- 48 miles (77 km)
- 2 hours to drive the byway.
The Lake Valley Back Country Byway follows NM-152 and NM-27 for 48 miles through a mountainous region of New Mexico. It passes several mountain ranges, including the Caballo Mountains, Black Range, Cooke's Range, and the Uvas Mountains.
Lake Valley, a ghost town, provides the byway's namesake. Take a self-guided walking tour of the town, beginning at the schoolhouse museum. When you're done, head east on the byway toward Nutt. You'll drive alongside a spur line of the old Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, built over 100 years ago. As you reach the end of the byway, notice the marks remaining in the earth from thriving railroad days gone by.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Hillsboro Historic District (NM)
This historic mining town, founded after the discovery of gold in 1877, was the first county seat of Sierra County when it was formed in 1884. The old court house has been torn down, but some of the red brick walls remain. Most of the buildings along Main Street date from the 1880s and 1890s, and many are in business as antique shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
The Post Office and Union Church are still in use, and theGeneral Store and Cafe has been in continuous operation since 1879. The Black Range Museum is located in a historic old adobe building that was once a restaurant, and contains many fascinating artifacts from the early days of the mining boom town. The old school house has been remodeled into a community center.
Lake Valley Ghost Town (NM)
Lake Valley was a town few people had every heard of until 1878.That was the year a blacksmith named John Leavitt took a lease on aclaim and two days later discovered the most fabulous lode ofsilver the world has ever known. Called the "Bridal Chamber", itwas a hollow in the hillside with walls of solid horn silver.Before it was all over, a spur from the railroad was extended intothe "Bridal Chamber" and ore deposited directly into the ore cars.Total production from the "Chamber" was close to $2,775,000.
Worthy of note is the name of George W. Lufkin who together witha partner owned the claim on which Leavitt later covered the"Chamber." They sold the claim to the Sierra Grande Mining Companyfor $100,000 who in turn leased a portion to Leavitt who discoveredthe "Bridal Chamber." Lufkin, the first discoverer of silver in thearea, died penniless and is buried in the Lake Valley cemetery.
Rockhound State Park (NM)
Rockhound State Park is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and rock collectors. Take away up to 15 pounds of beautiful rocks for your personal collection.
Just east of Deming