Akela Flats – Deming, NM


Deming     http://www.cityofdeming.org



Deming is located in the Southwestern part of New Mexico, 33 miles north of the Mexico border, a land of an ever-present sun and flowing desert rocks and cacti. Deming has been named a “Rock-Hunters Paradise.”

You will find this Southwestern corner rich with history, atmosphere, and sunshine, all in great abundance.  The desert with the Florida Mountains in the background offers spectacular views year round. The state parks are diverse from one end of the desert to the other and into the mountains of the Black Range. The water and the agricultural influence make Deming an oasis in the desert.

The history of the area dates back nearly 1,000 years ago, when the Mimbres Indians, the first people known to inhabit the area, lived in villages along the Mimbres River and farmed the area. It was about 1800 that the Americans entered Southwest New Mexico. Deming’s first years were hard ones, with the usual problems of a small Western town. It had such a bad reputation that some outlaws rounded up in Arizona were given one-way tickets to Deming. Back in 1850 it was a Butterfield Stage Trail stop.

Deming is the county seat of Luna County and was founded in November,1881. Named for Mary Deming Crocker, wife of a railroad magnate of the Southern Pacific Railway system, the town was the result of railroad expansion to the West. The Southern Pacific reached this point in late 1881, and made preparations for the construction of a roundhouse and repair shops. This activity furnished the incentive for the erection of a city of tents and shanties. Six months later, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe completed its junction with the Southern Pacific at Deming, thus assuring Deming a prominence in the Southern part of New Mexico.  During the year of 1882, settlers flocked in, and substantial buildings were erected.

During the World War I, the War Department established Camp Cody near Deming, as a training encampment that covered over 2000 acres. At the termination of the war, Camp Cody was used as a tuberculosis sanatorium for ex-soldiers.  In 1939 Camp Cody was completely destroyed by fire and the sanatorium closed at the same time. During World War II, an Army Air Force Base was installed in Deming, located at what is now the “Municipal Deming Airport and Industrial Park.” This base trained bombardiers and there were over 5000 men stationed at this base.

Over the years, Deming’s industry and farming interests grew and its population increased.  Today Deming is a full service community with low cost of living and affordable taxes. Every summer, Deming sponsors the Great American Duck Races complete with duck parade, duck pageant, duck mart, duck dance, and chili cook-off (no duck).


Nearby Locations

Las Cruces – 60 miles                http://www.las-cruces.org

Nestled in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande, Las Cruces, New Mexico is quickly becoming a popular southwestern destination.  An ideal location at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and 25 brings visitors into contact with 72 holes of spectacular year-round golf, unique special events, and historic attractions such as Old Mesilla - not to mention world-class Mexican food! Las Cruces also blends a unique variety of attractions, culture, historical sites, and superb year-round weather with 350 days of sunshine per year!!
In addition, Las Cruces, has received several awards including rankings from Money magazine as one of the “best college towns to retire”, and from AARP as one of their “dream towns” to retire. Las Cruces has also been ranked by Forbes as one of the best small metro areas for business and careers.


Lordsburg – 60 miles http://newmexico.hometownlocator.com/nm/hidalgo/lordsburg.cfm

Lordsburg is the county seat of Hidalgo County.  For many years, Lordsburg has been a popular rest stop for people traveling to and from the West Coast by car on Interstate 10 and its precursor highway. At just over 600 miles from Los Angeles, Lordsburg can comfortably be reached by car in less than one day.


Silver City – 53 miles http://www.silvercity.org

Silver City is a vibrant community in Grant County, New Mexico, nestled alongside more than 3 million acres of the Gila Wilderness. With historic ties to mining, ranching and agriculture, the community has grown into a modern town with friendly people, growing businesses, and a terrific year-round climate.









Area Attractions

Gila National Forest     http://www.stateparks.com/gila.html



In the abundance of the Gila National Forest, in southwest New Mexico, nature provides a rich diversity of life. From the high spruce-fir reaches of an eleven thousand foot peak in the Mogollon Mountains where golden eagles play with the wind, down to the semi-arid four-thousand-two-hundred-foot elevation, vibrant with antelope and Chihuahuan and Upper Sonoran desert cacti, there are six distinct “plant communities.”

With three million three hundred thousand acres, the Gila contains more publicly owned land than any other national forest outside of Alaska. Within the Gila Forest is the largest wilderness in the southwest, the Gila Wilderness. This superb example of pristine mountains, forests, range land and protected desert is the first-ever designated wilderness area in the world. In 1924, Congress authorized the U.S. Forest Service to establish the wilderness, largely due to the persistent lobbying efforts of Aldo Leopold, a former Forest Service employee who devoted most of his adult life to preserving our nation’s wild places for future generations to enjoy.


The San Francisco, Gila, and Mimbres Rivers, the Catwalk, Pueblo Park Campground, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Mogollon Baldy, Castle Rock, Eagle Peak Mountain, Emory Pass, and the Burro Mountains are among the many islands of beauty on the Gila. Other areas of interest include Cooney’s Tomb, El Caso Lookout Tower, Beaverhead, Reed’s Peak, Frisco Hot Springs and Cherry Creek.



Gila Cliff Dwellings  http://www.nps.gov/gicl



Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse into the homes and lives of the Mogollon people who lived in this area over 700 years ago. 


Catwalk National Recreation Trail    http://www.americaswonderlands.com/Gila.htm



The Catwalk follows the path of the pipeline built in the 1890s to deliver water to the mining town of Graham. Workmen who had to enter the canyon by crawling atop the narrow pipeline named the route the “Catwalk.”  In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the Catwalk as a recreation area for the Gila National Forest. The Forest Service built the metal walkway in the 1960s. Parts of the trail have been rebuilt several times since then due to the flooding of Whitewater Creek.  The canyon was used as a hideout by both Geronimo and Butch Cassidy.




Steins Ghost Town      http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nm/steins.html



Steins Ghost Town is a former mining and railroad town named for Capt. Enoch Stein, a U. S. Army officer who participated in the Apache Wars. First called Doubtful Canyon because of threats from Indians, the town survived because of the railroad, with its post office open from 1888 through 1944.

The first stagecoach passed nearby in 1857, en route between San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California. In 1858, the Butterfield Overland State started running here along the route commonly called the Butterfield Road. The town was established in 1860 when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived.

Today, the remains of Steins are open to the public and can be seen just off Interstate 10 in Southwestern New Mexico.  The town consists of about a dozen buildings, including a few decaying adobe structures.  Fans of ghost towns usually rate Steins as one of the better ghost towns in the area.