Magdalena [formerly dead link] is a town of 800 people (2020) in southwestern New Mexico. It is the nearest town (at least the nearest with many services for the traveler) to the Very Large Array, an enormous radio astronomy observatory of interest to the scientifically-inclined traveler, and is a jumping-off point for some outdoor recreational opportunities in the region.

Very Large Array west of Magdalena

Get in edit

By car edit

Magdalena is on US 60 west of the larger town of Socorro.

By plane edit

The nearest significant airport is in Albuquerque about 70 miles north of Socorro.

Get around edit

Map of Magdalena

See edit

There's not much to see in town, but it has become a modest center for folk art and antiques. Try the following galleries and see if there's anything that interests you:

Do edit

  • Visitor's Center, 902 West First St. on route 60 (in Magdalena, north side of Rt 60), +1 575-854-3310. Th-M 10AM-5PM. good array of information on southern New Mexico. Maps - dept transportation for NM, Magdalena & Socorro, forest service map of area with hiking routes. Where to stay and where to eat in Magdalena and Socorro. Art info, ghost town info, realty info. Some historical info on Magdalena old buildings and cattle drive history. free.

Buy edit

  • [dead link] Bear Mountain Gallery (6480), Rt. 60 (901 West First Street) (From Socorro, go west on Rt. 60 to Mag.), +1 575-854-3310. 10AM-5PM. On the Fiber Trail - quilts, rugs Navajo and other, basketry, jewelry, tile art, paintings. Local artists. A lot of unique stuff, worth the visit. $5-1500.

Eat edit

  • [dead link] bear mountain coffee house, Rt 60 (902 West First St) (from Datil &VLA, continue east on Rt 60), +1 575-854-3310. Th-M 10AM-5PM. Espresso, pastries. Lunch: sandwiches, salads, pizzas, panini, milkshake, ice cream, tasty desserts. Good vibes. reasonable.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

  • High Country Lodge, 303 First St, +1 575 854-2062. (Hwy. 60). About 20 rooms.

Go next edit

  • 1 Very Large Array, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (about 20 miles west of town on US 60). A visitor center (open daily 8:30AM-dusk, free) has interpretive exhibits and an orientation film. There are occasional guided tours, and visitors can also follow a self-guided walking route around the facility. No food is available at the VLA site. Visitors to the Very Large Array should keep their cell / mobile phones switched off, as they interfere with radio observations; likewise with microwave ovens in camping vehicles.    
  • 2 Magdalena Ridge Observatory.    
Routes through Magdalena
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