Raton is located in Colfax County, and in the Northeast New Mexico region. Located northeast of Santa Fe between Cimarron and the Colorado state line along Interstate 25 near the Vermejo River.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 7,466, an increase of 94 since 1990.
Starting at Willow Springs, a ranch and forage station, the town of Raton emerged on the Santa Fe Trail. It developed when the Topeka, Atchison, and Santa Fe Railroad decided to locate its repair shop at the southern platue of Raton Pass. The hard haul over the pass produced good busines, and gained rest and recovery for both men and machines. The year was 1880.