Attractions August 02, 2017
The Truly Grim Reality Of 7 Deserted Ghost Towns In New Mexico
If you travel along New Mexico’s backroads, you’ll encounter abandoned buildings and settlements – a legacy of mining boom and busts, and failed ventures. It’s easy to find the sheer number of ghost towns depressing. However, they could equally well be seen as proof of New Mexicans’ resilience, even against tough odds. Here are 7 abandoned places that have almost been erased from our memories:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. La Liendre, San Miguel County
La Liendre is located about 22 miles from Las Vegas, New Mexico, close to the Gallinas River. If you’re seeking a truly desolate ghost town experience, this old ranching community fits the bill.
All you’ll find here are a handful of collapsing structures and the remains of a neglected cemetery. The remote location paired with the rough access road make this an adventure best taken in an AWD or 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Map of La Liendre
2. La Bajada, Santa Fe County
La Bajada might have faded into obscurity today but, between the close of the 16th century and start of the 20th century, La Bajada Hill was the bane of travelers along El Camino Real. Its steepness defeated wagons and cars alike. Cars frequently overheated as they tried to navigate 23 tight turns!
The town bearing the same name sat at the base of the hill. Only a few, crumbling adobe structures remain to show that this little spot ever existed.
Map of La Bajada
3. Old Hachita, Grant County
According to the 2010 Census, the town of Hachita is home to 49 residents. That still makes it a metropolis in comparison to Old Hachita.
The latter was established as a mining camp in the 1870s - silver, copper, turquoise, lead, and gold were all mined in the area. The population swelled to around 300 people until the usual mining boom-bust cycle hit the town. As Hachita floundered, the El Paso and Southwestern Railway came through and people settled a few miles away, nearer to the tracks. The new town was also called Hachita so the previous settlement became known as Old Hachita.
Map of Old Hachita
4. Acme, Chaves County
Part of a stone building, which must once have been a good-sized structure, and a cemetery are among the few signs that a town ever stood on this site. Acme is located about 20 miles northeast of Roswell, near the Salt Creek Wilderness.
Map of Acme
5. Cuchillo, Sierra County
During the 19th century, stagecoaches on the Armstrong Brothers of Chloride stage line paused in Cuchillo to swap out horses and to give travelers a break on their long journeys.
This may be a ghost town, but it retains more signs of life than you might expect. These include the bar and general store (pictured), which date back to 1850.
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Map of Cuchillo
6. Yeso, DeBaca County
Welcome to the end of the line! Well, the railway line that is. Yeso (also called Yesso in the past) was a railroad town founded in 1906. A number of disintegrating buildings remain – indicators of more prosperous times.
Map of Yeso
7. Kelly, Socorro County
It’s hard to believe that 3000 people once lived in Kelly. During better days, this mining town had plenty to offer, from schools to hotels.
Eventually, the mines closed down. Today, some of the mining equipment is still in place, including the 121-foot high headframe, along with some walls and a cemetery. The most extensive remains of this town are underground – 30 miles of sealed mining tunnels lie beneath Kelly!
Map of Kelly
Have you explored any of our state’s ghost towns?
If you plan on driving out to any of these spots, click on the words “Google Maps” beneath the map of your desired destination and then simply add your starting point.
You may be interested in our past article about
well-preserved ghost towns. We even compiled a ghost town road trip for die hard fans of our forgotten past.