Colfax County is located in northeastern New Mexico, where the plains meet the Rockies. It was established on January 25, 1869 during the height of the New Mexico gold rush. The towns of Cimarron and Springer thrived on the many goods and services that were brought by merchants on the Santa Fe Trail. Raton, the County Seat, was created at the base of Raton Pass, the highest point on the Santa Fe Trail, after the establishment of the railroad in the 1880’s.
The present day Colfax County Building was built in 1936. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It is also listed as a historic building on the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway.
The county encompasses 3,771 square miles of beautiful mountains, grassy plains, lakes, rivers, and geological wonders like the Raton Basin. The Raton Basin is known for its well-preserved exposures of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–T boundary), showing evidence of a large meteorite impact which is believed to be the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs. Although the county has its roots in ranching, mining, and the railroad, tourism plays a major role in the county’s economy. Visitors can take advantage of several transportation opportunities including three airports, Amtrak passenger train service in Raton, and many historic and scenic highways.
Colfax County offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hunting, hiking, shooting, golfing, camping, and wildlife viewing. It also offers a number of special events such as rodeos, festivals, and parades.
Colfax County is located in New Mexico's Third Congressional District served by United States Congressman Ben Ray Lujan.