HOBO Ranch
#1 in Rural Real Estate Online
Sam Middleton
Sam Middleton
Chas S. Middleton and Son

HOBO Ranch

$8,161,560 16834 Acres
Property ID 6318917


We are proud to announce our exclusive listing of the HOBO Ranch, which is one of the most unique, diverse, and picturesque ranch properties in Northeast New Mexico.

The HOBO Ranch is located in the scenic mesa highlands of Northeast New Mexico, approximately 32 miles east of Las Vegas, New Mexico and 92 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Access to the property is off paved State Highway 104 and County Road C53A. This county road forms the north boundary of the HOBO Ranch and provides year-round access along 10 miles of the north end of the ranch.

Average precipitation for the area is approximately 14 to 16 inches per year with 20-30 inches of annual snowfall.

There are several large ranches adjoining the HOBO Ranch property. These ranches are both livestock production and hunting ranches. Also adjoining the HOBO Ranch to the south and east is the newly formed Sabinoso Wilderness. The Sabinoso Wilderness Area was designated by Congress in 2009 and the recent acquisition of the adjoining Rimrock Rose Ranch to the south by the Wilderness Land Trust opened this rugged canyon wilderness area to limited foot/horseback public access only. A private donation made all of this happen. No vehicular access is allowed in the Sabinoso Wilderness area.

The HOBO Ranch has an incredibly diverse, very challenging terrain. The property is a combination of elevated mesa tops along the north and west portions of the ranch, descending to deep canyon creek bottom country. Sidewalls of the sheer canyon escarpments are comprised of massive, very colorful fractured ledge rock cliffs, boulders and steep, almost vertical 800-foot to 1,000-foot drops, which dramatically descend into winding canyon creek bottoms.

It is estimated that approximately 40% of the ranch is comprised of high elevated mesas. The remaining approximately 60% of the property is a combination of canyon walls, rugged ridgelines and lower canyon bottoms. Without question, the HOBO Ranch can accurately be described as having the most rugged topography to be found in the entire state. Views from the upper mesas into the deep canyon drainages are amazing. Two major canyon areas form the southern portion of the ranch. The most significant canyon area is Caon Largo (Large Canyon). The north rim of this deep canyon forms the south operational boundary of much of the ranch. Caon Ciruela (Plum Canyon) heads and drains through the central portion of the ranch, ultimately merging with Caon Largo, towards the eastern portion of the property. Three other canyons, Chispas Caon (Sparks Canyon), Spring Caon and Lucero Caon form and drain on the east half of the ranch, eventually joining Caon Largo. Spring Caon is appropriately named because of natural springs along the canyon walls. There are also seasonal springs and scattered pools of water along the bottom of all the canyons throughout the ranch.

The upper portions of the elevated mesas have a gently sloping and rolling terrain, with elevations running from just above 6,300 feet to over 6,500 feet. The rocky side slopes and canyon escarpments dramatically descend approximately 1,000 feet to the canyon floors. Well-engineered switchback roads provide access from the upper mesa country to the canyon bottoms. Views from the mesa rims/overlooks can only be described as breathtaking, as one peers into the deep canyon bottoms and colorful canyon escarpments. Rock/cliff climbing participants will be in awe by the sheer vertical rock walls that offer the most challenging rock climbing to be found in the state.

The mesa top country is accessed by mostly well-maintained roads. The ranch has a large caliche pit which has been used to construct and maintain many of the roads on the ranch. Nearing the canyon walls, the mesa tops become narrow fingers overlooking the steep canyon side slopes. Roads have been constructed on some of these fingers creating lookout points offering spectacular canyon views. Some areas of the mesa tops are relatively open with scattered amounts of cholla and moderate to the sometimes-dense canopies of juniper, oak, and pion. A controlled burn program has been in effect on the upper mesa country for several years. Dense juniper cover is systematically being burned in order to open these areas of unusable country, creating productive native grass parklike areas capable of producing desirable forage for livestock and wildlife. The controlled burn program has definitely improved, not only the appearance of the upper mesa country, but also the productivity of this area of the ranch.

Cottonwood trees are scattered all along the canyon bottoms. Clusters of cottonwoods indicate areas of live springs or pools of water that remain much of the year. Juniper, pion pine, mountain oak brush and scattered ponderosa pine are found throughout the canyon sidewalls and bottoms.

In the past, a Savory Grazing Cell System was in place over a significant portion of the upper mesa country. This system utilized electric fencing, with numerous smaller pastures coming to various water lots. While all the electric fencing has been removed, the water sources remain, primarily for wildlife use.

The HOBO Ranch has a managers home with shop and other outbuildings. The managers home is 3 bedrooms and two baths. This home, as well as other improvements on the ranch, are very well maintained. Additional improvements include a pipe roping/training arena, a wood frame with metal siding set of stables (six horse stalls), tack room and workshop, and a covered fifth wheel parking area that is wood framed with a metal roof. This site also has full power from the solar system along with its own septic system. All of these improvements are powered by a solar system with battery backup system and generators for additional backup.

