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Southwest, New Mexico

New Mexico's Southwest Region, home to the first designated wilderness in the country, offers boundless opportunities to enjoy the state's natural landscape and exhilarating history. The Gila Wilderness, established in 1924, influenced notable individuals such as Also Leopold - the conservationist whose efforts helped secure the Gila Forest wilderness area as a protected space - and courageous Apache chief Geronimo. Visitors journey in a land of cacti, junipers, pine, aspens, black bears, mountain lions, elk, and wild turkeys while hiking, camping, birding or rafting in the Gila Mountains.

New Mexico's second largest city lies in the Southwest Region. Las Cruces (Spanish for "the crosses"), so named because it was the site of several cross-topped graves of an 1830s caravan of travelers ambushed by Apache Indians, still harbors the ghosts of many historic figures and events. Las Cruces Sheriff Pat Garrett captured infamous outlaw Billy the Kid and held him in Mesilla's jailhouse. You can still see the site of this jail when you visit Las Cruses and the Mesilla Plaza for some of the region's finest shopping and dining.

Explore Southwest


Lake Valley Backcountry Byway

Begin at Caballo, 16 miles south of TorC on I-25, go 17 miles west on NM-152 to Hillsboro, drive 31 miles south on NM-27 to Nutt (through Lake Valley); turn west onto NM-26, driving 28 miles southwest toward Deming. Informational kiosks on NM-27 in Lake Valley area and NM-152, 8

Hillsboro, NM Scenic Drives



Springtime Picnic Area

In Cibola National Forest, just south of Apache Kid Wilderness near FR-255

Magdalena, NM Recreation


Socorro Fat Tire Trails

Quebradas to east, Rio Grande floodplain and Bosque del Apache to south. Magdalena /

Socorro, NM Trails



VLA National Radio Astronomy Observatory

World's largest radio-telescope array. Self-guided tours 8:30

Magdalena, NM Observatories

Silver City Community Parks

Penny Park, community-built for all ages - 505-534-0261

Olympic-size swimming pool - 505-388-4640

Silver City, NM Parks


Explore Southwest