New Mexico April 11, 2017
8 Incredible Places In New Mexico That Will Bring Out The Explorer In You
New Mexico is an explorer’s paradise. Whatever type of landscape you’re seeking, you’ll find it here – from dunes, to mountains, and lakes – and much of the time you’ll have these places to yourself. Read on, and discover 8 incredible destinations for your next adventure:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Mescalero Sand Dunes OHV Area (near Caprock)
You know about White Sands, but were you aware that there are dunes between Roswell and Tatum? If you have an ATV, a Jeep, or just want to feel soft sand trickle through your fingers, you’ll want to check out this spot. (The dunes are located off US-380 and NM-172.)
2. Latir Peak Wilderness Area (near Questa)
Inside the Carson National Forest lies a more than 20,000-acre wilderness area that is both stunning and isolated. It doesn’t matter whether you explore this hidden spot on foot, on horseback, or with a
with a llama in tow,
you’ll adore the views of clear creeks and mountain peaks. Just remember that, in a wilderness area, it’s especially important to leave no trace.
3. Quebradas Backcountry Scenic Byway (near Socorro)
Sometimes, the hues of the land here are so vibrant that they almost look fake in photos. Rest assured that the colors really are that vivid. To see for yourself, drive along this 24-mile long scenic byway for an unforgettable adventure.
4. The Sierra Vista Trail (near Las Cruces)
The 29-mile long Sierra Vista Trail can be found within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Used by mountain bikers, horseback riders, and pedestrians, it provides panoramic vistas of both the Organ and Franklin Mountains.
For directions to trail access points.
5. Crow Canyon (near Farmington)
Veer way off the beaten path with an excursion to this little known site that features both Navajo and Ancestral Puebloan petroglyph panels. It's best to explore this area in a 4WD or AWD vehicle, under dry conditions.
6. Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area (near Chimayo)
The tortuous road leading to this small jewel of a lake provides plenty of adventure. Once you arrive at this beautiful fishing or picnicking spot, you can kick back and relax or continue exploring on foot. (The turnoff for this recreation area is located off NM-503.)
7. Pino Canyon (Tijeras)
This trail is convenient to Albuquerque but feels miles removed from an urban environment.
Hike through the Cibola National Forest along an easy route that joins the Crest Trail, should you want to continue your trek. (The trailhead is off NM-337.)
8. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (near Whites City)
It’s no surprise that our national park is a primo spot for adventurous activities. But there is far more to this area than the natural entrance and the Big Room. Buy tickets for a ranger-guided cave tour to squeeze the most fun into your visit. Crawl and clamber through Spider Cave or explore Slaughter Canyon, a wild cave that leads to formations that include a crystal-clad column. Make reservations in advance because you won't want to miss the opportunity to discover these caves in a smaller group.
What spot in New Mexico do you want to explore next?
24 places in the Land of Enchantment that you’ll want to visit this year.