Sierra County New Mexico encompasses 4,236 square miles; outer county residents enjoy a variety of climates, from desert to mountains. With only 2.9 people per square mile, many of our country homes come with stunning views and plenty of privacy.
Several of the county’s historic towns grew up as a result of mining in the 1800s. In the county’s southeast quadrant, Kingston, Hillsboro and Lake Valley (pictured above) are all examples of former boom towns. These charming villages have attracted artists and writers who live among long-time residents in adobes, Victorians, and newer homes.
Downtown Hillsboro has a post office, restaurants and a consignment store. Nine miles up the road, Kingston is known for its historic lodge and natural building workshops. Lake Valley is the county’s one “true ghost town” and is open to visitors several days per week.
In the northwest quadrant of the county are the towns of Cuchillo, Monticello, Winston and Chloride. The latter 2 towns grew up around mining; Chloride is home to a wonderful museum filled with items original to the town. Modern-day Monticello is known for its organic farms, most prominently Old Monticello, producers of an award-winning balsamic vinegar.
Sierra County’s two lakes provide a bounty of opportunities to recreate. While Elephant Butte Lake is a larger body of water and more popular, Caballo Lake is another great site for fishing, boating and camping (at Caballo Lake State Park). Residents of Caballo enjoy a beautiful view and proximity to the park with its extraordinary cactus gardens.
The newest attraction in Sierra County is Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built Spaceport. Located on the eastern edge of Sierra County next to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico’s Spaceport features a hangar that’s won numerous awards for architecture and a runway that measures 200 x 12000 feet.
Anchor tenant Virgin Galactic plans to fly ticket-holders into space as early as 2015. Other tenants at Spaceport America include SpaceX, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace. Spaceport America is currently accessed via Engle, now the headquarters for Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch. Tours to Spaceport America currently run every weekend out of Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte.