NM 52 leads about 40 mi west from I–25, near Truth or Consequences, to Winston and Chloride, two fascinating mining towns just east of the Gila National Forest. Prospectors searching for silver in the nearby ore-rich mountains founded the towns in the late 1800s; abandoned saloons and false-front buildings, and pioneer relics still remain. Though the communities are designated ghost towns, the moniker is belied by the 50 or so residents currently living in each place, and Chloride has several businesses in operation.
The Pioneer Store Museum is an amazing time-capsule-like building in Chloride. The owners have painstakingly restored the building using the complete stock of original goods and records—the store had been boarded up in its entirety in 1923. It's a treasure trove of Western boomtown history. The proprietors are great, and the Web site is a resource for general information on the area. 575/743–2736. www.pioneerstoremuseum.com.
- Address: 50 mi northwest of Truth or Consequences. Take I-25 exit 89 (southbound), turn left on NM 181, then right onto NM 52, or exit 83 (northbound), turn left on NM 181, then left onto NM 52., Truth or Consequences, 87943
- Location: Truth or Consequences