Kelly is located just south of Magdelena, New Mexico
on a road that starts out nice and paved
and ends up a nightmare
. The Honda Civic
Hatchback I was driving had serious trouble with the ruts
in the road
and there were at least a few moments that my travelling companion
and I thought it might not make it. And the ice
Is Kelly worth it? Well, it's remarkably intact thanks to a local preservation association attached to the Kelly Catholic Church that occasionally holds services there from time to time - and during the summer months they have official visiting times, so for all I know there may be crowds there in season. But, as you may have guessed from the ice, i was there during the dead of winter so crowds weren't a problem.
And yes, Kelly is worth it. For one thing, compared to most of the ghost towns I've visited in New Mexico, Kelly is huge and sprawling. Intact mines can be seen all over the local hills, numerious buildings are in various states of decay, and one of the mines still has a substantial amount of equipment attached to it - that and an open mine shaft barely covered by a sheet of chain-link fence. I dropped a nickel into the hole and didn't hear it hit bottom... that's a word of warning.
The important thing to do in Kelly is to explore. Unlike a lot of the ghost towns you come across that are small clusters of wasting buildings in a cluster, Kelly covers a lot of ground. You can find the remains of at least two churches (besides the well kept Catholic one), a cemetery, a dozen mines and the mill that stands in the center of town. That's not to mention all the homes and shops that are mostly still around just as foundations. When you first drive up you more or less have to park by the church, and besides the impressive mill you can't see a whole lot else, and you won't unless you pick a direction and start walking... many of the buildings are out of plain sight because of encroaching underbrush - and they're worth visiting. If you just see the modern church and the decaying mill you're cheating yourself after putting up with that drive.