Dulce, NM, the Archuleta Mesa, and the Redding Ranch [Photos Included]

I’ve been fascinated by the Dulce Base/RIO-AUX since I first heard of it years ago. Originally from Illinois, my parents retired to New Mexico a couple years back, and I also moved later to join them. I’ve been a resident of Albuquerque for about a year and a half now, and my boyfriend and I finally made the day trip up to Dulce, New Mexico to check it out. I used this map by Norio Hayakawa to guide me.

I wasn’t expecting all the land there to be privately owned or on Native American reservation. When we got to Dulce, we drove for about an hour around the mesas there and up into Colorado, just as the map instructs. On our way, there were multiple ranches and lots of private land. I didn’t realize the entire area belonged to people, as I was hoping we’d be able to find a spot somewhere along the way where we could hike and venture up to the Archuleta Mesa. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

We finally started seeing the Redding Ranch gates, and there were a total of four that we came across. All of them led down small dirt paths that were too tight for a car to drive down, except of course for the main gate, the one that says “Beefalo” underneath. That opened up to a large field with a reddish-colored home tucked away behind some trees in the far-off distance. There was also a steel barn visible, along with a couple


There were many “No Trespassing” signs posted…


Ultimately, when we realized there was no legal way of accessing the mesa down Great Spirit Road (as that is the road into the main area of Redding Ranch), we decided not to risk it and enter, since we weren’t comfortable enough doing that, especially since the sign warned the area is patrolled. It left me wondering what sort of ranch is patrolled though, as we came across many other ranches, as mentioned, and their “No Trespassing” signs weren’t nearly as foreboding, nor did they mention anything about being patrolled.

Here are some photos that I got of the Redding Ranch property from the road though. (These photos were taken with my phone, hence the poorer quality.)

More photos:

Because we didn’t enter the property, we weren’t able to check out the bullet-proof guard towers that are supposedly hunting towers up close. This is the best photo I could find of one online though.
I’m not sure who took it or how they managed to get so close. I read somewhere online too about someone who got close enough to these towers to take photographs of the manufacturer, who was Mr. Redding himself. I’m wondering if this property is truly patrolled and also if anyone whose trespassed has ever gotten caught? I was also wondering if there’s anyone here who has been to the Redding Ranch and explored for yourself?

I was closer than I’ve ever been to Dulce, but still so very, very far.

Leave a Reply