Check out the historic Lake Valley Townsite, a "ghost town" managed by the Bureau of Land Management. While in the area, take a 48-mile drive along the Lake Valley Backcountry Byway. The mining town of Lake Valley was founded in 1878 after silver was discovered. Almost overnight, the small frontier town blossomed into a major settlement with a population of 4,000 people. Today, silver mining has played out and all that remains is a ghost town. BLM has restored the schoolhouse and chapel. The restored schoolhouse provides a glimpse of what schooling in a rural area was like in the early 20th century. Other buildings in the town site have been stabilized to slow further deterioration. There also is a self-guided, interpretive walking tour. A toilet is located near the schoolhouse, and drinking water is available. A meandering 48-mile drive on paved roads takes visitors through ranching and mining country and past the ruins of the 1880s mining town of Lake Valley. The Lake Valley Backcountry Byway is nestled between the Mimbres and Caballo Mountains and the Cooke’s Range in southwestern New Mexico and offers spectacular scenic views. Rich in history and scenery, the Byway offers an outstanding trip for travelers with an hour to spare. Activities include scenic driving, watchable wildlife, historic interpretation, and hiking.