EXPLORE OUR NEARBY GHOST TOWNS
You’ll be amazed at what you discover… all an easy drive from Elephant Butte!
A booming mining town in the 1880’s, Chloride still has 27 of the original buildings standing, including the Pioneer Store, which now serves as a museum, and a bank which has been converted into a charming restaurant. There are two cemeteries, and the 200-year-old oak "Hanging Tree" tree still stands in the middle of town.
Settled in 1881 by miners as a less rowdy alternative to nearby Chloride, the city prospered until the 1893 Silver Panic. Today, only a handful of families still call Winston home. Several original buildings and ruins still dot the town, including the carriage house, schoolhouse and post office. The Winston General store is a popular stop for locals, tourists, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Established in the 1850s by farmers and ranchers, Cuchillo grew as a trade center and stage stop. With the decline of the mines, Cuchillo’s demise was inevitable. Today, many original buildings and ruins still exist, including the dance hall, stables, and the Cuchillo Store and Ba,. The 100+ year old San Jose Church is still used today.
A shadow of its former glory days of 1000+ families, the Monticello of today offers a glimpse into its past with original buildings that include the old WPA school house and San Ignacio Catholic Church. Built in 1869, the church is usually open so visitors can look inside. If so, perhaps you’ll see the mysterious “Monticello Light” which is said to have followed a local resident home.
It all started in 1877 with the discovery of gold. Soon, a tent city of 300+ residents included miners, merchants and madams. The town quickly grew to more than 10,000, with banks, saloons and shops, but the growth was short lived. Apache raids, lawlessness, hunger, illness and falling silver prices took its toll as people left in droves. Today, the jailhouse and courthouse ruins are favorite photo subjects, but there are many more.
About 18 miles south of Hillsboro, Lake Valley was once home to more than 4,000 people. Named for ancient lake beds nearby, the town grew rapidly during the silver mining era of the mid to late 1800’s and was the site of one of the richest veins in history. Several structures are still fairly intact, including several homes, a school, garage and other weathered wooden buildings.
Since 1879, Engle has experienced booms and busts based on mining and ranching. When the land east of Engle was designated as part of White Sands Missile Range, Engle found itself at “the end of the road.” Remaining buildings include the old schoolhouse. Today, Engle is headquarters to Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch, which you’ll pass on your way to Spaceport America.