Rio Arriba County

Rio Arriba County was the ninth county originally created for the Territory of New Mexico in 1852. The county seat was initially sited at San Pedro de Charmita, and shortly afterwards at Los Luceros. In 1860, the seat was moved to Plaza del Alcalde.

Since 1880, Tierra Amarilla has been the county seat. The Battle of Embudo Pass took place in the southern part of the county during the American invasion in January 1847.

The county has a total area of 5,896 square miles, a population of approximately 40,040, and its northern border is the Colorado state line. It is the fifth largest county in NM by area. The highest point in the county is the summit of Truchas Peak at 13,102 feet. Española is one of the more populated cities in the county with a portion of the central and eastern section in Santa Fe County.

The county has an abundance of outdoor activities and points of interest including Abiquiu Lake, the Chama River (a tributary of the Rio Grande), the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, Puye Cliff Dwellings, and the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Upcoming Events

Instructor Development (Train the Trainer) @ Chaves County Sheriff's Office. Training Room
Mar 27 @ 8:00 am – Mar 31 @ 12:00 pm


This weeklong class will give you the foundation to become a professional and dynamic instructor.  You will learn the principles of learning and teaching, and the qualities of a good instructor.  In addition, we will go over the importance of visual aids and brush up on your PowerPoint skills.  You will also learn how to develop your own curriculum and how to get accredited.  This is a great class with a high energy instructor.  The week will fly by, and you will be eligible to obtain your state certification.

Important: The class will be limited in space.  Please register as soon as possible due to limited space.

Course is free to NMC Law Enforcement Insurance Pool members.  Non-members may inquire about attending (pending availability) for a fee.

Employment Opportunities