The desert meets the mountains in beautiful Southwest New Mexico, where you’ll find exceptional hiking, quaint historical towns, and remnants of ancient cultures.
Learn about local wildlife and ancient fossils at the Museum of Nature and Science in Las Cruces. Las Cruces is also home to the Branigan Cultural Center and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum – kids and adults love that place! In Truth or Consequences, you can dive into beautiful Elephant Butte Reservoir or warm up with a swim in Riverbend Hot Springs.
Put Silver City on your to-do list! This historic town is the gateway to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and home to the artifact-filled H. B. Allman House and the interesting Western New Mexico University. Hankering for a hike? You’ll find miles of trails in Gila National Forest as well as memorable sunset views over the deserts below.
Don’t miss Deming. This city boasts the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum, City of Rocks State Park, and several wineries – try Luna Rossa Winery. Headed through Las Cruces? Take a hike and enjoy the magnificent scenery at Dripping Springs Natural Area, or El Mesilla Village, a historic center home to folk traditions and beautiful adobe homes.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico
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Cowboy culture is alive and well in Silver City and Southwest New Mexico. Bards of all backgrounds show up each February for the Bootheel Cowboy Poetry Fiesta, while high-flying pro rodeo action can be seen each June at the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo. Enjoy a classic Fourth of July parade or get wet at the Gila River Festival in September. And ag gets its day each September during the Gila Grant County Fair.
Silver City and other towns in Southwest New Mexico know how to throw a fiesta. Chocoholics come in February for Chocolate Fantasia while hikers get a part of their own in April at the Continental Divide Trail Fest. Las Cruces celebrates Diez Y Seis Fiesta each Sept. 16 to mark the launch of Mexico’s fight for independence, and roughly one-week later parties at the Whole Enchilada Festival – see the world’s largest enchilada being built!
When in Las Cruces, make sure to see the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum and the Zuhl Museum, which is famous for its dinosaur eggs and polished petrified wood. In Deming, the Luna Mimbres Museum is packed with pottery and historic memorabilia. Though small, the Silver City Museum punches above its weight with great insight on the town’s history. In Truth or Consequences make sure to see the Geronimo Springs Museum.
Protecting some of the nation’s most incredible cliff dwellings, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers an unparalleled glimpse into the past. This park protects dwellings, some of which are in natural caves, that are around 800 years old. There are 46 rooms in five caves in Cliff Dweller Canyon and more at the TJ Ruins. A visitors’ center presents explanations of the dwellings and there are dozens of miles of hiking trails to enjoy.