DSC_0875Location: The Sawmill Ranch is located approximately 100 miles south of Albuquerque, 140 miles north of El Paso, or 25 miles south of Socorro via Interstate 25.  The Ranch is accessed via a well-maintained county road to its boundary 11 miles west of Interstate 25, off Exit 124, at San Marcial.

Socorro Municipal Airport serves the area with a 5,841’ paved runway at an elevation of 4,875’.

The County was named for the community of Socorro, NM.  Socorro County, with 6,626 square miles, ranks third in size among the state’s 33 counties.  The estimated population in 2004 was 18,177. This was an increase of 0.55% from the 2000 census.

The City of Socorro provides most major services including shopping, banking, dining, hardware, farm and ranch supplies, etc. and is home of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Socorro County Area Attractions:

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge: Each season the Bosque del Apache offers unique bird and wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitations occur in winter when bald eagles and thousands of Sandhill cranes and Snow geese are present.

The Very Large Array: The VLA is made up of 27 radio-telescope antennas in a “Y” pattern spread across the Plains of San Augustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, off U.S. Hwy. 60.

El Camino Real Heritage Center: El Camino Real International Heritage Center, a joint project of New Mexico State Monuments and the United States Bureau of Land Management and supported by the El Camino Real International Heritage Center Foundation, opens as the sixth New Mexico State Monument.

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge: The majority of the refuge is closed to general public use; however, there are a few areas open for the public’s enjoyment. Sevilleta holds an Open House Event in October and offers guided tours at that time.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology: New Mexico Tech’s acclaim in the sciences has helped to draw major research facilities to the area, including the headquarters for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array, the lightning research facility of Langmuir Lab, a planned telescope in the Magdalena Mountains, and research efforts located on New Mexico Tech land.

Historic Walking Tour: A walking tour of historic homes surrounding the Socorro plaza features the architectural styles from the Spanish colonial and territorial past. The Historical Society has many sites listed in a directory that includes the 400-year old San Miguel Mission, Garcia Opera House.

San Miguel Mission: This historic church, still the center of Catholicism in the area, was built in 1891 and stands on the site of the original mission built in 1627.