On the west side of Raton is the Climax Canyon City Park. Although a complete and accurate map is difficult to find, the park must be at least 200 acres of developed and undeveloped city land. The park is vehicle accessible, now with plenty of parking space, and contains facilities and resources that should appeal to a variety of visitors.
Climax Canyon Park includes the bottom of Climax Canyon, the three-mile long Climax Canyon Nature Trail, an old road that’s now designated for off-road vehicles and horses, a portion of the Old Pass Road, Goat Hill with it’s giant flag and RATON sign, a group picnic area and short hiking path, and the Iridium Layer.
Climax Canyon Nature Trail is open year-round and offers three miles of hiking trails suitable for dog walking, families, and trail runners.
Winter is a great time to visit Climax Canyon.
This tailings pile of coal, shale, and sandstone indicates the general location of a historic mine within the park boundary.
This antique car has been an informal park landmark for many years.
Sadly, the car has been recently vandalized and this original decorative emblem was stolen.
The large American flag and neon RATON sign can be seen from many miles away. The star is lighted during the Christmas winter holiday.
Geologists and students from around the world come to Raton to see the Iridium Layer (also known as the K-T Boundary), which is exposed in Climax Canyon Park.
A new dinosaur track was discovered in Climax Canyon in 2016. Due to the vulnerable location in the park, in 2018 the track was excavated and moved to the Raton Museum.
Because of the diverse ecology and vegetation in Climax Canyon Park, it seems there’s always something blooming along the Nature Trail.
Although Climax Canyon is a city park on the edge of town it is home to deer, bears, snakes, lizards, abundant insects and birds, and other animals. The adjacent areas are known for mountain lions and elk, and undoubtedly these wander through the park occasionally.
These photos were all taken from Goat Hill or other places within the park boundary.