering a rare glimpse into this historic property — on horseback or via motorized transportation.

According to Kathy Neal, who owns Red River Stables with husband Dirk, the horseback rides tour ranch property East of Highway 38 while the 4×4 tours visit the side beneath Baldy Mountain. Held by the Mutz family since 1949, the entire ranch borders the Bobcat Ranch on the north and Philmont Scout Ranch. Neal says tours will continue this year as long as the weather holds.

On a cloudy day in July, a few of us enjoyed the 4×4 tour up to The Red Bandana Mine, a former gold and silver (with some copper and lead) mine discovered in 1875 on the western flank of Baldy Mountain at 9,199-feet above the valley floor. Three of us rode with a driver while a family of four drove one of Red River Mountain Adventures’ off-highway vehicles. All of us enjoyed having the opportunity to see remains of a mining boom that made Elizabethtown New Mexico’s first incorporated town and the first seat of the newly formed Colfax County [newmexicohistory.org/places/elizabethtown].

To book a 4×4 tour, call Red River Mountain Adventures, 575-754-6363. To tour the other side of the ranch by horseback, call Red River Stables, 575-754-1700.

[Editor’s note: My heartfelt apologies to the people who accompanied me on this tour: I lost your names! If you are reading this, please contact me and I will add your names and send you additional photos. — Ellen]

In Memoriam: Robert Mutz

The Wheeler Peak Wilderness can be seen in the distance past the Red Bandana Mine near Elizabethtown. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
This abandoned building can be seen further up the road. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Another “fixer-upper”. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Square nails attest to the age of these structures. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Fall colors should be spectacular soon! (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Eagle Nest Lake (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Rock-lined diversion ditch (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Baldy Mountain (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Another home (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)