Driving Tour D: El Paso, Southwest New Mexico, Tucson
Explore the modern and the ancient in this weeklong excursion through Southwest New Mexico. The VLA, El Camino Real Heritage Center, the Spaceport and more await you!
Day 1. Las Cruces
- Driving time from El Paso to Las Cruces: 0.7 hours.
Mileage: 45 miles (72 km.) North on Interstate 10, past pecan groves and dairy farms.
- Here's a chance to immerse yourself in a relaxed game of year-round golf, explore the history of Las Cruces and Old Mesilla. Enjoy the fiestas and then shift your mood as you observe the work on display at the Branigan Cultural Center. Put the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on your must list.
Day 2. Truth or Consequences -
- Driving time: 1.3 hours
Mileage: 75 miles (120 km.). North on Interstate 25, past Hatch (Chile Capitol) and Ft. Selden.
Enjoy Elephant Butte, the largest lake in New Mexico, water skiing or bass fishing, . . . or just relaxing at the hot springs. Explore the Geronimo Springs Museum, wineries, or nearby old mining towns along the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway.
Day 3. Socorro -
- Driving time: 1.5 hours
Mileage: 75 miles (120 km.). North on Interstate 25.
Enjoy the amazing display of waterfowl at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Let your mind wander into space at the VLA Radio Telescopes. Tour the historic area and learn of the pioneer heritage of Socorro.
- Driving time: 2.5 hours
Mileage: 128 miles (205 km.). West on US60 past VLA and San Agustin Plains and NM12 to Reserve.
Reserve - Enjoy the San Agustin Plains, fish in Quemado Lake to the north. This is where lawman Elfego Baca held off a barrage of bullets from 80 Texas cowboys single-handedly in 1884, and lived to tell about it.
- Driving time: 1.3 hours
Mileage: 40 miles (64 km.). West on NM12, south on US180.
Glenwood - The nearby ghost town of Mogollon, The Catwalk and the Fish Hatchery will entertain children aged 1-70! And there are plenty of hiking opportunities through surrounding canyons and vistas.
Day 5. Silver City -
- Driving time: 1.4 hours
Mileage: 65 miles (104 km.). South on US180.
The rich prehistory of the Gila Cliff Dwellings Nat'l Monument, the 3-million acre Gila National Forest, and Billy the Kid history beckons. Tour the Trail of the Mountain Spirits up through the Mimbres Valley, past Lake Roberts to the Cliff Dwellings,...then visit the art galleries in historic downtown.
Day 6. Deming
- Driving time: 1 hour
Mileage: 52 miles (83 km.). Southeast on US180, past City of Rocks State Park and copper smelter at Hurley.
- The Mimbres Museum is a must on your stay, then visit St. Clair Winery and the rockhounder's favorite, Rockhound State Park. On the Mexican border enjoy the history and atmosphere of Pancho Villa State Park and Palomas, Mexico. To the the north view the moonscape appearance of City of Rocks State Park.
Day 7. Lordsburg
- Driving time: 0.9 hours
Mileage: 60 miles (96 km.). West on Interstate 10, over the Continental Divide.
- Visit the famous ghost towns of Shakespeare and Steins. Shakespeare, an old mining town, does monthly re-enactments in costume. Steins, an old railroad town, is open most days along the Southern Pacific mainline. Enjoy the recreation areas surrounding Lordsburg.
- Driving time to Tucson, AZ: 2.5 hours
Mileage: 145 miles (232 km.). West on Interstate 10 past Benson's new caverns (junction with US80) to Tucson.
Include Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson), Tombstone and Tucson's Desert Museum and Old Tucson in your itinerary.
- Driving time Lordsburg to Benson, AZ: 2.1 hours
Mileage: 100 miles (160 km.).West on Interstate 10.
- Driving time Benson to Tombstone: 0.4 hours
Mileage: 17 miles (27 km.). South on US80.
- Driving time Tombstone to Tucson: 1.1 hours
Mileage: 60 miles (96 km.). North on US80, west on Interstate 10.