I know nothing about New Mexico, except that they have a town named Truth or Consequences (which is awesome). What are the highlights of the state in terms of camping and outdoors activities? Thanks!
I have been through New Mexico numerous times and must say that there are a lot of hidden and not so hidden gems!!
In the northern portion I would definitely suggest Tent Rocks for hiking for a day and camping and exploring the Chaco site, it is amazing!!!
Santa Fe as a whole is unique and interesting and you can find everything from really cool places to eat and art (my favorite place ever Meow Wolf) to just outside its bounds some great hiking and camping in state parks. I really enjoyed Nambe Falls for shorter hikes and lake access and the Hyde Memorial for mountains and camping (also some fun skiing in this area if you like to ski).
Mid way through the state I have found that Bottomless Lake is kinda a cool spot to visit, although it is pretty popular during summer because of the really cool lake itself. We camped here one night and then explored the next day, even on a dismal day the water was really beautiful. Not to far from this area you can also find Roswell which is worth a stop just to see all the crazy alien stuff at least once in a lifetime.
Toward the southern part of the state Cloudcroft is a cool place to visit the forest and mountain areas, Alamogordo is awesome for a both the White Sands National Park for sledding and unique scenery, a NASA museum located in town and the Holloman Air Force Base. You should definitely look into the base because it is one of the sites they have used to test all the crazy bombs and you can tour the grounds and a pretty cool museum there.
Carlsbad Caverns is also really fun in southern New Mexico and a great place to see tons of formations. There is camping nearby in White City which I would suggest and a lot of hiking if you enjoy that.
Just want to echo how amazing Meow Wolf is! They’re supposed to be opening one in Denver and Vegas in the future as well. I know it isn’t outdoors, but if you’re into contemporary art, there’s a great museum in Roswell: The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.
Also a second thumbs up for White Sands and Chaco Culture. I think that White Sands is one of the most surreal, cool places in the US. You can explore the dunes for hours! Glad they got the NP status recently.
I stayed mostly in the southern portion of New Mexico for a month, and these are the places I thought were unique/interesting:
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument - there are two ways to get to this national monument. One of them goes through Silver City (we did not take), and the other is more scenic. We took the scenic route. Fair warning - despite what your GPS says about how long it will take to get there, ADD AN HOUR. The last 10-12 miles are roughly 10mph. The road is barely two car widths wide, there is no dividing line, and there are switchbacks. That said, it is well worth the drive. Bring your own water, your own snacks - there’s only the visitor center. The hike is spectacular, but there are no rails. The elevation gain is roughly 17 stories high, with lots of switchbacks on the trail. The ranger will stop you if you do not have closed toe shoes - this is not an easy breezy walk on the trail. Hiking boots are preferred.
If you are around in late August/early September/Labor Day, there are some amazing events:
- Hatch Chile Fest, Hatch, NM
- White Sands Balloon Festival (usually Labor Day weekend)9
- Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta - this is at Elephant Butte Lake State Park, so you could camp there and see amazing sights.
Hi, We live in NM . There is so much to do here, so many places to go. We love camping in the Pecos . thanks , Michaela Maestas