Through the Southwest Region of New Mexico, travelers of old making their way north from Mexico to Santa Fe were forced to cross an extremely dry stretch of land known as "Jornada del Muerto," or journey of the dead man. This area indeed claimed many lives. It's ironic that today this area holds New Mexico's largest body of water, Elephant Butte Lake, which lies close to "Jornada del Muerto" and is one of the state's main attractions, bringing boaters, fishermen and all kinds of water lovers.
Las Cruces, the state's second largest city, is flanked on the east by the rugged Organ Mountains and still offers an air of Old World romance. Hatch, just north on I-25 is renowned as the Chile Capital of the World, and to the west is Silver City, where ancient Indians carved cliffside villages at nearby Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Also to be found in the region are numerous mining towns that went boom, then bust, leaving their wooden remains behind.