Attractions February 05, 2017
These 14 Spiritual Places In New Mexico Will Leave You In Awe
Maybe it’s the majesty of our landscapes or our long religious history, but New Mexico seems to attract spiritually-minded people. Many believe that you can connect with a higher power anywhere. However, if you want to contemplate some of life’s biggest questions in a spiritual setting, try visiting these 14 spots in the Land of Enchantment.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Tome Hill, near Los Lunas
You can see from this photo how flat the land surrounding Tome Hill is, which explains why it has long been used as an observation point. The 1800 petroglyphs here tell us that Native American tribes were familiar with this spot. Nowadays, Tome Hill attracts the most visitors on Good Friday, when flocks of pilgrims climb to the three crosses on the summit.
2. Shiprock, in Shiprock
The Navajo consider Shiprock to be sacred. Its name in that language (Tsé Bitʼaʼí)
translates to “winged rock,” which refers to the legend that a bird carried the Navajo to the Southwest. This rock is especially dramatic because it towers 1800 feet above the surrounding land. Stricter rules mean that non-Navajo visitors must admire this spiritual site from a distance - it’s visible from NM-491.
3. St Joseph Apache Mission Church, Mescalero
Construction on this tranquil church, which is nestled in the Sacramento Mountains, was completed in 1939. However, more recently, it has been undergoing renovations. Visitors are welcome at this beautiful place that serves as a memorial to veterans who died during World War I and II.
4. Dar Al-Islam Mosque, Abiquiu
Members of the public are welcome to visit this mosque, which is open on weekdays. Its setting has to be seen to be believed because Plaza Blanca, or the White Place, lies inside the mosque's grounds. This stunning spot inspired the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and the rock formations definitely create a sense of awe.
5. Santuario De Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, Santa Fe
This shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was first created in 1777, making it the oldest in the nation. Enjoy quiet contemplation in the rose garden then head inside this inviting church.
6. Dwan Light Sanctuary, Las Vegas
Located on the grounds of the United World College, (yes, the one inside Montezuma Castle) is a magical place of retreat. The Dwan Light Sanctuary uses prisms to capture the light and it is open to the public.
Update: The Dwan Light Sanctuary recently sustained weather damage and will be closed for repairs for a few months. Please keep an eye on
7. The Shroud Exhibit and Museum, Alamogordo
A museum might not sound like a religious place, but this one is devoted to exploring the mystery of the Shroud of Turin, a piece of linen that many believe was Jesus’ burial shroud.
The museum includes a full-sized replica of the shroud that is lit to show every detail. Exhibits review all the scientific testing that the fabric has undergone.
For more info.
8. Santa Cruz de la Canada Church, Santa Cruz
If religious art stirs your soul, be sure to visit this church, which has a gorgeous altar screen. People have been worshipping in this building since its completion in 1748.
9. The Labyrinth at Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, Abiquiu
Walking a labyrinth is one way to calm a stressed mind and this practice is common in several different faiths. There are numerous labyrinths throughout the state but the one at Purple Adobe is unique because it is flanked by lavender bushes. Talk about soothing. (The farm is open seasonally, from April through October.)
10. Los Portales Shrine, Seboyeta
This remote shrine is inside a cave, in the tiny village of Seboyeta. Nearby, you’ll find a natural spring that some believe has healing properties.
11. Sacramento Mountains Museum and Pioneer Village, Cloudcroft
This adorable chapel in the woods dates back to 1899. Stop by for a visit, or consider booking it for an intimate wedding ceremony.
For more info.
12. Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu
Anyone can visit this Benedictine Monastery, hidden at the end of a long dirt road. The grounds are breathtaking and the wilderness locale lends itself to peaceful contemplation.
For more info.
13. Bodhi Manda Zen Center, Jemez Springs
Members of the public can sometimes stay at this Buddhist Retreat Center. Accommodations are basic, but the scenery is staggering and you can soak in the hot springs.
For more info.
14. San Francisco De Asis Mission Church, Rancho de Taos
This historic church was constructed in the mid to late 1700s and the building’s architecture combines Native American and Spanish styles. Some find physical labor spiritually rewarding and, if you fall into that category, join parishioners as they re-mud the church over the course of two weeks every June.
New Mexico has an abundance of awe-inspiring spiritual places. If you think we’ve overlooked your favorite, read our previous article: “
These 14 Churches In New Mexico Will Leave You Absolutely Speechless.” Also, El Santuario de Chimayo is such a popular pilgrimage destination that we’ve devoted a full article to this special place. Read about it here.
What spiritual spot in New Mexico speaks to you?