- To reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus by both our staff and our visitors, the Very Large Array is CLOSED to the public until further notice. NO PUBLIC SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE
More to Do in the Area
Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Preserve
Enjoy expansive vistas, exquisite light, and bird songs, while getting closer to wildlife than you can in almost any other wild place. There are many ways to experience the wonder of this special habitat – you can hike, watch wildlife, photograph, educate yourself, or just breathe, meditate, and relax. Bosque del Apache offers its magic to you in every season.
Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
Run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is accessible to the public via its Visitor Center, located about 20 miles north of Socorro. Outside the Visitor Center, the Refuge also offers hunting, wildlife watching, and nature trails for hiking, available from sunrise to sunset. Activities are available for children. Visit their website to learn more: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Sevilleta/
Socorro, NM Plaza
Socorro’s Kittrel Park has been better known as the historic Socorro Plaza, or “The Plaza”, since the 1880’s. The Plaza has remained a popular location in Socorro as a site of community events and activities, such as running races, weekend farmers’ markets, concert events like Socorrofest, and the annual Christmas Parade. It serves as the starting point to the City of Socorro’s historic walking tour, and is surrounded by other notable historic attractions, including the Elfego Baca Heritage Park to the north, the Isidro Baca Veterans Park to the south, and the Socorro Heritage Museum and Visitor Center to the west.
Village of Pie Town
The Village of Pie Town, located about 36 miles west of the VLA on Highway 60 in Catron County and home to one of NRAO’s ten VLBA antennas, is the perfect place to stop for a meal before or after your visit to the VLA, be it at the Pie Town Cafe or The Gatherin’ Place restaurant and gift shop. Famous and beloved for its restaurants and bakeries that sell a plethora of pies of different flavors, Pie Town also hosts its popular Pie Festival on the second Saturday of September each year.
Village of Magdalena
The Village of Magdalena is known to locals as both the Trail’s End and the Gateway to the Stars. Approximately a third of the way to the Very Large Array from Socorro, the village was named for Magdalena Peak which Spanish soldiers christened after Mary Magdalene because they saw the profile of a woman in a rock formation on the side of the mountain. A former ranching town, Magdalena is now home to art and antiques galleries, rock and mineral shops, and a handful of local cafes. Magdalena also plays host to the annual Enchanted Skies Star Party and the Old Timers Reunion and Rodeo. The Ghost Town of Kelly, an abandoned mining community, is just minutes away.