Surrounded by towering mountains, this colorful town is known for its thriving art scene, eclectic festivals and eerie mining ghost town.
The village of Magdalena is an artistic hub with a Spanish-colonial past. Its name derives from the image of a lady’s face that Spanish soldiers saw in the mountain overlooking the town. Peruse the intriguing works of art on display at the various galleries as you explore Magdalena.
Stroll through the quaint neighborhoods to gain a sense of the local culture and to gaze up at the Lady on the Mountain rock formation that looms over the village. Browse through mineral and rock shops that showcase the diverse stones of the area.
Look at works of art by local artists in the many galleries and shops around the commune’s center. The annual festival of the Lady Magdalen Art Walk encapsulates the town’s creative flair. Attend the intriguing Old Timer’s Reunion in July, when locals exchange traditional stories and food.
The ghost town of Kelly is one of the eeriest attractions in the region. The town, which was set up in the gold rush period at the end of the 19th century, has been abandoned since 1945. Wander through the desolate village to see the ruins of the zinc mine and derelict buildings.
Several natural parks with picturesque terrain surround the town. Explore the Cibola National Forest on the northwestern outskirts of Magdalena for its grasslands and rocky peaks. The array of wildlife here includes bears, mountain lions and birds of prey. Hike along the paths that wind through the scenic areas of this enormous park.
Other picturesque areas include the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which has sprawling fields and scenic water networks.
Magdalena is located in Socorro County in central New Mexico. Fly to the Albuquerque International Airport and drive south for 100 miles (160 kilometers) to get to Magdalena. Nearby towns include Truth or Consequences and Alamogordo. Anticipate hot summer days and cool nights from June to August, while winters see mild to cool temperatures in the afternoon and freezing evenings with snowfall.