Scroll down for brief descriptions of neighborhoods outside Santa Fe to the south, along Highway 285 South (or click on names on the map).
Galisteo and Lamy
Galisteo Basin is a region in north-central New Mexico 15 miles south of Santa Fe. The basin is fed by the Galisteo Creek. Northeast of Galisteo Basin lies the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and on the southwest lie the Sandia Mountains. Because of its location lying between mountain ranges and connecting the Rio Grande Valley with the Great Plains, the Galisteo Basin was used as a trade route by prehistoric and historic indigenous and later also by the Spanish explorers.
The Galisteo Basin has been continuously occupied by a diverse collection of peoples and cultures since pre-historic times. The earliest known humans to inhabit the Galisteo Basin were Paleo Indians who arrived in the basin as early as 7500 to 6000 B.C. By 3000 B.C., the Galisteo Basin was inhabited by small groups of Paleo Indians whose diet consisted of wild plants and occasionally mule deer and antelope.
Around 1500 B.C., people began to supplement their gathered foods with farming practices. It is believed that the early inhabitants of the Galisteo Basin moved seasonally, growing crops in the spring and summer at clearly established camps, while sustaining their diet with game and wild plants.
The Galisteo Basin remained sparsely populated until about the 12th century. Up to that time, the Galisteo Basin was a trade route for turquoise, malachite, and lead—materials mined in the Cerrillos Hills. Between 1100 and 1300 A.D., New Mexico and the entire southwestern U.S. experienced a prolonged, severe drought. As the great pueblos at Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde lost population, it is believed that some of the Anasazi people migrated to northern New Mexico—ultimately establishing a number of present-day Pueblo cultures. Other Anasazi people are presumed to have migrated to the Galisteo Basin, eventually sharing bloodlines with the Tanoan-speaking people already in residence.
The Anasazi newcomers planted crops and built pit houses and small pueblo-like villages. Gradually these pueblos grew and coalesced into larger villages. Several large pueblos were sustained in the Galisteo Basin from the late 1200s until 1500-1600 A.D. The San Cristobal Ranch, located 12 miles south of the West Basin Preserve, was the setting for many of these pueblos.
The best known of the pueblo ruins is San Cristobal Pueblo. The San Cristobal Pueblo contained eight to nine room “blocks,” several stories in height, organized around five ceremonial plazas. Like all other pueblos, San Cristobal had a ceremonial kiva—a large round (partly underground) structure—in its largest plaza. Two kivas north of Galisteo Creek may have been used by winter and summer groups. It is estimated that by 1400 A.D. the San Cristobal Pueblo was home to 500-1,000 people.
Pueblo Largo, Pueblo Colorado, Pueblo Shè, and Colina Verde have also been located on the San Cristobal Ranch. These pueblos ranged in size from several room “blocks” to structures with over 1,500 ground floor rooms, kivas, shrines and/or watchtowers.
Separate from the San Cristobal Ranch villages were pueblos in Galisteo, San Lazaro and San Marcos, as well as one un-named pueblo about three miles south of San Cristobal Pueblo. Archeologists believe that the total population of these pueblos at their height was between 10,000-15,000 people. The Southern Tewas, the primary inhabitants of the Basin after 1300 A.D, built these pueblos. Their relatives, the Northern Tewa, inhabited other pueblos around Santa Fe, including Nambe, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Tesuque, and others. By the beginning of the Spanish Era in the 17th century, except for San Cristobal, the Galisteo Basin pueblos were mostly extinct or abandoned.
For approximately 100 years, beginning around 1400, the Southern Tewa were challenged by Dine-speaking peoples—warriors from Apache and Navajo tribes that raided and deeply stressed the Tewas’ resources and sense of security. In the mid to late 1500s, Spanish explorers (or conquistadors) from Mexico journeyed north to New Mexico in search of gold and other treasure. In their wake, the Spanish brought deadly disease and new hardship on the struggling southern Tewa peoples. By 1600, the Spanish were in the Galisteo Basin to stay—introducing longhorn cattle and unknown crops like watermelon, wheat, chiles, and melons to the region. The Spanish also began mining silver in the Cerrillos Hills around 1581.
The Southern Tewa persevered in the Galisteo Basin until the 17th century. In 1680, the tension between the pueblos and the Spanish reached a climax, and a revolt temporarily drove the Spanish from Santa Fe. With the return of the Spanish in 1692, the Southern Tewa were forced to abandon the Galisteo Basin and migrate to other pueblos including the Hano and Santo Domingo pueblos.
Photo ©2003, Jane Bernard
With the pueblos abandoned and destroyed, Spanish troops moved into the basin in 1790 to serve as a buffer between roving Comanche and Santa Fe residents. Juan Aragon was awarded the first official grazing permit for the Galisteo Basin in 1799. In 1816 the village of Galisteo was founded and nineteen families settled there.
In the 1820s, a growing supply of goods and materials flowed into New Mexico after trade restrictions were lifted, and the Santa Fe Trail was formally established. By 1821, 45,000 people lived in New Mexico. Around this time, gold was discovered in the Ortiz Mountains. During the 10-year period of the “Ortiz Gold Rush,” more than 10 percent of New Mexico’s winter population lived in the Ortiz Mountains prospecting for gold.
In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo memorialized the end of the war between the United States and Mexico, and New Mexico became a U.S. territory. People of northern European descent (i.e., “Anglos”) migrated to the region in increasing numbers. Many of the newcomers acquired Mexican land grants (through techniques and strategies that remain the subject of bitter legal challenge), converting the land from a communal resource to one that primarily served the political and economic ambitions of individuals and private companies.
In February 1880, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad was developed. The Village of Lamy—one of scores of “railroad towns”—was established within the eastern area of the Galisteo Basin. As a passenger terminal for Santa Fe and the surrounding area, the Lamy Junction became an important stop—replete with locomotive storage and railroad employee housing.
Lamy was a thriving railroad town until the 1930s, when the railroad converted from coal to diesel fuel and there was no longer need for a round house or for extra pusher locomotives. Lamy hit its peak population in 1930 with approximately 300 residents. After the 1930s Lamy’s population dwindled, but the town has maintained its ties to the railroad. Lamy is the destination for a tourist excursion train that runs twice a day from the Santa Fe Railyard, and it is still a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (Amtrak) line from Chicago to Los Angeles.
By the 1880s the mining towns of Cerrillos and Madrid were also booming. Grazing sheep and cattle were beginning to have significant effects on the native grasslands in the basin. Major problems from erosion were beginning to be seen because of over grazing and because the railroad cut the flood plain in half in Lamy, causing accelerated run-off and down cutting. By 1899, there were one million sheep in the state of New Mexico. By 1900, the “free-range era” was over in the Galisteo Basin, and ranch control developed into a pattern of fenced properties that characterize much of the Basin’s landscape today.
Eldorado at Santa Fe and Highway 285 South corridor subdivisions. Call or email Greg to help you decide which one is right for you.
This gated subdivision is known for hilly terrain with paved roads, south-facing views, close proximity to Eldorado shopping and easy access to Interstate 25 for a quick trip to Santa Fe. Community water and underground utilities. Most lots are in the one to five acre range.
Easy access to the interstate and Eldorado shopping, beautiful westward views and paved streets are some of the features enjoyed by the occupants of this gated subdivision. Community water and underground utilities. Many of the one to four acre lots either border a large greenbelt or are directly across the road from it.
Some of the approximately 2.5 acre to 10 acre lots in Cielo Colorado allow for horses and horse facilities. Many lots have wonderful mountain views in all directions. Community water and underground utilities.
Close proximity to the interstate with easy access to Santa Fe from this subdivision with a mix of paved and base course roads, some lots with spectacular west and south facing views are some of the features of Dos Griegos. A Greek Orthodox church and readily accessible Eldorado shopping are also part of the appeal of Dos Griegos. Payments from a ground lease for discreetly located cell phone towers allows for no homeowner association charges. Community water and underground utilities.
This comfortable and smallish subdivision with community water and underground utilities has western views and a Lamy mailing address. Many lots also offer views of the southern end of the Rocky Mountains and the Jemez Mountains.
By far the largest and one of the more affordable areas in the 285 corridor, Eldorado is known for numerous greenbelts plus a large mountainous wilderness area, all of which are available exclusively for enjoyment by Eldorado residents. Mountain views in all directions from the gently rolling terrain. The Eldorado community school, an independent library, a senior citizens center with a Santa Fe county satellite office, clubhouse, tennis courts, a seasonal outdoor pool and two shopping centers make for convenient living. Most lots range in size from one to two acres. Most of Eldorado is on the Eldorado community water system with some lots on private or shared wells. Underground utilities.
