This information is provided by the US Forest Service.
The Coyote Ranger District is the northern-most district of the Santa Fe National Forest and covers 265,100 acres. This landscape is characterized by striking red and yellow rock cliffs and the Rio Chama. These features were made famous by local resident Georgia O'Keefe, but the area has a much longer history.
The Rio Chama is one of the main waterway in Northern New Mexico. It was this river that provided sustinence to many Native American societies that built their settlements along its bank after the desertion of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde in the 1300's. From the early Native Americans to Spanish settlers who came later, many New Mexicans have made their homes in this unique area. The Rio Chama still is a source of importance to local residents, many whose families have lived in this area for generations. The Chama River Canyon is full of this legacy from cave dwellings and pithouses to historic schoolhouses and homesteads. Archaeologists have found evidence of people living in this area as far back as 9500 B.C.
Rio Chama flowers, photoOutdoor enthusiasts can find many opportunities to enjoy the recreational richness of the Coyote Ranger District as well. The Chama River Canyon Wilderness, over 50,000 of unspoiled beauty, and the northern-portion of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness are both great spots for primitive camping and of course miles of hiking and horseback riding. In addition, 40 miles of the famous Continental Divide Scenic Trail System winds through the Coyote Ranger District.
The Coyote Ranger District Office is located approximately 4-1/2 miles west of Coyote New Mexico, a small town overlooked by rugged Cerro Pedernal that towers at 9,870 feet. The ancient pueblo called Tsi-p'in-owinge' is located nearby. The pueblo was built in 1275 A.D. and housed more than one thousand people at one time. Farther down State Highway 96 is Gallina, New Mexico. Both Coyote and Gallina are great stop offs for a warm meal or gas.
For a combination of history and natural beauty, the Coyote Ranger District is a must-see location.
Enjoy your visit!