Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Northeastern New Mexico

© 2002, © 2018 by Paul Freeman. Revised 10/15/18.

This site covers airfields in all 50 states: Click here for the site's main menu.

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CCES Airfield (revised 10/15/18) - La Mesa Park Airport (revised 7/19/18) - Landing Field 78A / Anton Chico Intermediate Field (revised 10/15/18)

Landing Field 73A / Otto Intermediate Field (revised 10/15/18) - Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield (revised 7/2/18)

(Original) Taos Airport / Kachina Airport (revised 1/11/12) - Zia Field (revised 1/11/12)

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La Mesa Park Airport, Raton, NM

36.861, -104.449 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

La Mesa Park Airport, as depicted on the September 1965 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Kunse).



According to Matt Franklin, “La Mesa Park (the racetrack, not the airport) was constructed & opened in 1946 & was New Mexico’s first horse racetrack.

The grandstand used for its construction came from Arlington Downs in Dallas & was reassembled in Raton.

In the 1940s, Raton had a wide reputation for such a small town thanks to the races that went on at the track.

The train originally brought out-of-towners, but the airport supplemented (or replaced) this in the 1960s.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of La Mesa Park Airport was on the September 1965 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Kunse).

It depicted La Mesa Park Airport as having a 5,000' unpaved runway.



A 1960s era photograph of La Mesa Park Airport (courtesy of Raton city manager Scott Berry, via Matt Franklin).

Matt Franklin observed, the picture “showed a full dirt ramp of 13 airplanes, a full parking lot of the race track behind, and no buildings.”



According to Matt Franklin, “On 5/27/67, N8163P, a Piper Comanche, crashed into the barn area of the track when it tried to take off on a warm day with a density altitude of 9,000'.

La Mesa Park Airfield then modified the heading of the runway by about 20 degrees, removing the grandstand & stables from the direct path of the runway.



A 1969 aerial photo of La Mesa Park Airport (courtesy of Matt Franklin).

Matt Franklin observed, “You can clearly see the orientation of the previous runway with massive Xs carved into it, and one airplane on the field.”



The 1971 USGS topo map depicted La Mesa Park Airport as having a single paved northwest/southeast runway,

labeled simply as “Airport”, with one small building on the northeast corner.



A 1975 aerial photo of La Mesa Park Airport (courtesy of Matt Franklin).

Matt Franklin observed, “The photo was probably during a race, with 5 airplanes on the field.”



The last labeled depiction which has been located of La Mesa Park Airport was on the 1976 USGS topo map.



According to Matt Franklin, “The track started experiencing financial difficulties in the late 1980s, and closed in 1992.”



A 1992 aerial photo of La Mesa Park Airport (courtesy of Matt Franklin).



According to Matt Franklin, “A 1993 NMDOT report indicated the runway was in poor condition with broken lighting,

and the 1996 NMDOT inspection reported faded runway markings & weed encroachment.”



A 1996 NMDOT diagram of La Mesa Park Airfield (courtesy of William Fitzpatrick, via Matt Franklin).



According to Matt Franklin, “Closure of the airport was requested in 1996. The operator listed at the time was Joel Sanderson.”



The last photo which has been located showing an aircraft at La Mesa Park was a 1997 USGS aerial view looking southwest .

It depicted one single-engine light aircraft parked on the ramp near the small building on the northeast side (bottom-right of photo).

According to Matt Frank, “I believe it is Joel Sanderson's Cessna that is pictured in the photo [the airfield owner].”



A 2004 aerial view depicted multiple yellow closed-runway “X” symbols painted along the La Mesa Park runway.



According to Matt Franklin, “In 2004 it was being used for storing equipment.”



A 2014 aerial view looking southwest showed the La Mesa Park Airport remained intact, though deteriorated.



According to Matt Franklin, “In 2017 [La Mesa Park] was being used as a landing site for a balloon rally.

In 2018, the site was donated by the bank to Colfax County, and is being considered for use as an industrial park & it is doubtful that it will ever be used as an airport again.”



A 5/28/18 photo by Matt Franklin of the remains of the La Mesa Park runway, showing the remains of the yellow closed-runway X markings.

Matt observed, “A segment of the runway has weeds growing through the cracks, but was otherwise clear.

