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BOSQUE DEL APACHE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE Year-round birding. Visitor center, auto tour and hiking. 16 miles south of Socorro. 575-838-2120.

CITY OF ROCKS STATE PARK

REGIONAL

A city of giant monoliths protruding unexpectedly from the desert floor is located halfway between Silver City and Deming, 5 miles east of US180. The park has a visitor center, hiking trails, and a night sky observatory. Call for the observatory schedule. 575-536-2800.

ELEPHANT BUTTE LAKE STATE PARK New Mexico’s largest lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. Landlovers can find hiking trails, birding, and year-round events. History buffs will love the views of the 1916 dam and historic district at Dam Site Recreation Area. 575-744-5421.

FORT SELDEN An 1800s cavalry fort that was utilized by the Buffalo Soldiers. A year-round visitor center and living history demonstrations on weekends May through September. Nineteenth century military encampments second Saturdays monthly year-round. 575-526-8911

GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS NAT’L MON. Follow the “Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway” north from Silver City along NM15 or NM35 to the national monument visitor center. Printed matter and a movie provide information about the 13th century inhabitants of this pristine area. The Cliff Dwellings are accessible by a short, well-maintained trail. 575-536-9344.

NM FARM & RANCH HERITAGE MUSEUM A large and intriguing display of farm and ranch implements from the early Anasazi to modern times. See live milking demonstrations and special presentations. 575-522-4100.

OLD MESILLA A picturesque and historic Mexican/Old West plaza is surrounded by a stately church and 1800s buildings filled with fabulous shopping and dining opportunities. Additional shopping plazas with a charm all their own are continuing to expand along Avenida de Mesilla. 575-524-3262

THE RIO GRANDE New Mexico’s lifeline flows through the Old West communities of Socorro, T or C and Las Cruces. It contributed water and food for early traders along El Camino Real and now supports industry, agriculture, recreation and individual needs for New Mexico’s central corridor. Visit the El Camino Real International Heritage Center off I-25 at exit 115.

ROCKHOUND STATE PARK Rock specimens scattered across the slopes of the Florida (Flor-eeda) Mountains simply offer a great excuse to explore the area. Rockhounds meet regularly in the area southeast of Deming for demonstrations, sales and trading. 575-546-6782.

THE CIBOLA NATIONAL FOREST Magdalena Dist. made up of the largest collection of historic ranchlands in New Mexico. 575-854-2281.

THE PLAINS OF SAN AGUSTIN The largest and highest grassland in North America, and watch for grazing antelope. 866-854-3217.

VERY LARGE ARRAY RADIO TELESCOPE Twenty-seven dish-shaped antennas are spread across three 13-mile tracks, one of which crosses US60 between Socorro and Reserve. A visitor center explains the mission of the project sponsored by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. 575-388-8201.

VETERANS MEMORIAL A permanent Vietnam Memorial Wall has been erected in Truth or Consequences to honor those who gave their lives for their country. 575-894-6600.

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OLD WEST TRAVELER www.ziapublishing.com

A new experience awaits at every turn – forts, ghost towns and missions, ancient cultures, scenic vistas, rocks and lakes, migratory birds, a whole valley filled with radio telescopes and the first purpose built spaceport. Take your pick, you can’t go wrong with any of the numerous attractions in the Southwest region. The stark beauty of the region can be enjoyed along a 200-mile stretch of the Rio Grande that includes the state’s largest recreational lake, and up into the surrounding mountains covered by national forests, large tracts of pristine wilderness and hundreds of miles of trails and campgrounds. For those who appreciate nature’s spectacles, the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is one of the premier inland locations for observing a flood of migratory birds in the late fall. It is the winter home for thousands of sand hill cranes, snow geese, Ross geese, ducks and hosts of birds from great blue herons to bald eagles. The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers year-round exploration of an ancient culture with artifacts from numerous cultures housed in regional museums. There are four forts in the region offering educational opportunities and reenactments, as well as ghost towns with scheduled events. Veterans’ memorials and a national cemetery honor those who have given their lives for this country. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory operates the Very Large Array of radio antennas west of Socorro that maps the universe and listens for the sounds of intelligent life. Spaceport America, nearing completion between Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, has already hosted 12 space flight tests and will soon be the launch site for space tourism. Both locations host visitor opportunities.

2012-13 New Mexico Traveler  

Affluent hotel guests throughout New Mexico read this definitive, hardcover visitors’ guide. It is an exclusive, in room reference found in...

2012-13 New Mexico Traveler  

Affluent hotel guests throughout New Mexico read this definitive, hardcover visitors’ guide. It is an exclusive, in room reference found in...

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