Mesilla Valley Balloon Rally
Usually there is about 100 balloons that fill the sky during this event. It is in January every year. The dates change every year so be sure to check out the web site. For a donation you can go up in a tethered balloon and see Las Cruces from the air.
Van Patten's Mountain Camp
Major Eugene Van Patten was a former Confederate soldier who served under General Stonewall Jackson. He and his wife settled in Las Cruces in 1872 and Patten began the construction of Van Patten Mountain Camp. It was a resort along the base of the Organ Mountain range. Back then the resort was 2 stories and had 14 rooms, dining and recreational facilities, and a gazebo. Many famous people stayed here including Pat Garret and Pancho Villa. Billy the Kid and Charley Bowdre also spent the night here after Tom O'Folliard was shot near old Ft. Sumner. Later on the resort was expanded and made even larger with 18 more rooms.
Now a days you can see the ruins of Van Patten's Mountain camp at dripping springs national rec trail. It is a 3 mile hike up into the mountains from the dripping springs info center. The hike is actually not that bad. The path is pretty good all the way up.
In addition to the nice museums; the historic districts; and the zoo; there are two parks of note in Alamogordo. Both are located at the corner of 10th Street and White Sands Boulevard which is the main intersection in town. The first one is Founder's Park. This park celebrates the founders of Alamogordo and the cultures that make it what it is today. The park is well presented and has bronze busts and bas-reliefs to show these fouunders and honor the various cultures. They also have a very nice mural. Worth a stop.
LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO, USA
" Home of the Xprize"
" Quick Facts: "
Population (Las Cruces Area): approx 90,000
Location: 225 miles south of Albuquerque, NM, 275 miles east of Tucson, AZ and 42 miles west of El Paso, TX.
Weather: 350 days of sunshine a year. Summer month highs of high 90's. Fall highs in the 70's and 80's. Winter highs in the 50's and 60's.
Awards and Recognition:
- One of the Best Place to Retire - Money Magazine, November 2005 & June 2002
- Top 50 Motorcoach Destinations in the United States - National Bus Association, 2004 & 2005
- Best Small Metro Area for Business and Careers - Forbes/Milken Institute, 2002, 2003 & 2004
- Top Destination - Facilities & Desinations Magazine, 2001, 2002 & 2004
- Top 10 Cities for Hispanics to Live - Hispanic Magazine, 2002 & 2003
- Best Place to Live - Family Digest, 2002
- One of America's Top 100 Retirement Towns - Where to Retire Magazine, Fall 2001
" How Las Cruces Got It's Name: "
There are several stories as to how Las Cruces got its name. Here are a few:
One story says that sometime around the 18th century, a bishop, a priest, a captain, a mexican army colonel, four trappers and four choir boys were attacked near the Rio Grande and only one of them survived. Crosses were set up in thier honor, and the name, El Pueblo del Jardin de Las Cruces (the city of the garden of crosses) evolved.
Another story says that a group of 40 travelers from Taos, NM were killed as they reached Las Cruces.
However some people feel the name is just the Spanish translation for crossing or crossroads.