Central Region Ghost Towns
North Central Region Ghost Towns
CERRILLOS (28 miles south of Santa Fe on State Road 14)
The lore of the Cerrillos hills is rich with legends of mines, being worked there for a thousand year. Turquoise has religious significance to many Indian people, nearby Mount Chalchihuitl is known to have contained a great lode of the precious gemstone and stone tools found there seem to testify to the truth of the legends.
MADRID (30 miles southwest of Santa Fe on State Road 14)
Although Madrid still likes to consider itself a ghost town, it represents a unique example of resurrection. In the 1920s and 30s, Madrid was as famous for its Christmas lights as for its coal, and airlines used to reroute traffic during the holidays to show passengers the sight.
GOLDEN (10 miles south of Madrid & 15 miles north of Tijeras on NM 14)
Golden was inhabited by Native Americans and Spaniards long before American settlers came to the area. However, it began to boom when gold was discovered in 1825. Years before the California and Colorado gold rushes, the site of Golden became the first gold rush west of the Mississippi River.
Northeast Region Ghost Towns
Southeast Region Ghost Towns
DURAN (54 miles southwest of Santa Rosa on NM 54)
In February 1902, the El Paso & Northeastern Railroad finished the “Arrow Route,” a stretch of track between El Paso and Santa Rosa, where a connection to Leadbelly’s Rock Island Line awaited. Blas and Espiridón Durán, two brothers, owned wells in central New Mexico which could provide water to railroad work crews. So, the railroad built repair shops and even a wooden roundhouse in what became Duran.
LINCOLN (57 miles west of Roswell and just south of the Lincoln National Forest.)
Lincoln was at the center of the Lincoln County War, 1876-1879, and is the historical home of Billy the Kid. The village holds an annual festival in August featuring an open-air enactment of The Last Escape of Billy the Kid.
Orogrande ( 36 miles south of Alamogordo and 49 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas, on U.S. 54.)
Jarilla Junction, once a station on the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, was renamed Orogrande when a gold nugget the size of a man's finger was discovered in 1905. Prospecting had started as early as 1879 in the Jarilla Mountains but the 1905 discovery started a gold rush and gave birth to the town of Orogrande.
WHITE OAKS (Three miles north of Carrizozo on US Hwy 54)
Three miles north of Carrizozo on US Hwy 54 is the turn-off to the “ghost town” of White Oaks. White Oaks is not your typical flat-roofed adobe New Mexico historical experience. It's more cowboy/frontier than adobe Disneyland. There were no Conquistadores bringing the word of God to the native population. It was a frontier wild west cattle community right up until gold was discovered... an almost pure vein going down into Baxter Mountain; then everything changed.
Southwest Region Ghost Towns
SHAKESPEARE (3 miles south of Lordsburg)
Now off the beaten track and privately owned, Shakespeare had a tenuous beginning as Mexican Springs in the 1850s as a stop on the Butterfield Overland Stage line. In 1870, prospectors discovered samples of very rich silver ore in the surrounding hills and they went hunting for financing to develop their new mines.
MOGOLLON (9 miles east of Alma on State Road 78)
For nearly 60 years after the great gold strike of 1878, Mogollon had a reputation as one of the most wide-open towns in the West. Butch Cassidy and his crowd once headquartered there, and gunmen, claim jumpers and gamblers kept things lively. Not even Victorio and Geronimo, nor the troops sent in by the governor, could tame Mogollon.
PINOS ALTOS (8.5 miles north of Silver City)
The town began in 1860 when three frustrated 49ers, Thomas Birch, Colonel Snively and another guy named Hicks, stopped to take a drink in Bear Creek and discovered gold. Word spread like wildfire, soon there were over 700 men prospecting in the area.
Southwest Region US Route 60
MAGDALENA (28 Miles west of Socorro on US Route 60)
Magdalena was known as the "Trails End" for the railroad/spur line which was built in 1885 from Socorro to Magdalena to transport the cattle, sheep wool, timber and ore.
Southwest Region, Mining District Ghost Towns
CHLORIDE (5 miles southwest of Winston off State Road 52)
The history of Chloride reads like the script for a bad western – silver strike, population boom, Apache raids, salvation by the militia, cattle versus sheep, tar and feathering, even bear attacks. An Englishman named Harry Pye was delivering freight for the U.S. Army from Hillsboro to Camp Ojo Caliente in 1879 when he discovered silver in the canyon where Chloride is now located.
HILLSBORO (18 miles west of I-25 take exit 63 onto NM 152)
Hillsboro was founded in April,1877, when two prospectors discovered a series of gold deposits on the east side of the Black Range Mountains along Percha Creek. Dave Stitzel and Daniel Dugan staked out the Opportunity and Ready Pay mines. A tent city quickly ﬁlled with over 300 miners, store owners, adventuresome women and children.
MONTICELLO (25 miles NW of Truth or Consequences )
Located along New Mexico Highway 142, Monticello was originally named Canada Alamosa Spanish for "Canyon of the Cottonwoods" and was first settled by ranchers and farmers in 1856. The town was renamed in 1881 by its first postmaster, John Sullivan, of Monticello, N.Y.
HANOVER/FIERRO (8 miles north of bayard on NM 536)
Mining was mainly Zinc and the big business was the Emerald Zinc mine built during World War one. Copper mining also took place here. Much of the mining shut down for good in the 1970s. Many residence and buildings scattered throughout the trees and lining the Hanover creek bed. It is difficult to tell when you have left Hanover and reached Fierro.
Click on the image to download a printable PDF map of the Ghost Towns featured on the Ghost Towns Trail. Note: the map will open in a new window. To download the map right click and save to your computer. The map is 2.5 MB.
Keep in mind some of the towns mentioned on the map and trail are in remote locations. You should always check locally for weather and road conditions before heading out. Some locations will not have cell phone coverage. Finally please note this map is for entertainment purposes, town locations are approximate. Please observe all signage and ask permission before entering private property.
Read more about ghost towns in New Mexico Magazine
Abandoned, barely there, or rebounding with new purpose, towns, hotels, and restaurants all across the state hold secret treasures: the stories of past lives.