Galisteo Basin Preserve
Lots range in size from a couple of acres to 160 acres. With thousands of acres of dedicated open space, hiking and biking trails, the Galisteo Basin Preserve offers majestic views of the Galisteo Basin and numerous mountain ranges. Underground utilities.
The village of Galisteo was founded before the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 by herders, farmers and ranchers. The village is very picturesque with many beautiful stone walled rambling old adobe houses, giant cottonwood trees and the Galisteo River (it would be called a creek in the more water rich areas of the country) bosque.
La Paz at Eldorado
Most lots range in size from two acres to six acres, are on a community water system and typically enjoy great views in all directions of the various mountain ranges. Close to Eldorado shopping and conveniences. Underground utilities.
The village of Lamy sits at the base of and across the Galisteo River from Cerro Colorado where the stone for the cathedral in Santa Fe was quarried in the 1800’s. Train passengers leaving from or arriving at Santa Fe use the Lamy train station. There is a mixture of quaint old houses and newer traditional and nontraditional structures.
Most easily accessed from Avenida Eldorado, this area has lots ranging in size from just under five acres to over twelve acres. They are on a community water system and served by underground utilities. Many of the lots allow horses. Good area for mountain views.
Easily accessed from Highway 285 this horse-friendly area (with some llama farms) consists mainly of 10 acre lots with some lots as large as 20 acres. Community water, underground utilities and mountain views.
This area, a mix of equestrian and non equestrian properties, offers lots mostly ranging in size from 2.5 acres up to 11 acres. Easily accessed from Highway 285, there is a mix of properties on shared or private wells or on a community water system. Close to Eldorado amenities.
Old Road Ranch
Old Road Ranch is an area of pitched roof or Northern New Mexico style houses, many with studios. Lots generally are in the three acre to seven acre range. There are some significant horse operations with large arenas on much bigger pieces of land in the immediate area. This is a location with excellent Sangre de Cristo, Jemez and Sandia Mountain views. The area is named after a road, no longer being used, that ran over the hill to the Village of Lamy. Community water and underground utilities. Lamy mailing address.
Ranchitos de Galisteo
Located on the outskirts of Galisteo Village, Ranchitos de Galisteo consists mostly of four to eight acre lots; water is provided by a community water system. The area has striking views of the Ortiz and San Pedro Mountains and the Galisteo Basin. Horses are allowed on some of the lots. Underground utilities.
Rancho de Bosque
Located between Old Road Ranch and East Ranch, Rancho de Bosque allows pitched roof houses. Lots range in size from just over one-half acre to just under four acres. Horses are allowed on some of the lots. Hook up to a community gray water system for irrigation is available. Community water, underground utilities and good views of various mountain ranges. Lamy mailing address.
Rancho San Lucas
Accessed from Spur Ranch Road just off Highway 285, Rancho San Lucas consists almost exclusively of contemporary style houses built by E.J. Jennings. Lots range in size from 2.5 acres to just over 3 acres. Western and southern views. Community water and underground utilities.
The Ridges, a well treed area of rolling hills with most lots ranging in size from just over two acres to just under six acres, has some quite wonderful views of the various mountain ranges in addition to some Galisteo Basin vistas from certain lots. Some of the properties are horse friendly. Close to Eldorado amenities with underground utilities and community water.
Spirit Wind Ranch
Located between Highway 285 and the village of Lamy, Spirit Wind Ranch offers views of the Galisteo Basin and the San Pedro, Ortiz and Sandia Mountains. Lots range in size from just under three acres to seven acres and are served by a community water system and underground utilities. Lamy mailing address.
With most lots ranging in size from six acres to just over 12 acres (some horse-friendly), this area just off paved Avenida Eldorado has spectacular views of the Jemez, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Sandias and the San Pedro and Ortiz Mountains. The area offers underground utilities and community water.
With a Lamy mailing address, most lots in Tierra Colinas range in size from three to five acres. Horses are allowed on some of the properties. Many lots have stunning western and/or southern views.
Tierra de Casta
Horses are allowed in this relatively small subdivision consisting of mostly five acre lots. A community water system, easy access from Highway 285, close proximity to Eldorado amenities and mountain views are some of this area’s features.