New Mexico is a state of contrasts, with a diverse landscape that ranges from the arid desert to the lush forests. This makes it the perfect destination for a road trip, as you can experience the stunning scenery of the state at your own pace. Here is a guide to the ultimate road trip through New Mexico’s stunning scenery, from the famous Route 66 to the lesser-known gems.
Starting your journey in Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, you can explore the Old Town, which has preserved its Spanish colonial architecture and offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history. From there, you can drive to the Sandia Peak Tramway, which takes you to the top of Sandia Mountain for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The tramway is the longest in the world and offers a unique perspective of the area.
As you leave Albuquerque, you can follow the historic Route 66, which passes through many small towns and stunning landscapes. One of the most famous stops along the way is the town of Gallup, which is known for its Native American art and jewelry. You can also visit the El Rancho Hotel, which has hosted many famous guests, including John Wayne and Ronald Reagan.
Continuing on Route 66, you can reach the charming town of Santa Fe, which is known for its art galleries, museums, and unique architecture. The city’s historic district has been preserved and offers a glimpse into the state’s Spanish colonial past. You can also visit the famous Santa Fe Opera, which is located on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
From Santa Fe, you can drive to the Bandelier National Monument, which is home to ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. The park offers hiking trails that allow you to explore the ruins and learn about the history of the area. Another must-see attraction in the area is the Puye Cliff Dwellings, which are located on the Santa Clara Pueblo and offer an opportunity to learn about the Native American culture and history.
As you continue your road trip, you can head to the Taos Ski Valley, which is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. The valley is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can also visit the Taos Pueblo, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Taos, you can drive to the White Sands National Monument, which is home to the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The park offers hiking trails and a scenic drive that allows you to experience the stunning white sand dunes. You can also enjoy activities such as sandboarding and sledding in the dunes.
As you near the end of your road trip, you can visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which is home to one of the largest cave systems in the world. The park offers guided tours and hiking trails that allow you to explore the caves and learn about the geology of the area. You can also witness the nightly bat flight, as thousands of bats emerge from the caves to hunt for food.
Finally, you can end your road trip in the city of Las Cruces, which is located in the southern part of the state. The city offers a variety of attractions, including the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, which showcases the state’s agricultural history, and the White Sands Missile Range Museum, which offers a glimpse into the state’s military history.
In conclusion, a road trip through New Mexico offers a unique opportunity to experience the state’s stunning scenery and rich history. From the deserts to the mountains, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags and hit the road for the ultimate adventure through the Land of Enchantment.