Mesilla Valley

Last updated
The Mesilla Valley as seen from Las Cruces' west mesa. Mesilla valley.JPG
The Mesilla Valley as seen from Las Cruces' west mesa.
The Organ Mountains tower over the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces, NM in the foreground). MesillaValley Organs.jpg
The Organ Mountains tower over the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces, NM in the foreground).

The Mesilla Valley is a geographic feature of Southern New Mexico and far West Texas. It was formed by repeated heavy spring floods of the Rio Grande.

The fertile Mesilla Valley extends from Radium Springs, New Mexico, to the west side of El Paso, Texas. [1] The valley is quite fertile, and is characterized by its few remaining bosques, as well as its native cottonwood trees, and increasingly, by invasive tamarisk, which was introduced in the late 19th century, and is known locally as salt cedar.

Due to the fertile nature of the valley, agriculture is a very important activity in this area. Stahmann Farms owns the world's largest pecan orchard, is located south of the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Alfalfa, cotton, chile, onions and corn are other important cash crops grown in the Mesilla Valley. The Mesilla Valley is also known for its wine-producing capabilities, which originated with the Spanish exploration into New Mexico. It was part of Mexico until Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Las Cruces, New Mexico City in New Mexico, United States

Las Cruces is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 97,618, and in 2017 the estimated population was 101,712, making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico. The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,849 in 2017. It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.

Mesilla, New Mexico Place in New Mexico, United States

Mesilla is a town in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 2,196 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Gadsden Purchase A land purchase from Mexico by the United States.

The Gadsden Purchase, known in Mexico as Spanish: Venta de La Mesilla, is a 29,670-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States acquired from Mexico by the Treaty of Mesilla, which took effect on June 8, 1854. The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande where the U.S. wanted to build a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route, which the Southern Pacific Railroad later completed in 1881–1883. The purchase also aimed to resolve other border issues.

New Mexico Territory territory of the United States of America, 1850-1912

The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of New Mexico, making it the longest-lived organized incorporated territory of the United States, lasting approximately 62 years.

Confederate Arizona Territory of the Confederate States of America

Confederate Arizona was the common name for southern New Mexico and Arizona between 1861 and 1862, when Confederate Army Colonel John R. Baylor governed the area. The official name of the region was Territory of Arizona. Confederate Arizona was also known as Arizona Territory. Effective Confederate control ended after the Battle of Glorieta Pass in March 1862. The Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered to Union forces in May 1865, ending the Civil War.

New Mexico Campaign Military operation of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War

The New Mexico Campaign was a military operation of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California. Historians regard this campaign as the most ambitious Confederate attempt to establish control of the American West and to open an additional theater in the war. It was an important campaign in the war's Trans-Mississippi Theater, and one of the major events in the history of the New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War.

First Battle of Mesilla battle

The First Battle of Mesilla, was fought on July 25, 1861 at Mesilla in New Mexico Territory, in present-day Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Tularosa Basin Endorheic basin in New Mexico, United States

The Tularosa Basin is a graben basin in the Basin and Range Province and within the Chihuahuan Desert, east of the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States.

Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso diocese of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso is a particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in West Texas. Covering 26,686 square miles (69,120 km2), it encompasses the Texas counties of El Paso, Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Presidio, Reeves, Ward and Winkler with approximately 668,000 professing members, being 80.8% of the total population, served by 107 priests, 54 parishes and 237 male and female religious. The see is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Corn Ranch

Corn Ranch is a spaceport in the West Texas town of Van Horn, Texas, where flight tests of the New Shepard are carried out by Blue Origin. The 165,000-acre (670 km²) land parcel was purchased by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos. The first flight test took place on November 13, 2006 with the goal of providing commercial tourist flights.

Traditional Arizona

Prior to the adoption of its name for a U.S. state, Arizona was traditionally defined as the region south of the Gila River to the present-day Mexican border, and between the Colorado River and the Rio Grande. It encompasses present-day Southern Arizona and the New Mexico Bootheel plus adjacent parts of Southwestern New Mexico. This area was transferred from Mexico to the United States in the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Mining and ranching were the primary occupations of traditional Arizona's inhabitants, though growing citrus fruits had long been occurring in Tucson.

Founded as El Paso del Norte by Spanish Franciscan friars at an important mountain pass, the area became a small agricultural producer though most settlement was south of the river where modern Mexico lies. The city was considered part of New Mexico under Spanish Conquerors and was tied economically to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Chihuahuan mining districts of San Felipe El Real and San José del Parral.

Fort Thorn or Fort Thorne, originally Cantonment Garland, was a settlement and military outpost located on the west bank of the Rio Grande, northwest of present-day Hatch, and west of Salem in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. It was named for 1st Lt. Herman Thorn of the 2nd U.S. Infantry drowned in the Colorado River in 1849. He had previously been an aide to General John Garland, the new commander of the Ninth Military District, that encompassed New Mexico Territory in 1853.

The Butterfield Overland Mail was a transport and mail delivery system that employed stagecoaches that traveled on a specific route between Saint Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, California and which passed through the New Mexico Territory. It was created by the United States Congress on March 3, 1857, and operated until March 30, 1861. The route that was operated extended from where the ferry across the Colorado River to Fort Yuma Station, California was located, through New Mexico Territory via, Tucson to the Rio Grande and Mesilla, New Mexico then south to Franklin, Texas, midpoint on the route. The New Mexico Territory mail route was divided into two divisions each under a superintendent. Tucson was the headquarters of the 3rd Division of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company. Franklin Station in the town of Franklin,, was headquarters of the 4th Division.

Mesilla Diversion Dam dam in Doña Ana County, New Mexico

The Mesilla Diversion Dam is located in the Rio Grande about 40 miles (64 km) upstream of El Paso, Texas, about 6 miles (9.7 km) to the south of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It diverts water from the river for irrigation in the lower Mesilla Valley. The dam is owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which built it, and is operated by the Elephant Butte Irrigation District.

Abo Canyon, also known as Abo Pass, is a mountain pass at the southern end of the Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico.

Picacho, is a populated place in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. It lies at an elevation of 3,907 feet / 1,191 meters.

Rincon Valley is a valley through which the Rio Grande flows in New Mexico. Rincon Valley heads at 33°02′54″N107°16′41″W at an elevation of 4,195 feet in a narrow gap between the Caballo Mountains on the east and bluffs on the west bank of the Rio Grande south of where Red Canyon meets the river, in Sierra County, New Mexico. Its mouth is at an elevation of 3,973 feet / 1,211 meters where it emerges from a narrow canyon between the Selden Hills on the northeast bank of the river and Robledo Mountains on the southwest bank, into the Mesilla Valley at Radium Springs in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

La Mesilla, New Mexico Census-designated place in New Mexico, United States

La Mesilla is a census-designated place in Río Arriba County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 1,772 as of the 2010 census.

San Augustin Spring, formerly also known as San Augustine Springs, is a spring in the Organ Mountains in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. It lies on the east side of San Augustin Pass at an elevation of 5627 feet / 1715 meters, 14.7 miles east northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico.


  1. Chang, C. W. (1953). "Chemical Properties of Alkali Soils in Mesilla Valley, New Mexico". Soil Science. 75 (3): 233–242. doi:10.1097/00010694-195303000-00008.

Coordinates: 31°47′25″N106°25′24″W / 31.79028°N 106.42333°W / 31.79028; -106.42333