Take This Road Trip Through New Mexico’s Most Picturesque Small Towns For An Unforgettable Experience
Small towns offer a slower pace of life, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that’ll have you craving seconds, and some unexpectedly intriguing attractions. While it’s fun to visit one small town for the day, what if you could visit nine of them? Well, driving along this route through picturesque small towns in New Mexico allows you to do just that. The drive time is a hair under 7 hours and the journey covers 320 miles. That gives you the option to complete it in one long day or to make a weekend out of this road trip. Of course, we couldn’t include all of our state’s wonderful small towns without sending you zigzagging across New Mexico for days. So we focused on creating a loop (technically a figure eight) out of scenic small towns with populations under 10,000.
You’ll find the map for this route HERE.
Now, let’s hit the road!
Do you like the idea of a small town road trip? Are any of your favorite small towns included? We love a good road trip and have devised several others such as our haunted Northern New Mexico road trip and our spooky Southern New Mexico route.
Picturesque Small Towns In New Mexico
What is the most beautiful small town in New Mexico?
The best small towns in New Mexico are often considered as such thanks to their picturesque qualities, whether it be within the town itself or in the surrounding natural scenery. One of the most beautiful towns when it comes to scenery is Capitan, New Mexico. Though it’s small at a population under 1,500, the surrounding mountains and forest are absolutely stunning. Plus, it has a fun history. It was in Capitan that a certain bear cub was rescued from a forest fire. That bear cub later became known as an iconic image advocating fire safety – yep, Smokey the Bear!
What underrated places in New Mexico should I visit?
There are many things to do in New Mexico that not many people know about, but should. If you want to experience the old west, try a visit to the dusty town of Lincoln. It’s been preserved so that it still looks the same as when Billy the Kid gave it a visit back in the wild west days. Go even further back in time when you visit another underrated gem called the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, located near Tularosa. There are over 21,000 glyphs on the rocks there. They are thought to have been made by the Jordan Mogollon people as early as 900 A.D. and as late as the 15th century. They’re incredible to see in person and the history of the site is fascinating.
What are the best day trips in New Mexico?
If you enjoy taking road trips through New Mexico, you might also love these day trips. A trip out to Tucumcari, located along Route 66, is a blast from the past. It’s almost like they haven’t changed since the route was truly the Mother Road. They have a museum, old motels, neon signs, and more. If you are looking for a more nature-oriented trip, try a drive out to the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness. This is New Mexico’s very only badlands that include beautiful landscape, weird geological formations, and more. It’s almost like visiting another planet.