A Town in the New Mexican Desert: Deming, NM – Kingdom of the Sun

The Road to Spring Canyon

You wouldn’t know it driving through the New Mexican desert across I-10, but about an hour west of Las Cruces, New Mexico and 45 minutes from the Mexican-American border, lies a sleepy little railroad town that just turned 140 years old: Deming, New Mexico. Founded in the 1880s, this small town of only slightly around ~14000 people is generally a truck spot to most; but if you stop and look around, you’ll find some of the most beautiful sites you’ve ever seen – All you have to do is open your eyes. Boasting 288 days of sun (Albuquerque is #1 in New Mexico), the flat topography with distinct mountains lends itself to gorgeous sunsets. Like a majority of my jobs as a Locum Tenens, I am bound by golden handcuffs to a 30 minute radius; ALL of these can be seen in that distance from Deming.

Spring Canyon

There are a variety of hikes, trails, canyons and mountains among the desert including closest to Deming, Spring Canyon and Rockhound State Park. “Rockhounding,” a new term to me as a non SW native, is the art of Amateur Geology – I did this as a kid, I’d collect rocks that my parents considered a waste of time and space… They were. The weather is wonderful for a majority of the year, especially given the low humidity. Unlike a lot of hiking I’ve done in other climates, there are some obvious desert finds here. Oh, fun fact: Tumbleweeds! The other common name is the Russian Thistle as they were transplanted here in the 1800s from the Ural Mountains in Central Russia.

Old Air Base Hangars Featured in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008)”

Interestingly, this little known town in the Desert (outside of the signs from the east or west saying how far away it is, to refill Gas I guess…) has featured at least 18 films per IMDB. One of my later but super cool finds, there’s an abandoned movie set presumably used to film some Old Western films (Bootheel City Studios). While the small town of Deming is slowly fading away into the transition of modern times without the progression of the town moving forward in parallel development, it slowly becomes more abandoned but lends itself to some of the most beautiful things you never knew were here. It’s just a little while down I-10, I’d stop by again, anytime.

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