Welcome to Southwest New Mexico, a region home to many old tales that still get spun to this day. To name a few: Billy the Kid was a kid for a spell in Silver City; the 13th century Mogollón Indians carved cliffside dwellings into the rock of the Gila Mountains (now called Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument); those same mountains later claimed the lives of many legendary frontier men and in 1924 were designated as the first wilderness area in the country; La Mesilla is where Confederate soldiers raised a flag calling it the capital of both New Mexico and Arizona; more gold mining towns than you can count went boom and bust here (check out Mogollón, Kelly, Kingston, and Chloride) and it's said that you can still feel the ghosts of a time past in towns like Shakespeare and Steins.
In Southwest New Mexico you'll find our state's second-largest city, Las Cruces (Spanish for "the crosses"), so named because it was the site of a cluster of crosses marking the graves of a group of travelers from Taos who were ambushed by Apaches in 1830, our largest lake, Elephant Butte (36 miles long), and the "Chile Capital of the World," an agricultural village called Hatch, where more than 30,000 acres of our addictive chile is grown and celebrated every Labor Day.
Further north and east is Truth or Consequences, a community that gained world fame when it changed its name from Hot Springs at the urging of Ralph Edwards, the host of a popular game show. Still north is the cow town of Magdalena, home of the Magdalena Stock Driveway and Shipping Pens situated at the end of what once was the longest cattle trail in New Mexico, and the wetlands of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, where every spring and fall, migrating waterfowl and other species of birds touch down for a little R & R.