Carrizozo started as a link on the El Paso and Northeastern Railway (EP&NE) in 1899. In 1909, the county seat was moved from Lincoln to Carrizozo and the population grew to approximately 2,000. Unfortunately, the rise of the automobile, railway travel decreased and, with it, the boom that brought people and businesses to the area. Today, just under 1,000 people live in Carrizozo. The railroad still runs through it and there is heavy traffic along highways 54 and 380 but just off the main thoroughfares, there are ample artistic, cultural and recreational happenings, good schools, a health and senior center, an airport and varied terrain that includes Valley of Fires Recreational Area, the Lincoln National Forest and Chihuahuan desert grasslands. Named for carrizo, a reed grass, the weather is nice with lows in the 20s during January and highs nearing 90 in the summer months and an average of 286 days of sunshine a year.