The cattle working facilities on the HOBO Ranch are excellent. There is a good set of pipe corrals and shipping pens on the north end of the ranch near the managers home. There is also a rock shop/barn with a hay loft that is used for storage and supplies. This barn is in good condition.

The current owner acquired the HOBO Ranch in 2004. The range conditions, water, and infrastructure were all in poor condition when the ranch was purchased. The property was initially operated as a cow/calf ranching operation until 2012. The cattle operation utilized the Savory Grazing System. Using this rotation system and by stocking the ranch at a bare minimum, range conditions improved considerably. After 8 years of operating the property as a cattle ranch and horse training facility, the owner decided to focus on wildlife and wildlife habitat improvement, rather than cattle ranching. The current ranch manager took over in 2012, and he has established the controlled burning program that has benefited the ranch by thinning the juniper infestations, which ultimately improved the forage for cattle and wildlife. Over the last 6-8 years, the owner and manager have focused their efforts solely on improving the habitat for wildlife. These efforts have noticeably increased the population of elk, deer, and other wildlife on the HOBO Ranch. The scattered springs, water storage and drinkers, and dirt ponds provide a well-balanced natural environment for wildlife. With the HOBO Ranch now adjoining the Sabinoso Wilderness Area, the current owner and manager are convinced the HOBO Ranch should be best utilized as a wildlife sanctuary rather than a cattle ranch. All efforts are now focused in this direction.

The HOBO Ranch has good fencing on portions of the north, west and southwest boundaries, all along the upper mesa country portion of the property. Little to no fencing is utilized on the remainder of the ranch. Nearly all of the south boundary and eastern portion of the property has canyon wall escarpments used for natural operational boundaries. Because of the extremely rugged terrain on these portions of the ranch, correct boundary lines of the property are not, and cannot always be used. These canyon rims form the natural exterior boundaries and pasture divisions within some portions of the ranch.

The HOBO Ranch is considered to have average water facilities, but because of the extremely rugged terrain, portions of the ranch would definitely benefit by having additional water developed. The ranch is currently watered by wells, dirt tanks and scattered springs along the canyon bottoms. Developed water sources include three windmills, one combination windmill and solar pump, and one solar well. The water quality is reported to be good. Water wells depth information will be provided at a later date, but the manager estimated them to be 150 to 300 feet. Water wells cannot likely be located in all areas of the ranch, and for this reason, a waterline network and water storage reservoirs with drinkers have been constructed in specific areas of the ranch. There are five storage tanks with capacity ranging from two 15,000 gallon tanks and three 30,000 gallon tanks. The storage reservoirs have adjacent drinkers and some small water storage tanks and drinkers are filled with a water truck located on the ranch. The areas designated for the water tanks are easily accessible to livestock and wildlife.

Canyon springs are typically used by elk, deer, bear, mountain lion and other forms of wildlife. The ranch manager has recently developed and piped some spring water into cleared areas where elk, deer, and other wildlife are not as easily hunted by predators.

The controlled burns and water improvements have enhanced the wildlife on to the ranch. The wildlife features of the HOBO Ranch are now considered excellent. No hunting has been allowed on the ranch for over 6 years and native wildlife is now abundant. Common game species include elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, pronghorn antelope, turkey, etc. The HOBO Ranch is in New Mexico Big Game Unit 42. Since no hunting is allowed, the ranch does not receive any big game landowner tags; however, they are available, if desired.

The HOBO Ranch is over 89% deeded land. The state lease acreage is found in three remote blocks and is not accessible to public hunters. The annual state lease cost is approximately $1.15 per acre.

If you are in the market for possibly New Mexicos most unique, diverse, picturesque, and challenging recreational property, the HOBO Ranch will fit your needs. The property has been very well managed for wildlife and should offer outstanding, yet an extremely challenging hunting experience. Supplemental income can be derived from livestock, on a limited basis. The HOBO Ranch is realistically priced $540 per deeded acre. Please understand that brochure pictures do no truly capture the magnificent and rugged features of the HOBO Ranch. This is a property you have to actually see to truly appreciate. To schedule a showing, or for additional information, please contact Dwain Nunez or Jim Welles.


Barn Information
Living Quarters
Shop Building

Land Type

Present Use

Common Features
Horse Facilities

Lot Description
Heavily Treed
Horses Permitted

Property Type

Whitetail Deer


Proposed Use

Tax Data (Show Tax Data)

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Sam Middleton
Sam Middleton
Chas S. Middleton and Son

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    NOTE: The information contained herein is provided as general information only and has been obtained from sources deemed reliable. It is provided without any guaranty, warranty or representation, expressed or implied, made by Lands of America, or any related entity, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. The information is presented subject to errors, omissions, change of price or conditions, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. Prospective purchasers should make their own investigations, projections and conclusions concerning the information.