Chama, New Mexico

Encyclopedia Article


A small village in Northern New Mexico named after the Chama River, a confluence of the Rio Grande River that runs through the state from north to south. The area of the Chama Valley was inhabited by various indigenous peoples until the arrival of the Spanish in the late 1500s. The most influential Native group was the Jicarilla Apache, whose reservation currently lies to the east and the west of the town of Chama. The town itself was first established by Spanish colonizers, and later developed around the western terminus of the Cumbers and Toltec Railroad that was in operation between the years 1880 and 1960. The village still retains its rural, historical character, which makes it a unique tourist destination.

Photo Credit: 

"Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR depot in Chama, NM, June 29, 2014" by Mark Levlsay is licensed under CC BY.

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