The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch presents a rare opportunity to acquire vast ranch lands with superb recreational and development potential within minutes of suburban Albuquerque, New Mexico.Owned by the family of former New Mexico Gov. Bruce King, the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch encompasses 60,000± deeded acres and 14,000± leased acres northwest of the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho. This working ranch located in Sandoval County has pastures of native grasses and superb populations of big game. On its southeastern boundary, the ranch borders unincorporated land adjacent to Rio Rancho, one of the fastest growing cities in New Mexico. The ranch also borders two Native American pueblos—the Zia Pueblo to the north and the Laguna Pueblo to the west and south. Rio Puerco, a seasonal tributary of the Rio Grande, marks the western boundary of the ranch, as well. The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch encompasses the southern half of Mesa Prieta, a stirring geologic landmark. From the top of the mesa, there are dramatic views of the Pecos and Jemez Mountains to the north, the lights of Albuquerque to the east, and Mount Taylor to the west. A diverse terrain of rolling grassy hills, sandstone bluffs, canyons, and mesas creates excellent habitat for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope, as well as several species of quail, Barbary sheep, and mountain lion. The ranch is in GMU 9 with a liberal allotment of tags managed by the landowner and is known for trophy-size elk with Boone & Crockett scores in the high 300s. A four-season cattle operation, the ranch has a maintenance facility at the headquarters with cattle pens throughout the property, two wells, miles of pipeline, and numerous dirt stock tanks. The current owner has grazed 1,100 to 1,200 animal units on the property, reducing the size of the herd during droughts to 400 to 500 animal units. Since its purchase in 1961 by the late Gov. King and his brothers, the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch has been operated as part of the King Brothers Ranch, one of New Mexico’s legacy ranches.
Just the Facts
• Acreage: 60,000± deeded; 14,000± leased
• Sandoval County
• Elevation: About 5,750 to 7,100 feet above sea level
• Rio Rancho: 9.4 miles to Rio Rancho city center and 4.3 miles to city limits at nearest point
• Albuquerque: 17.5 miles
• Santa Fe: 63 miles
• Albuquerque International Sunport: 22 miles
• Double Eagle II Airport, Bernalillo County: 9 miles
• Ranching facilities: maintenance building, cattle pens, horse traps, pipeline
• Two wells, numerous dirt stock tanks, two playa lakes
• Game Management Unit 9
A LAND OF MANY CONTRASTSThe landscape of central New Mexico is some of the most dramatic and varied in the state, marked by steep buttes, large flat-topped mesas, and volcanic formations of singular beauty. Between the canyons are open grasslands, good for cattle and big game alike. The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch is one with this incredible land – vast, open, original, and unspoiled – yet the ranch is only a few minutes’ drive from Albuquerque, the state’s largest city and a vibrant hub of arts, industry, and commerce. It is a rare thing to find such a large ranch with contiguous deeded acreage and unspoiled natural beauty so close to a major metropolitan area.AIRPORTSAlbuquerque International Sunport, New Mexico’s largest full-service airport, is about 22 miles from the southeast corner of the ranch and offers non-stop flights to numerous destinations, including Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth. Double Eagle II Airport, a public general aviation airport owned by the city of Albuquerque, has two paved runways and is just nine miles southeast of the ranch in Bernalillo County.THE RANCHWithin its 106± square miles, the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch encompasses very diverse terrain, from rolling hills and grasslands, to sandstone canyons and arroyos, to Mesa Prieta, which dominates the western side of the ranch. Elevations rise from about 5,750 feet above sea level at the lower elevations to more than 7,100 feet atop Mesa Prieta. Elevations are generally around 6,400 feet above sea level near the eastern boundary of the ranch.The diverse terrain and vegetation create excellent grazing opportunities throughout the year.The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch supports a true four-season cattle operation. The current owners have run as many as 1,200 animal units, reducing the herd to 400 to 500 animal units in times of drought to preserve range quality.The deeded and leased acreage is contiguous, which facilitates driving the cattle seasonally through a series of pastures, from the sheltering canyons in the winter to the top of Mesa Prieta in the spring and summer to take advantage of the fresh new grass, some of the best on the ranch. There are several pastures varying in size from 30,000± to 10,000± acres, including a 10,000± acre fenced pasture for calving.VegetationThe ranch has a wide range of vegetation, from xeric shrub brush to lush grasslands. Gramma grasses predominate, with plentiful sand dropseed, galleta, and other native grasses. Chamisa, sagebrush, and four-wing saltbrush provide year-round browse for the cattle. Piñon and juniper grow on the flanks of the mesa and in the flats, while cottonwoods stand tall in the canyons where water gathers.“There’s so much good browse that you have places where you can winter the cows and not feed them and then you can drive them up to the higher areas where some of the best grass is.” - Bill King, owner
It is truly rare for a ranch and recreational property like the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch to come to market. Perhaps once every twenty years or so, an opportunity to purchase a property like this presents itself. With its size, location, privacy, contiguous acreage, and proximity to a major metropolitan area, the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch is second to none. From an agricultural perspective, the ranch can support a sustainable livestock operation. Recreationally speaking, the land is home to a wide variety of wildlife and is situated in a strong migratory corridor with enough acreage to sustain animals year around. The habitat is excellent. Minimal improvements give a buyer a blank canvas on which to create. The fact that this ranch has 60,000 deeded acres, all of which are contiguous, so close to a major – and growing city – is an added value.A client once told me, “The only way you sell a ranch right is by buying it right.” I’ve seen the wisdom in his advice many times over the years. It’s important to consider the long-range prospects for a property, not just its immediate market value. The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch offers an excellent opportunity to invest capital in a long-term, tangible asset with future growth potential.
Learn about the locale
The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch is located entirely in Sandoval County, with its headquarters less than 20 miles northwest of downtown Albuquerque. Extending 12 miles north to south and about 15 miles east to west at its widest points, the ranch encompasses more than 106± square miles of remarkably diverse terrain.On its southeast side, the ranch borders unincorporated land adjacent to the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho. This land is platted for development and owned by AMREP Southwest, the principal developer of Rio Rancho. Several roads provide access to the ranch from Encino Road NW, a north-south artery west of Rio Rancho.State Highway 550 runs north-northwest from Interstate 25, about seven and a half miles from the northeastern boundary of the ranch. There are no public roads or highways within the boundaries of the King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch, which is a rare advantage for such a large property. From the Laguna Pueblo on the west and south, to the Zia Pueblo on the north, to the Rio Puerco on the west, the ranch is entirely private and protected from public access.
Sandoval County is the fourth most populous county in New Mexico and, at the same time, one of the most rugged and sparsely settled at its western reaches. The county includes the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, as well as the historic county seat of Bernalillo, the setting for a Sam Shepard play and scenes from Willa Cather’s famed 1927 novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Portions of the Bandelier National Monument and the Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests also extend into Sandoval County. The greater Albuquerque metropolitan area, located primarily in neighboring Bernalillo County, has more than 900,000 residents and is home to the University of New Mexico, numerous science and technology companies, and research institutions.The Rio Grande runs through Albuquerque. The Sandia Mountains rise east of the city, offering endless opportunities for year-round wilderness adventures, including snow skiing at Sandia Peak Ski Area.Santa Fe, with its museums, galleries, restaurants, and world-renowned shopping, is about an hour’s drive from the ranch.New Mexico, with its wild terrain and colorful cities, has become a favorite location for moviemakers and television producers. The state boasts the largest crew base between the two coasts. The New Mexico Film Office (www.nmfilm.com) maintains a database of more than 8,000 possible locations, which enables property owners to attract film makers and tap into a new and interesting revenue stream.
Sandoval County has a semi-arid climate with lots of sunshine, warm summers, and generally mild winters. Rainfall averages about 11.5 inches a year with snowfall averaging 14 inches at lower elevations. July average high temperatures reach into the upper 80s and lower 90s during the day with temperatures cooling into the 60s and 70s at night. January lows can drop into the teens with highs regularly reaching into the lower 40s. Consistently low humidity throughout the year makes both the highest and lowest temperatures more comfortable.
For more than 10,000 years, the lands of New Mexico have beckoned hunters and settlers – from the pre-historic Paleo-Indians and Ancient Puebloans to the 16th century Spanish conquistadors, sheepherders, homesteaders, ranchers, and innovators of today. Hundreds of significant archeological sites throughout the state continue to yield clues about the earliest human inhabitants of the American Southwest. Rock art at Petroglyph National Monument on the southwestern side of Albuquerque and the pueblos at Chaco Canyon near Nageez offer tantalizing glimpses of a society that flourished between 800 and 1250 A.D.,before all but vanishing in the 14th century.Conquistadors in search of gold traversed the New Mexico lands claiming territory for Spain, followed by Catholic priests claiming souls for the Church. Both left indelible legacies that shaped the New Mexico of today.The Spanish influence is very much alive in Albuquerque, which was founded by the Spaniards in 1706 as a military outpost on the Camino Real. From a small frontier community of just 8,000 in 1900, Albuquerque has grown rapidly, expanding as a military town (Kirtland Air Force Base in 1939, Sandia Base in 1940) and then as a center for research and development (Sandia National Laboratories in 1949), to become the 21st Century hub of a major metropolitan area.The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch, too, has had its own role in New Mexico’s agricultural history, as a holding of the legendary King Brothers ranch operation. Purchased in 1961 by former Gov. Bruce King and his brothers, the Alamo Ranch once included 140,000± deeded and 40,000± leased acres. The King family sold large portions of the ranch to the developers of Rio Rancho over the years. The current 60,000± acres for sale bridge the past and the future, offering ruggedly beautiful terrain, wildlife habitat, and grazing land in the central and western sections of the property and developable land adjacent to unincorporated subdivisions on the east.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 60,000±
State Leased Acres: 14,000±
Total Leased Acres: 14,000±
Total Acres: 74,000±
* All acreages are approximations.
Area AttractionsAlbuquerque International Balloon Festival - Albuquerque, NMEach October, more than 500 balloonists come to New Mexico for the world-famous Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. The nine-day event features flying competitions, balloon rides, chainsaw carving, and much more.Sandia Peak Ski Area- Albuquerque, NMJust 45 minutes east of Albuquerque, Sandia Peak Ski Area has more than three dozen runs of varying degrees of difficulty from beginner to black diamond.Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque, NMOne of the largest petroglyphs sites in North America, this national park protects and conserves rock art produced by Native Americans and Spanish settlers between 400 and 700 years ago. Petroglyph viewing trails lead visitors through the canyons of the park.Chaco Culture National Historical Park - Nageezi, NMOne of the finer examples of Ancestral Puebloan architecture, the massive pueblos at Chaco Canyon were built and occupied between 850 and 1250 A.D. By the middle of the 11th Century, Chaco had become the center of cultural life for the early inhabitants of the San Juan Basin. Dozens of roads connected the great houses of Chaco Canyon to more than 150 other pueblos throughout the region.
RANCHING SUPPORT FACILITIESAt ranch headquarters there is a metal shop, a set of steel pens, and an unoccupied old rock house.Operational facilities throughout the ranch include corrals, pens, and fencing. Ranch roads and fencing are maintained regularly.
The ranch has two wells with drinkers and pipelines that supply water to stock tanks throughout the property.The two main playa lakes hold water year round.
Seller will convey by quit claim deed all mineral rights appurtenant to the property that are owned by Seller, if any, with the sale of the real property.
Learn about the recreational amenities
The King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch has an abundance of big game, especially for a property that is so close to a major urban area. Elk, deer, Barbary sheep, antelope, as well as mountain lions and the occasional bear can be found on the ranch.A large resident elk herd, estimated at 200 to 300 elk, lives primarily in the piñon and juniper forests on the flanks of Mesa Prieta and down in the flats. The current owners have actively managed predators, particularly mountain lions, to support the elk and deer populations.“Pretty much the whole northern half of the ranch is inhabited by elk,” says wildlife biologist Ross Morgan. “I’ve even seen them over by the fence line close to Rio Rancho.”Barbary sheep, migrating east and south from Mount Taylor, also frequent the northern half of Mesa Prieta and occasionally travel through the ranch. Predator control also has improved the population of mule deer on the ranch.Migrating doves can be found around the ranch’s playa lakes in September before fall storms push them southward. In wetter years, coveys of quail inhabit the shrub brush.“It’s a great hunting opportunity, in my opinion. It’s one of the neatest ranches I’ve ever been on.”- Ross Morgan, hunter, conservationist, and wildlife biologistThe King Brothers’ Alamo Ranch is in New Mexico Game Management Unit 9 with a liberal allotment of tags set jointly by the owner and state. The ranch is outside the Core Occupied Elk Range (COER), which enables the landowner to manage his own tags. The current owners of the ranch have managed the elk and deer herds conservatively, using only a fraction of available tags, so as to improve both the size and number of the animals.The ranch regularly produces trophy elk with Boone and Crockett scores in the high 300s, as well as mule deer measuring upwards of 180 inches. “It’s a great opportunity to go out and be able to harvest an elk and a deer on the same ranch, at the same time,” says Morgan.“I’ve killed elk that are over 375 Boone and Crockett and we’ve seen bigger ones.” - Tom Spindle, ranch manager