In New Mexico, driving the backroads is often the key to unlocking some of the state’s best scenery. There is no shortage of country roads here – many of them unpaved – to satisfy either those seeking adventure or simply escape. So next time you have a day off and a certain restless feeling, head out on these nine scenic country roads in New Mexico that are less traveled. (Many of these routes involve unpaved roads and should not be attempted during bad weather.)

It’s a little tricky to find the Quebradas Backcountry Scenic Byway. For more details, visit the BLM website.

What are your favorite scenic country roads in New Mexico? Discover more of the prettiest places in New Mexico for more stunning scenery. But. before you hit the road, check out our Ultimate Road Trip Packing List.

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Scenic Country Roads In New Mexico

What are the best road trips through New Mexico?

Some of the best New Mexico road trips include the following:


What places in New Mexico should I see before I die?

Here are a few bucket list-worthy destinations and experiences in New Mexico to have before you die:

  • The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta should be on everyone's bucket lists. The iconic sight of the colorful hot air balloons drifting over the beautiful landscape is unforgettable.
  • Visit the Rio Grande Gorge. Whether you hike in the area, cross the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, or just enjoy it from the edge, it's certainly memorable.
  • Visiting New Mexico wouldn't be complete without discovering its lovely pueblos and historic buildings, from the Taos Pueblo to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.


What underrated places in New Mexico should I visit?

Here are a couple underrated places in New Mexico you should visit:

  • The Chaco Culture National Historic Park is 24 miles out from the nearest small town, Nageezi, but the remarkable ruins shown here are impressive to see.
  • You can swim underneath a waterfall when you visit the remote Sitting Bull Falls, part of the Lincoln National Forest. Though somewhat out of the way, the peaceful surroundings, cascading waters, and cool pool make for a great experience.