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About the Ramah Area

In 1882 Mormon farmers settled along Cebolla Creek which is fed by run off from the Oso Ridge of the Zuni Mountains. They named the settlement Ramah.  It currently has a population of about 407.

Ramah Museum
A great history of the Ramah area can be found at the Ramah Museum, located in one of the old homes of the village. The house is listed in the National Historic Register. Hours at the museum are Fridays from 1-4 p.m. For more information about the museum call 505-783-4215. There is fertile land and a little water in the Ramah Valley, enough of each for people to settle on and grow crops. The Ramah Valley has been inhabited for centuries, remnants of the earlier people evident by petroglyphs and widely scattered ruins.

Candy Kitchen, NM
Old-timers tell the story of a New Mexico homesteader who was making a little moonshine on his ranch during the days of prohibition. Making this illegal liquor takes sugar, but the government kept a close eye on folks buying sugar in large amounts. The rancher came up with the clever plan to make and sell pinon nut candy as a front for his moonshine production. Local patrons came to get candy over the counter and "candy" under the counter. Soon, the homestead became known as "The Candy Kitchen" and the name stuck. Today, Candy Kitchen, New Mexico is a small mountain community.  What is left of the original ranch house is now the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary ( The sanctuary is approximately 14 miles south of NM Highway 53.  West of El Morro Monument take paved BIA road 125 south for almost 7 miles to unpaved BIA road 120 continue 4 miles further south to Candy Kitchen.

El Morro & El Morro Old School Gallery
El Morro means the headlands and as you drive west on NM Highway 53 from the Continental Divide the first prominent geological feature you see is EL Morro Lookout.  It is an impressive sandstone mesa which dominates the landscape and obscures the much smaller mesa further to the west which is El Morro National Monument and Inscription Rock. At the extreme  northern end of El Morro lookout, lies a few residences, a restaurant, RV park with a couple of cabins and the El Morro Old School Gallery.  The Gallery is home to the El Morro Area Arts Council (EMAAC). The Council is a vibrant, non-profit organization which celebrates diversity, thrives on the sharing of creative ideas through programs, exhibitions and workshops, and supports a community-centered activity hub for traditional and contemporary arts. Old School Gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday, 11-5. For more information, or if you would like to join and support our efforts, please contact EMAAC at 505-783-4710 or their web site: http://www.

Here is what the Frommer's staff had to say about Ramah
The diverse culture and history surrounded by open prairies and pink buttes is why we have selected Ramah, New Mexico as an up and coming destination. The city itself is rich with Mormon history, although the mix of ancestral roots from Spanish settlers to Texan bean farmers can be seen. Bordered by the Zuni and Ramah Navajo Reservations, the intense pride for their heritage seems to radiate everywhere. The El Morro National Monument is a centuries old collection of messages inscribed on a sandstone rock by Native Americans, Spaniards and other travelers.

A Must: The Ramah Farmers Market, where locals bring lettuce, spinach, beets, onions and carrots sit on tables and in bins amid the honey-like scent of flowers happens every weekend. Stop to enjoy a hazelnut cookie or raspberry tarts. Live guitar music lilts out across irrigated fields where horses and cattle graze.
(Reprinted from "The Top 10 Up and Coming Destinations For 2006" By The Frommer's Staff, December 1, 2005)

Ramah Lake
Ramah Lake is man made.  In 1893 the Mormon pioneers labored to build a dike accross Cebolla Creek as it emerged from between to small mesas.  The reservoir provides additional irrigation for the little more than ten inches of annual rainfall. During the latter part of the 19th century the valley's fields provided the entire potato crop for the city of Gallup. The dam failed twice, once in 1897 and again in 1905 because of heavy runoff during the spring thaws. Today, Ramah Lake is a popular fishing site in the area. Trout and catfish are plentiful. The lake is a no-wake lake and is a picturesque spot for a short hike and picnic.

El Morro National Monument Inscription Rock
They passed this way. They are the Ancient Ones, the Spanish, the Forty-niners and the graffiti artists of this century. And they all passed El Morro National Monument. The sandstone bluff rising from the floor of the El Morro Valley has been a landmark and haven for centuries. The Ancient Ones, the Anasazi, built their apartment-like homes atop the bluff and made their marks along the sandstone walls at its base. The first inscription made by the Europeans was that by Don Juan de Onate, the first governor of New Mexico under rule by Spain. His inscription reads in part, "passed by here... the 16th of April of 1605." The Pilgrims didn't land at Plymouth Rock until 1620. The Monument is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Check at the Visitor Center for special events. In the Visitor Center, there is a display chronicling the people and cultures who came to find water. A fine book store is at the Visitor Center. Works are of local interest and for all ages of readers. The trails are well kept so comfortable walking shoes are recommended. El Morro National Monument is one mile from El Morro Cabins, Cafe, and RV Park. Call the Monument Headquarters for more information, (505) 783-4226. Website:

The Pueblo Of Zuni
The Village of Zuni, which sits atop the older place of Halona, lays claim to be the oldest continually, inhabited settlement on the continent. Continuity is its heritage. Many designs on modern pottery and other arts and crafts can be traced back to the Anasazi, "The Ancient Ones," of the Southwest. The Anasazi Culture disappeared in the 13th century from places like Chaco Canyon, a hundred or so miles to the north. Some of those people are thought to have come to Zuni, to Acoma and to the pueblos along the Rio Grande River in central New Mexico.

The Spanish, in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola, sometimes known as the Seven Cities of Gold, came upon Zuni in 1539. The word Cibola is thought to be a Spanish corruption of the Zuni word for bison, the American buffalo. At the time of the Spanish incursion the Zuni people lived in about half a dozen settlements scattered far and wide, places like Hawikuh, Keehiba:wa and Halona, which is under the present pueblo.

New Mexico USDA Hardines Zones

The narrow strip of western New Mexico along the "continental divide" is classified in the USDA Hardiness zone system as 5a & 5b.  Black Sheep Mesa is probably zone 5b.  It has a total annual precipitation of about 12 inches, most of which comes during the winter as snow and late summer rains.  The driest 3 months are April through June with the first half of the year being drier than the second half.  The area averages 120 frost free days, but first and last frost dates vary widely from the average.


New Mexico Life Zones

The "Life Zones" as illustrated below are characterized by various plant associations, which are impacted by temperature, humidity & elevation.  Micro-climates are created in any given area by changes of slope into or away from the sun, shade, increased precipitaion due to local terrain, prevailing winds, and etc. The illustration below is reprinted from "Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands" by Francis Elmore and illustrated by Jeanne Janish.


Note: 1. I have added the zone names in red and the sagebrush as they appeared in "Flowers of the Southwest Mountains" by
              Leslie Arnberger and illustrated by Jeanne Janish.
         2. Climbing up 1000 ft. is the equivalent of traveling to a climate 500 miles north.

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 Site Created: Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Site last modified :Sunday, April 19, 2009
Copyright 1997, 2000 by: Earth Spirit Therapies
Page last modified:Sunday, April 19, 2009