The Chihuahua Desert is the third largest desert in the Western Hemisphere, spanning parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. Along with several mountain ranges and dramatic vistas, the desert is home to deposits of lead, zinc, barite, copper, manganese, sulfur, oil, gas, fluorite, talc, potash, water, quarry stone, gypsum, mercury, bentonite, salt, silver, gold, sand, and gravel. The Chihuahuan Desert Mining Heritage Exhibit at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center features a model mine, ore, and mining equipment from mining activity in the norther Chihuahua Desert.
Normally, such displays are confined to buildings, but this outdoor display encourages visitors to wander by groupings of gold, silver, and other ore along with tools that had been used to mine it. A 19th century head frame stands in pride of place, surrounded by ore and next to a shack with more artifacts.