New Mexico has sweeping landscapes that make you feel like you’ve climbed inside an oil painting. But the state is also filled with sites that showcase its lengthy and complex history. Whether you live here, or are simply visiting, you’ll be sorry if you miss these amazing places in New Mexico.
19. Clayton Lake State Park
It's one thing to know that dinosaurs roamed Earth. It's another to actually see the footprints from 100 million years ago, located just outside the town of Clayton.
18. Four Corners National Monument
This is the only place in the United States where you can simultaneously stand in four separate states.
17. Fort Union National Monument
This military fort, in Watrous, played an important role in both the development of the Santa Fe Trail and in the Civil War.
16. Lava Flow at El Malpais, Near Grants
How many people can say that they've hiked across a lava flow?
15. Aztec Ruins, Near Farmington
Explore the remains of a 900-year-old Pueblo "Great House" that includes a massive, reconstructed kiva that was used in ceremonies.
14. Earthships, Near Taos
These surreal examples of eco-architecture have been around since the 1970s. The walls are typically made from rubber tires, filled with dirt!
13. Old Town, Albuquerque
Travel back in time to see what 18th century New Mexico looked like, with a stroll around this historic section of Albuquerque.
12. Mountains of New Mexico
Many people don't realize that the Rockies begin (or end) in New Mexico. Wheeler Peak is 13,161 feet high!
11. San Miguel Chapel, Santa Fe
Bet you didn't know that the nation's oldest church is in Santa Fe.
10. Rio Grande Gorge, Outside Of Taos
This area of natural beauty puts the gorge in gorgeous.
9. Santa Fe Plaza
The Plaza, which is the heart of Santa Fe, is particularly enchanting around the holidays.
8. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, In The Mogollon Mountains
The Mogollon Peoples created homes halfway up the face of a sheer cliff.
7. UFO Museum, Roswell
More than just a kitsch-fest, this museum provides detailed displays to help you decide what really happened. The truth is out there...
6. View from Sandia Peak, Overlooking Albuquerque
Whether you ride the tram or drive along the Sandia Crest Byway, the panoramic view from the top is stunning.
5. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Near Nageezi
One thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon was home to a great civilization. This site provides an awe-inspiring insight into the life, commerce, and culture of the Chacoan People.
4. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, Near Cochiti
Climb among the hoodoos at Tent Rocks to immerse yourself in an other-worldly landscape.
3. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
During migration periods, geese and sandhill cranes swoop down to this refuge, south of Socorro, in massive flocks. Definitely go yourself, because a picture cannot capture the soundtrack of thousands of honking geese.
2. Carlsbad Caverns, Near Carlsbad
So far, 119 caves have been discovered in the Carlsbad complex. This is fortunate because, in summer months, the caves house almost 400,000 bats!
1. White Sands, Near Alamogordo
New Mexico may be landlocked, but there's plenty of sand (technically gypsum crystals)—275 square miles of it, to be precise.
What other places are on your New Mexico bucket list? Tell us in the comments below!