The remaining half or so of the runway was covered with 4' tall weeds, which I didn’t drive through, for some fairly obvious reasons.”



A 5/28/18 photo by Matt Franklin, showing “The Fixed Base Operator building is still there with parking for a couple of airplanes. Someone has breached their way into the office.”



A 5/28/18 photo by Matt Franklin of a former La Mesa Park Airport open hangar.



A 5/28/18 photo by Matt Franklin, of the La Mesa Park “grandstands, which are in a deteriorating condition. An echo of the past. Glad I got to experience it while I was still there.”



La Mesa Park Airport is located southwest of the intersection of York Canyon Road & La Mesa Drive.



Thanks to Eric Karnes for pointing out this airfield.

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Landing Field 73A / Otto Intermediate Field, Otto, NM

35.07, -106.01 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

Otto Intermediate Field was depicted on the March 1932 Albuquerque Sectional Chart as Landing Field #73A.



Otto Intermediate Field was one of the nationwide network of Intermediate Fields

established by the Commerce Department in the 1930s along commercial airways between major cities.

The date of establishment of Otto Intermediate Field has not been determined.

The earliest reference which has been located of Otto Intermediate Field was its listing as an airfield & radio facility

in the September 1931 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin #1 (according to Steve Owen).



The earliest depiction which has been located of Otto Intermediate Field was on the March 1932 Albuquerque Sectional Chart,

which labeled it as Landing Field 73A.



The earliest photo which has been located of Otto Intermediate Field was a circa 1943-45 aerial view

from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Otto as a triangular-shaped unpaved landing area.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Otto Intermediate Field

as a 153 acre L-shaped property having 3 sand & sod landing strips, the longest being the 4,100' northeast/southwest strip.

The field was said to not have any hangars, to be owned by private interests, and operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.



A 9/16/53 USGS aerial view depicted Otto Intermediate Field as a triangular-shaped unpaved landing area with the radio facility & a few small buildings on the west side.



The 1956 USGS topo map depicted “Otto Airfield” as an L-shaped unpaved landing area.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Otto Intermediate Field was on the 1960 Albuquerque Sectional Chart,

which labeled it as “Otto (FAA)”, and depicted it as having a 4,100' unpaved runway.



Steve Owen reported, “The 1930s Otto airway station house was shut down as of 1962

and eventually moved to the new Moriarty Airport, as was the Otto beacon tower.

Meanwhile, the Otto FSS building & 'delta' antenna towers remained at the old site & became a private enterprise, ('ICE': Ionosphere Communications Experiments).”



The last depiction which has been located of Otto Airfield was on the 1963 USGS topo map.



Otto Intermediate Field was evidently closed at some point between 1960-65,

as it was no longer depicted on the August 1965 Albuquerque Sectional Chart.



Steve Owen reported, “When the Otto CAA Intermediate Field was shut down, one story asserts that the town of Moriarty was offered the airfield.

However, it was too far from town so the Moriarty Airport was developed.



A 1996 USGS aerial view looking northwest showed the remains of the east/west runway at the site of Otto Intermediate Field.



A 2011 photo by Steve Owen of the Otto FSS building, reused for Ionosphere Communications Experiments.



A 2014 aerial view looking northwest showed the remains of the east/west runway at the site of Otto Intermediate Field.



A 2016 photo by Steve Owen of the Otto airway station house (with “Otto” still visible on the roof).



The site of Otto Intermediate Field is located northeast of the intersection of Route 41 & County Road 6A.



Thanks to Matt Franklin for pointing out this airfield.

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Landing Field 78A / Anton Chico Intermediate Field, Anton Chico, NM

35.14, -105.08 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

Anton Chico Intermediate Field was depicted on the March 1932 Albuquerque Sectional Chart as Landing Field #78A.



Anton Chico Intermediate Field was one of the nationwide network of Intermediate Fields

established by the Commerce Department in the 1930s along commercial airways between major cities.

The date of establishment of Anton Chico Intermediate Field has not been determined.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Anton Chico Intermediate Field was on the March 1932 Albuquerque Sectional Chart,

which labeled it as Landing Field 78A, and also depicted Airway Beacon 78B nearby to the southeast.



