Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway


  • DesignationState Byway, Forest Service Byway (1989)
  • LocationNM
  • Length7 miles
Statewide Byway Partners
New Mexico Department of Transportation
New Mexico Tourism Department
Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway


This byway has two forks following the paths of the pioneer wagons as they headed westward. The Mountain Branch is south of Raton on US 64 and travels to Cimarron where you’ll find the St. James Hotel. The hotel began as a saloon in 1873 and has first-floor rooms named for cowboys and outlaws who stayed there like Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Jesse James. The Cimarron Cutoff travels west out of Clayton, past the Rabbit Ear Mountains and on to Wagon Mound. Both forks reconnect at Watrous. From there the trail continued to Fort Union, Las Vegas, and into Pecos. When the railroad came through in 1880, it ended a 60-year history of wagon trains rolling into town.

 Update this byway information today!