New Mexico’s landscapes are varied, dramatic, and frequently otherworldly. Some of our scenery seems better suited to a movie or perhaps even to a dream. Listed below are 15 places in the Land of Enchantment that are so incredible, you’ll think you imagined them.
1. Camel Rock
By day, Camel Rock serves as a fun photo op but, with the moon rising behind it, this rock formation transforms into something magical.
2. Gila Lower Box Canyon
Located near the town of Lordsburg, this canyon is especially charming when the wildflowers are in bloom. It also happens to be home to about 200 species of birds.
3. Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area
New Mexico's badlands are truly surreal. This area, which lacks official trails, lies between Farmington and Nageezi.
4. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
The nearby Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness belongs in a fairytale.
5. Aspen Vista Trail
This trail, located in the Santa Fe National Forest, brings to mind the Rudyard Kipling poem: "The Way Through The Woods."
6. White Sands National Monument
You expect to see sand dunes at the beach. But the 275-square miles of gypsum crystals that make up New Mexico's White Sands National Monument seem like a figment of the imagination.
7. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
The flocks of birds that carpet this refuge during migration seasons definitely defies imagination. The soundtrack of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of geese honking has to be heard to be believed.
8. Haynes Canyon Vista
You can access this panoramic overlook of the Tularosa Basin from the Sunspot Highway (near Cloudcroft).
9. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
As you drive between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, you'd never dream these cool rocks, named for their resemblance to tents, were tucked away nearby.
10. Lincoln National Forest
Flickr/Forest Service Southwestern Region
This forest sprawls across more than one million acres of land and, as is the case in much of the state, the scenery is particularly striking when the aspens begin to turn.
11. Abiquiú Lake
Whether you view Abiquiú Lake in the daytime, when the red rocks contrast against the reservoir's water or at sunset, it's always an enchanting sight.
12. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
This part of the Chihuahuan Desert looks especially majestic by moonlight.
13. The Blue Hole
You don't expect to find an oasis like The Blue Hole in Eastern New Mexico but perhaps the most amazing thing about this place is that the water totally replenishes itself every six hours.
14. Brazos Cliffs and Valley
Many people associate images like this with Colorado, but the Brazos Cliffs and Chama River are found in Northern New Mexico.
15. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
I bet James Larkin "Jim" White was completely gobsmacked when he realized the wonders hidden underground in Carlsbad.