The earliest photo which has been located of Anton Chico Intermediate Field was a circa 1943-45 aerial view

from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Anton Chico as an irregularly-shaped unpaved landing area.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Anto Chico Intermediate Field

as a 163 acre irregularly-shaped property having 2 sand & sod landing strips, measuring 4,273' north-northwest/south-southeast & 3,615' east-northeast/west-southwest.

The field was said to not have any hangars, to be owned by private interests, and operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.



The last depiction which has been located of Anton Chico Intermediate Field was on the 1960 Albuquerque Sectional Chart,

which labeled it as “Anton Chico (FAA) 79A”, and depicted it as having a 4,300' unpaved runway.



The 1963 USGS topo map depicted an irregularly-shaped property labeled “Anton Chico Landing Area”.



Anton Chico Intermediate Field was evidently closed at some point between 1960-65,

as it was no longer depicted on the August 1965 Albuquerque Sectional Chart.



A 1991 USGS aerial view depicted the remains of Anton Chico Intermediate Field.

Matt Franklin observed, “The defined tracks measure 4,300' (oriented) 16/34 & 3,600' (oriented) 6/24.”



A 2014 aerial view showed Anton Chico Intermediate Field remained recognizable.



The site of Anton Chico Intermediate Field is located southwest of the intersection of County Road 4 L & Sun Ranch Road.



Thanks to Matt Franklin for pointing out this airfield.

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Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield, Cimarron, NM

36.49, -104.95 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

The Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield, as depicted on the September 1936 Trinidad Sectional Chart.

Photo of the airfield while in use has not been located.



This airfield on the north side of the Boy Scout Philmont Ranch “was established in the 1920s”, according to Mark Stinnett (Editor of High Country, the magazine of the Philmont Staff Association).



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield was on the September 1936 Trinidad Sectional Chart.

It depicted Philmont Ranch as an auxiliary airfield.



Mark Rands recalled, “The air charts had a warning to make a pass over the field to chase the buffalo off the runway.”



The Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield, as depicted on the 1958 USGS topo map.



The 1987 USGS topo map depicted a single northeast/southwest “Landing Strip”.



The last reported aircraft use of the Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield was an NTSB summary of an 8/2/88 accident

in which a Beech B23 Musketeer departed from the field but subsequently crashed due to water contamination of its fuel.



The 1990-91 NM Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Alex Hauzer) depicted “CS Ranch” Airfield at the general location of Philomont – was this the same airfield?

CS Ranch was depicted with the “Warning – uncertain or unknown” airfield symbol, and shown to have a 3,800' unpaved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of the Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield was a 1991 USGS aerial view looking west.

The runway looked very deteriorated.



A 2010 aerial view looking west showed the Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield runway remained recognizable, along with a segmented circle marking in the lower-right.



The Philmont Scout Ranch Airfield is located on the west side of Route 21, one mile north of the Scout Ranch headquarters.



Thanks to Mark Rands for pointing out this airfield.

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CCES Airfield, Mills, NM

36.08, -104.43 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

A 9/29/97 USGS aerial view looking southwest at the CCES Airfield.



No airfield at this location was yet depicted on the February 1968 Albuquerque Sectional Chart.



The Canyon Colorado Equine Sanctuary (CCES) was established by William Gruenerwald,

a petroleum geologist who made money in the oil business & proceeded to spend a lot of it on an extraordinary personal crusade.

His objective was to protect zebras, onagers, kulans and other wild relatives of the domestic horse from the threat of extinction.

The focal point of his work is the CCES, a 6,000-acre private preserve which includes solar-heated shelters, grain- & hay-storage sheds, water tanks,

residential buildings and a headquarters complex with an aircraft hangar, modern offices and a veterinary clinic.



John Love reported, “The first USGS image I found had an aircraft sitting next to the hangar & the airstrip was still in good condition.

As I remember the image was made in the late 1970s.

A building has C.C.E.S. lettering on the concrete apron of a small hangar.”



The earliest depiction which is available of the CCES Airfield was a 9/29/97 USGS aerial photo.

It depicted 2 paved runways, with a ramp & hangar to the southeast of the runway intersection.



The 1998 USGS topo map depicted 2 unpaved runways, labeled simply as “Landing Strips”,

along with a single small building to the southeast of the runway intersection.



