Ranch on the Rio Bonito – Lincoln County


99.67± Acres
84.67± Acres Deeded

Ranch on the Rio Bonito – $2,700,000

Welcome to one of the jewels of the Capitan Mountains and Lincoln National Forest, historic Lincoln County and the Quarter Horse capital of the world. The Ranch of the Rio Bonito is a water-rich, multi-purpose property. The Rio Bonito and its 1853 water rights are lifeblood of the property, supplying water to the 42 irrigated acres of rich farmland and to the three large fishing ponds and one tail water trap holding trophy rainbow trout and large mouth bass. The park-like setting of 42 irrigated acres, with 15 +/ more acres sub-irrigated, the four beautiful ponds, the winding live water stream, mountain views and wooded areas are among the many attractive amenities this property has to offer.

The main residence, a charming 3 bedroom ranch house, is complimented by five additional cabins sprinkled throughout the property, each thoughtfully nestled into ideal locations. A 4,600 sq. ft. building near the main residence once served as a bustling farm-to-table restaurant and is versatile enough to be used for a variety of purposes. The building features a spacious wood floor great room with a large stone fireplace and picture windows overlooking the main pond and lush farm. With all of the commercial restaurant equipment still on site, the building could be easily brought back to its former glory of serving fresh foods to hungry patrons.

The property would make a superb equestrian facility. An existing 5900 sq. ft horse barn with 60 round pen, 10 stalls, tack room, feed room, tool room, 16 breezeway and two attached traps are already built. Adjacent to them is enough open space for a full size indoor or outdoor arena. In the pastures, the sprinkler system was selected for safe horse grazing while leaving the sprinklers in the pasture. Multiple living quarters on the property would serve well for overnight guests, trainers and possibly horse hotel visitors.

Lush green irrigated pastures, wooded areas, wetlands and great views of the Capitan Mountains create privacy and seclusion but is all within a 30 minute drive to the mountain resort town of Ruidoso. Only 2 miles to the east of the ranch is downtown Lincoln, home the famed Billy The Kid, the Lincoln County Courthouse and the Lincoln County Wars. This famous and important piece of western history is alive and well on the ranch and artifacts from that time are still found on the property. Roswell is a one hour drive and provides a regional airport, medical facilities, shopping, and other goods and services.

Historically, the current owner has run a farm-to-table restaurant, dude ranch and livestock operation on the land. The irrigated land can support approx. 45 pairs of cattle and the current owner runs 30 pair of sheep as well. In past years it has supported 300 head of sheep. Three horses, two mules and three llamas also graze the land.

Acre-for-acre, this is one of the most well-watered properties you can find. The property comes with 42 acres of deeded water rights. The water is served by two irrigation ditches, one which is a private irrigation ditch with no other neighbors in line. In 2013 a supplemental well was installed and permitted by the state engineer for any needed additional water. The property also features two large springs. Because of the abundance of water already on the property, the owners have never been compelled to develop the springs, but they sit as another potential source of water for a future owner. The three large fishing ponds are also reservoirs with irrigation pumps for the irrigated pastures. The majority of irrigation is supplied by K-Line an innovative sprinkler system which is one of the few systems that can remain in the pasture while grazing. This system has shown to be outstanding with horses, cattle as well as sheep. Each pasture has redundant irrigation systems, allowing the operator to choose from flood irrigation or sprinkler irrigation. Much of the flood irrigation system is still intact allowing irrigation in the event of power loss or pump maintenance.

The main home is a 2370+/- sq. ft ranch home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Wood burning stoves, central heating and central cooling system keep the home heated and cooled. A hot tub sits on the back porch with great views of the pastures, mountains and ponds. In addition to the main home, there are a series of 5 guest cabins throughout the property. The cabins are great for guests or can be used for revenue. There is also a 4600 sq. ft. restaurant building with large walk in freezer and cooler, with 2 small apartments on it’s second floor for additional housing options. The restaurant building could also be converted into a residential structure or used for a variety of purposes. It features a large stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling picture windows with tremendous views.

42 acres of irrigated pasture are at the heart of this property. There are 7 pastures for livestock rotation, all with good fencing. There is a new set of cattle pens and chutes, just built in 2019. The property has a 90’x110′ barn with 10 stalls, large tack and feed rooms and a small shop. There is also a beautiful 60′ round pen. There are two very large greenhouses with heating and cooling systems. These greenhouses once grew the produced used in the restaurant and are now used by the owner for personal use and enjoyment. As mentioned before, the irrigation systems are redundant, giving the owner a choice between flood irrigation or sprinkler irrigation. All pumps and systems are in top working condition and maintained regularly.

This Ranch on the Rio Bonito sits 2 miles from the historic downtown of Lincoln, New Mexico and is in the Lincoln Historic District. The ordinance can be viewed at the Lincoln County web site. This little town is the home of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County Wars. This place was one of the most important crossroads of the American West. There are many historic things to see and experience in the immediate area. Only 30 minutes from the ranch is the popular mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico. Skiing, museums, hiking, fishing restaurants and golfing are all top notch in Ruidoso, making it a wonderful recreational option for the family and friends..


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