Most People Don’t Know You Can Visit These Seven National Parks In New Mexico For Free

Who doesn’t love things that are free, especially if those things involve a bit of a road trip? Our national park system has just the thing! Each year, about six times per year (depending on circumstances, of course), selected National Parks throw open their doors and welcome all comers. This makes for a budget-friendly adventure fit for families and adult travelers alike. Below are some of the national parks in New Mexico that offer free entrance days:

Look for free entrance days around holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Veterans’ Day. The National Parks Service also celebrates its birthday and National Public Lands Day with free park entrances. Keep in mind, not all parks participate in every free-admission day. Be sure to call the park before you plan your free trip. For more information, visit the National Park Service Free Entrance Day information web page.

Have you taken advantage of any of the free entrance days at New Mexico Parks? Tell us about your experiences.

Address: 725 Ruins Rd, Aztec, NM 87410, USA
Address: Bandelier National Monument, 15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
Address: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad, NM 88220, USA
Address: Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico, USA
Address: White Sands National Park, New Mexico, USA
Address: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, 26 Jim Bradford Trail, Mimbres, NM 88049, USA
Address: Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico 88418, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

National Parks to Visit in New Mexico

February 22, 2022

What are the best state parks in New Mexico?  

New Mexico is home to 35 amazing state parks. It’s far more beautiful than most people tend to give it credit for; they assume it’s a desert wasteland and skip it in favor of, say, Colorado – but they shouldn’t. New Mexico is amazing, and its state parks reflect this well. Some of our favorites include the amazing White Sands National Monument, which features some of the most amazing dunes in the nation and countless photography opportunities. It’s located at the northern end of the Chihuahua Desert and is well worth a visit to show you just how amazing the desert can be. Then there’s the world-famous Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which features 119 mapped caves and one of the most amazing cave systems on the continent – right here in little ol’ New Mexico. We also love Cerrillos Hills State Park, south of Santa Fe, for amazing views and great hikes, and Morphy Lake State Park, found in the eastern Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is home to a crystalline blue lake that you’ll never want to leave. Need more inspiration? Check this article out for some of our favorite underrated state parks in New Mexico. 

What are the best hiking trails in New Mexico?  

New Mexico is host to no less than 1,400 amazing hiking and biking trails. We’re not surprised; as underrated as this state tends to be, it’s definitely known for some of its amazing hikes, like the Williams Lake Trail, which can be hard or moderately challenging depending on which way you decide to hike it. Take Williams Lake Trail on its own and you’re in for 4.2 miles of good times and great lake views in a mountainous landscape. Branch off onto Wheeler Park Trail and head to the tallest point in New Mexico – an 8.5-mile trek – instead, though that hike is considered hard and should be attempted only by experienced hikers. We also love the Nambe Lake Trail, located in Santa Fe National Forest. This one is challenging and 6.7 miles long, but it leads through the amazing southern Rocky Mountains and is well worth the effort.  

Address: 725 Ruins Rd, Aztec, NM 87410, USA
Address: Bandelier National Monument, 15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
Address: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad, NM 88220, USA
Address: Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico, USA
Address: White Sands National Park, New Mexico, USA
Address: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, 26 Jim Bradford Trail, Mimbres, NM 88049, USA
Address: Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico 88418, USA