Tierra Verde, New Mexico
In the Land of Enchantment
  • 30 miles SW of Grants, New Mexico and 100 miles west of Albuquerque
  • Power and Verizon Cell Phone Access Available
  • No mandatory homeowner/landowner dues
  • Sits between two national parks: ElMorro and El Malpais
  • Situated between 7200 and 7400 feet in elevation
  • Great Cabin Sites, Vacation Getaways, Weekend Retreats, or Family Ranches.

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Tierra Verde Ranchettes are beautiful 5 and 10 acre ranchettes in Cibola County, New Mexico. Tierra Verde is a mountainous ranch land which makes for a very private getaway that is surrounded by national forests, wilderness areas and parks.

Tierra Verde sub-division is a relatively small area (4480 acres) surrounded by National Forests and National Monuments. You won't have to worry about city lights disturbing the beautiful star filled night sky.

El Morro National Monument is a few miles to the West, Cibola National Forrest is just to the north, El Malpais National Monument borders the properties immediately to the East and South. There's no room for the big city to invade your peace and quite.

There are several extinct volcanos just to the south of the properties and they make for a nice afternoon hike. Be carefull with your time management. Some of our crew decided to take a quick hike late in the afternoon one day. They made it to the top of one of the volcanos (you can see one of the pictures they took to the left) and were mesmerized by the beauty. They lost track of time and let the sun set on them. There was no moon out so they had to hike back down in the dark and got lost. There were no city lights glowing in the sky above them to lead the way. It was very dark. By the time the sun came up they were just a few hundred yards from our camp.

Tierra Verde is located is very close to the border with Arizona and is only 80 miles east of Witch Well Estates. You'll find great mountain views, grassy hills, and a pine tree landscape excellent for quiet living in the great southwest. Located south of I-40 on County Road 47.

A single power line enters from the West (North end of Unit 4 and South of Unit 2) to the old ranch house and down through Units 3 and 6. Power is being provided by Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, Inc. and they can be reached at (505) 285-6656.

There are no phone lines in Tierra Verde, but cell phones do work in the area. Verizon has the best signal strength, other carriers are spotty at best.

There are no homeowner/landowner association dues in Tierra Verde. At one time there were restrictive covenants but there is some debate as to whether they were properly registered or even enforceable. To our knowledge no one in Tierra Verde has ever had any problems along these lines.

  • Minimum lot size 2.5 acres
  • Maximum of four homes per 10 acres
  • Land use is residential / recreational
  • Mobile homes have to be covered after 2 years ???
  • Covanents are voted on every fourth year of the decade (i.e. 1994, 2004, 2014) by the property owners

The ranch was subdivided into Tierra Verde Ranchettes in 1974 and at that time it was part of Valencia County. On June 19, 1981 the western part of Valencia County became Cibola County. Cibola is the newest county in New Mexico.

Tierra Verde covers 7 sections which is about 4,480 acres. About 4,100 of these acres have been subdivided into 592 lots.

Currently there are only a few cows grazing in Tierra Verde. There are also a few horses.

Code of the West

A few very simple rules to remember when driving around out west.

  • Always close gates behind you. This keeps the ranchers happy.
  • Drive slow and carefully on dirt roads, especially around cattle.
  • Leave the land as you find it. Random pieces of trash thrown carelessly on the ground destroys the beauty of the land.

You may need a four wheel-drive vehicle and/or chains for all four tires to travel safely during storms, which can last for several days.

Sewer service is not available in most rural areas, [so] you will need an approved septic system or other treatment process. The type of soil available for a leach field is very important in determining the cost and function of a new septic system. In some cases, a standard septic system will not work (based on soil conditions) and an alternative septic system is required. Alternative systems can be very expensive (they could exceed $20,000).

Trash removal: In more remote areas, the most viable option may be to haul your trash to a landfill or a solid waste transfer station. Generally it is illegal to create your own trash dump, even on your own property.


El Malpais National Monument

Lava flows, cinder cones, pressure ridges and complex lava tubes dominate the landscape. Explore prehistoric ruins, ancient cairns and unique rock structures. The jagged volcanic terrain influences a variety of activities such as hiking, spelunking and primitive camping. The lava flows date from 2000 to 115000 years old. Despite numerous volcanic cinder codes and mountains in the area none are active.

The Monument encompasses 114,272 acres of diverse volcanic-derived landscape, with 10 major volcanic vents (most in the form of cinder cones), 7 contiguous lava flows (see below), and some of the longest lava tube systems in the country. Several ice caves located within the Monument attracted early Native Americans, as well as troops from nearby Fort Wingate as early as the 1860s (Mangum 1990). These caves were formed from fractures and voids in the flows containing small perched water tables that have frozen and support unique flora and fauna.

Lava flows are classified primarily by age. The seven flows are listed below for reference.

  • McCartys @ 32,000 acres; <3,200 years
  • Bandera @ 21,000 acres; <11,000 years
  • Hoya @ 26,000 acres; >30,000 years
  • Twin Craters Complex @ 12,000 acres; <16,000 years
  • El Caulderon @ 4,000 acres; >100,000 years
  • Rendija @ 2,500 acres; >250,000 years
  • Old Basalt Complex @ 5,000 acres; >500,000 years

The park and its lava flows are contained within a closed basin. All precipitation entering the area is either used by vegetation or sinks into the lava flow and enters the groundwater system. A large reservoir of subsurface water is believed to be present at depth beneath the lava. One of the only places where this unit of saturation may surface is on the northern edge of El Malpais National Monument at the Rio San Jose and the associated springs and seeps.

Cultural features include the remains of five tribes along with evidences of Spanish, Mexican, and modern exploration and exploitation.

El Malpais National Monument
123 East Roosevelt Avenue
Grants, NM 87020
El Malpais Information Center (505) 783-4774
Monument Headquarters (505) 285-4641 ext. 0

El Morro National Monument

The Spaniard explorers called it 'El Morro' (The Headland). The Zuni Indians call it A'ts'ina (Place of writings on the rock). Anglo-Americans called it 'Inscription Rock'. Travelers left signatures, names, dates, and stories of their treks. While some of the inscriptions are fading, there are still many that can be seen today, some dating to the 17th century. Some petroglyphs and carvings were made by the Anasazi centuries before Europeans started making their mark. In 1906, U.S. federal law prohibited further carving.

Desert cottontail, chipmunk, coyote, gray fox, cougar, black bear, bull snake, whiptail lizard, bobcat, rock squirrel and many species of birds are some of the animals found in this area. Many of these animals are shy or come out at night, so they are not seen very often. The animals you are most likely to see along the trail are rabbits, lizards, snakes and ravens.

El Morro National Monument
HC 61 Box 43
Ramah, NM 87321

Visitor Center (505) 783-4226 ext. 0
Monument Headquarters (505) 285-4641 ext. 0

Ice Caves on Bandera Volcano

Explore the Ice Caves on Bandera Volcano which erupted 10000 years ago and left behind collapsed lava tubes. Today ice exists year round in the caves left behind by those tubes.

1-888-ICE-CAVE or send E-Mail To: