Emily Medvec | Realtor
Emily Medvec

Eldorado Real Estate Analysis

Jump To:

Eldorado at Santa Fe  

El Dorado At Santa Fe

Eldorado at Santa Fe is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.  It is part of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 6,130 at the 2010 census.

This upper middle class community is locally known as Eldorado (occasionally, El Dorado). Eldorado’s attractive physical setting, large areas of protected open space, protective covenants, excellent elementary school, and convenience to Santa Fe, have made it a popular place to live in the Santa Fe area.

Eldorado Pre-History

Archaic Indians lived and hunted in the Eldorado area; archaeologists and others have found Clovis points, but little detailed information is available about these earliest settlers.

Around 600 AD, Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) settlers established farms and small pueblos in the area. These settlements endured until about 1325 AD, when a disastrous drought forced abandonment of what became the Eldorado area. Some inhabitants probably moved to the Galisteo, New Mexico area, which itself was abandoned about 1450, as were all of the nearby pueblos except Pecos.

Formal archaeological investigations began about 1914 when Nels C. Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History partially excavated Pueblo Alamo near the present-day junction of I-25 with US-285. Unfortunately, Pueblo Alamo was almost completely destroyed by the construction of I-25 around 1971, although some salvage archaeology was done.

Another, smaller pueblo, Chamisa Locita or Pueblo Walls (site LA-4) remains largely undisturbed on undeveloped private land, but it has no formal protection.

Eldorado History

Eldorado at Santa Fe

Santa Fe County, NM, Incorporated and Unicorporated Areas Eldorado at Santa Fee Highlighted

Eldorado lies entirely within the Canada de los Alamos Grant, a Spanish land grant which dates back to 1785. In 1883, the entire grant was sold for US$2,000. As recorded in 1894, and patented by the US government, the size of the grant was about 12,068 acres (49 km2).

In 1901, the Onderdonk Land & Cattle company bought both the Canada de los Alamos Grant and the adjacent Bishop John Lamy Grant for $10,000. The Lamy Grant was about 16,546 acres (67 km2) when patented by the USA in 1874.

The Onderdonk Ranch operated both grants as a cattle ranch into the 1950s. The ranch was sold to the Simpson family in 1956, who continued to operate the ranch until 1969, when the Simpsons sold out to the American Realty and Petroleum Corporation (AMREP) for $3.2 million, or about $118.50/acre.

AMREP proceeded to develop about 6,000 acres (24 km2) of their 27,000-acre (109 km2) purchase as Eldorado at Santa Fe, selling the first lots in 1972. For the first ten years, development was slow—only about 200 houses were built. After 1983, when AMREP won a lawsuit over water rights, the pace of development quickened. Many passive solar houses were built, and Eldorado remains the largest solar community in the USA.

AMREP platted about 2700 lots in the original Eldorado subdivisions. As of 2007, the original Eldorado subdivisions are essentially built-out, with only a few vacant lots on the market. There are large areas of vacant private land adjacent.

There are an additional 20 or so newer subdivisions along U.S. Route 285, locally called the 285 Corridor, between Eldorado at Santa Fe and Lamy. Most of these offer larger lots and more expensive houses than Eldorado. Most are served by the Eldorado community water utility. Informally, the adjacent subdivisions, such as Belicia, Dos Griegos and The Ridges, are also called “Eldorado”, but they have different covenants and no formal ties to the original AMREP subdivision.


The Santa Fe Southern Railway passes through the center of Eldorado, and excursion train rides are offered to Santa Fe. There have been proposals to offer a commuter train service.

View Eldorado in Santafe in a larger map

Eldorado, Santa Fe School Data

Santa Fe School Districts

Pojoaque Valley Public Schools
Santa Fe Public Schools
Juvenile Justice
Nm Corrections
Nm School For Arts
The Master Program
San Ildefonso Day School
Te Tsu Geh Oweenge Day School
Santa Fe Indian School
New Mexico Connections Academy

Santa Fe Schools

Pablo Roybal Elementary School
PK-3, public
Pojoaque High School
9-12, public
Pojoaque Middle School
7-8, public
Pojoaque Intermediate School
4-5, public
n/a, public
Acequia Madre Elementary School
K-6, public
Agua Fria Elementary School
PK-8, public
Alvord Elementary School
K-6, public
Atalaya Elementary School
K-6, public
Carlos Gilbert Elementary School
K-6, public
Chaparral Elementary School
K-6, public
De Vargas Middle School
7-8, public
E.J. Martinez Elementary School
K-6, public
Francis X. Nava Elementary School
K-6, public
Gonzales Elementary School
K-8, public
Kaune Elementary School
K-6, public
Kearny Elementary School
K-6, public
Larragoite Elementary School
K-6, public
Salazar Elementary School
K-6, public
Santa Fe High School
9-12, public
Wood-Gormley Elementary School
K-6, public
Alameda Magnet School
7-8, public
Edward Ortiz Middle School
6-8, public
Calvin Capshaw Middle School
7-8, public
Pinon Elementary School
K-6, public
Great Schools Logo

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 8:33 am by Emily Medvec

  • Facebook Feed

  • Contact Me