The Circle A Ranch is part of what once was the traditional Navajo and Apache summer camps and grazing lands. During Spanish rule the year-round Rito de los Pinos (Pine Creek) made the area valuable for colonial rancheros. The present borders were established in 1910 by John Young, a Mormon colonist and US Forest Service ranger.
In the 1920’s, when artistic-minded easterners were attracted to northern New Mexico’s enchanting landscapes, the present two-story adobe lodge was built and a dude ranch established. The nearest post office and telephone exchange were 65 miles away. The route here from the city was a dirt road through the pueblos of the Santa Ana, Zia, and Jemez. It was a hard trip, but folks came.