Raton/Clayton Volcanic Field (West)

Colfax County New Mexico

SFT photo

Photo by Henry Ostrander

Eagle Tail, Laughlin Peak, and Tinaja Mt. are 15, 20, & 17 mi. SE and SSE of Raton amid private ranches. Although they are on private land, the peaks can be seen from the Scenic Byway, (US 64), as well as from Raton especially from Goat Hill Overlook. Miscellaneous state and county roads skirt these volcanic peaks and can be used to get closer to the peaks to take pictures.

7,761' High Eagle Tail, 8,821' high Loughlin Peak, and 7,805' high Tinaja Mountain, all are dormant volcanoes that dominate the high plains SE of Raton and lend themselves to the intoxicating panoramas enjoyed by travelers for centuries. Tinaja's broad base rising to a narrow, flat topped neck reminded Santa Fe Trail travelers of an earthen jar, or tinaja.

The Raton/Clayton Volcanic Field of which Eagle Tail, Laughlin Peak and Tinaja Mt. are part, influenced the location of travel routes like the SFT, stream flows, springs, and forage sites. The field could not only be seen by SFT travelers; some of its cones served as reference points.