A 7/20/04 aerial photo showed large “C.C.E.S.” letters painted in black on the ramp in front of the hangar.



The only photo which has been located showing an aircraft at the CCES Airfield was an 8/13/04 aerial view,

showing a light twin-engine aircraft (Beech Baron?) on the ramp next to the hangar.



A 5/8/09 aerial photo showed the “C.C.E.S.” letters had been repainted in white on the ramp in front of the hangar.



As of 2013, no airfield was listed at this location in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory data nor depicted on aeronautical charts.



A February 2014 aerial view looking north at the CCES airfield.

The photographer observed, “The entire perimeter has a tall chainlink fence that appears to be in great condition.”



A February 2014 aerial view looking east at the CCES hangar & ramp.



A 2015 aerial view looking northwest showed the CCES Airfield to remain intact, though the runways were somewhat deteriorated.



A 2015 aerial view of the CCES hangar & ramp.



The CCES Airfield is located at the northeast terminus of Mills Canyon Road.



Thanks to John Love for pointing out this airfield.

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(Original) Taos Airport / Kachina Airport, Taos, NM

36.38, -105.59 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

Taos Airport, as depicted on the March 1949 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



The original airport for the town of Taos was located on the southwest side of the town.

The Taos Airport was evidently established at some point between 1945-49,

as it was not yet listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

The earliest depiction of the Taos Airport which has been located

was on the March 1949 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Taos as having a 2,900' unpaved runway.



The Taos Airport may have been closed at some point between 1949-57,

as it was not depicted at all on the November 1957 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Brooks).



At some point between 1957-59, the airport was evidently reopened under the name of "Kachina"

as that is how it was listed in the 1959 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Kachina as having 2 unpaved runways: 3,871, Runway 7/25 & 2,812' Runway 5/23.

Several buildings were depicted around a ramp at the northeast corner of the field.



Kachina Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1959-64,

as the field was labeled simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1964 USGS topo map,

which typically indicates that the airfield was closed by that point.



A single runway at the former Kachina Airport were still depicted on the 1996 USGS topo map,

but it was labeled simply as "Landing Strip".



In the 1997 USGS aerial photo, the outline of Kachina's primary runway was still somewhat recognizable,

even though the majority of the property had been covered with new construction.



The site of Kachina Airport is located west of the intersection of Route 585 & Route 68.

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Zia Field, Taos, NM

36.37, -105.64 (Northeast of Albuquerque, NM)

Zia Field, as depicted on the March 1949 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



This general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1945-49,

as it was not yet listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

The earliest reference to Zia Field which has been located on the March 1949 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Zia as having a 4,700' unpaved runway.



Zia Field had 3 unpaved runways: 4,700' Runway 8/26, 4,600' Runway 5/23, and 3,800' Runway 17/35.



The November 1957 Trinidad Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Brooks)

depicted Zia Field as having a 4,700' unpaved runways.



The 3 runways of Zia Field were still depicted on the 1964 USGS topo map, but it was labeled simply as "Landing Field".

An unpaved ramp was also depicted, east of the runway intersection, but no buildings were depicted.



Zia Field was described in the "Unattended Airports" section of the 1967 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy)

as having 3 unpaved runways: 4,600' Runway 5/23, 2,700' Runway 8/26, and 3,800' Runway 17/35.



The last chart depiction of Zia as an active airfield which has been located

was on the February 1968 Trinidad Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



Zia Field was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1968-79.



The 3 runways of Zia Field were still depicted on the 1979 USGS topo map,

but they were labeled simply as "Landing Strips", which typically indicates that the airfield was closed by that point.



The 3 runways of Zia Field were still depicted on the 1996 USGS topo map, but it was labeled simply as "Landing Field".

An unpaved ramp was also depicted, east of the runway intersection, but no buildings were depicted.



As can be seen in the 1997 USGS aerial photo, the site of Zia Field has been covered with residential streets & houses.

However, remarkably, the outline of all 3 former runways were still apparent,

around & through the streets which have otherwise covered the site.

It does not appear as if any airfield buildings have remained at the site.



Zia Field is located west of the intersection of Cuchilla Road & West Romero Road.



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