New Mexico Things to Do Tips by Basaic Top 5 Page for this destination
New Mexico Things to Do: 268 reviews and 581 photos
El Morro National Monument
People have occupied the area around this sandstone bluff since around 9000 BC. Some of the ancient Native Americans left petroglyphs behind. Spanish explorers like Coronado left their marks in the soft rock, as did settlers moving west. The bluff hid a continuous water source making it a popular stop on the trails west. Photo 1 shows the sandstone bluff. Photo 2 shows one of the ancient petroglyphs. Photo 3 shows one of the inscriptions left by settlers during the expansion west. Photo 4 shows a great view from atop the bluff and Photo 5 shows the remains of a pueblo on top of the bluff that was occupied during the 1200s to the 1400s.
For full details see my El Morro National Monument Page coming soon.
El Malpais National Monument shows the effects of multiple eruptions of volcanoes on this part of New Mexico. The last eruption was around 3000 years ago. Photo 1 shows the volcano that erupted about 115,000 years ago, El Calderon. Photo 2 is one of the caves you can explore, Junction Cave. Photo 3 shows the El Calderon Trail. Photo 4 is a view of the terrain in the park, and Photo 5 is the NPS Visitors Center. There is another part of the park, which I did not see, along New Mexico Highway 117.
For full information see my Grants Page coming soon.
Address: 123 East Roosevelt Avenue, Grants, NM 87020
Directions: On New Mexico Routes 53 and 117.
Phone: (505) 783-4774
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is the newest state park in New Mexico. It just opened in December 2008. Unlike most of its neighboring parks the main emphasis for the park is the reclamation and conservation of the habitat along the Rio Grande. The secondary function is educational. The park is just getting started and they have big plans for it in the future. "Bosque" is a Spanish word for a forest, in this case the habitat near a consistant source of water making it similar to a riparian area. The park offers a pretty nice visitors center with some educational displays, a relaxing plaza area, a small cactus garden, the Picacho Drain, some manmade water areas which are good for watching wildlife, and two main hiking trails. The park ranger on duty when I visited was very knowledgeable and helpful. This park is day use only, no camping.
For more information, see my Mesilla Page coming soon.
Address: P.O. Box 235, Mesilla, NM 88046
Phone: (575) 523-4398
Percha Dam State Park offers camping, picnicking, fishing and bird-watching along the Rio Grande. You can also hike along the river above and below the dam. Percha Dam is a diversion dam providing water through a canal system to farms in the nearby valley. The park is one of the top sites in the state for birdwatchers.
There will be more information soon on my Caballo Page.
Address: P.O. Box 32, Caballo, NM 87931
Directions: Percha Dam State Park is 21 miles south of Truth or Consequences via I-25, exit 59.
Phone: (575) 743-3942
View of Dam and Rio Grande From North Viewpoint
Leasburg Dam was built in 1908 and is one of the oldest diversion dams in New Mexico, providing irrigation to extensive farmland in the area. The park offers camping, picnic areas, some hiking trails to observation points offering views of the dam and the Rio Grande, and fishing, canoeing and kayaking from mid-March to mid-October. There is also a short trail through the cactus garden and a playground for the kids. It is also very close to Fort Selden State Monument a fort from the late 1800s.
For more information see my Leasburg Dam State Park Page coming soon.
Address: P.O. Box 6, Radium Springs, NM 88054
Directions: 15 miles north of Las Cruces on I-25, get off at exit 19 and take NM 157 west to the park entrance.
Phone: (575) 524-4068
Fort Selden Museum Display
Also in the southwestern part of New Mexico is Fort Selden State Monument. Fort Selden was established in 1865 in an effort to bring peace to the south central region of the territory. The fort was built of adobe on the banks of the Rio Grande, and housed units of the U.S. Infantry and Cavalry. The fort also housed several units of "Buffalo Soldiers" and porotected settlers in this region from bandits, Apaches and other threats. As a child, the famous general Douglas MacArthur lived here while his father was the post commander in the late 1880s. This is not part of the NM State Park system so if you have a State Park Pass you still have to pay the $3 admission fee. The visitors center has a nice museum and an informative short film about the fort and its history.
For more information, see my Fort Selden Page coming soon.
Directions: Radium Springs, NM. I-25 Exit 19, 13 miles north of Las Cruces, NM
Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake is 40 miles long with more than 200 miles of shoreline. It is the largest lake in the state and offers a wide assortment of waterborne activities. There are well over 100 campsites and at least one full service marina, along with numerous picnic sites. Most of the hiking would be to get from one site to another, this is predominantly a water sports location. There is also the Elephant Butte Dam Recreation Area nearby.
For more information see my Elephant Butte Page coming soon.
Address: P.O. Box 13, Elephant Butte, NM 87935
Phone: (575) 744-5923
Caballo Lake StatePark is located in the Southwestern part of New Mexico. It offers camping, boating, windsurfing, fishing, picnicking, and limited hiking.
For more information see my page under Caballo (coming soon).
Address: PO Box 32, Caballo, NM 87931
Directions: 1 mile north off Interstate 25 at Exit 59,onto NM Highway 187.
Phone: (575) 743-3942
White Sands Environment
White Sands National Monument contains part of a 275 square mile expanse of white Gypsum sand. This is the largest gypsum field in the world. The area offers a glimpse at a unique environment with some unique species of animal and plant life. There are some nice trails you can take to experience this environment including the handicapped accessible Boardwalk Trail. You can also have a picnic, or rent a metaldisk and slide down the dunes. You can hike across the desert off the marked trails but if you do so, make sure you follow the safety guidelines. There is a nice visitors center with some good educational displays and a Nature Center (if it is open).
For more information see my White Sands National Moument Page coming soon.
Address: PO Box 1086, Holloman AFB, NM 88330
Directions: Just off US Highway 70
Phone: (575) 679-2599
Gila Cliff Dwellings
The Gila Cliff Dwellings were built around the 1300s by the Mogollon Tribe. They built the dwellings into a series of natural caves in the limestone cliff. The trail leading to the dwellings goes by Gila Creek. It is near here that the famous Apache Leader, Geronimo was born. The trailis about 1 mile long and very pretty. Part of the trail is very steep and rocky. If you walk through from cave 3 to cave 5 you will also have to descend a wodden ladder. There is a viewpoint about 1/4 mile from the trailhead where you can see the dwellings although the view is partly obscured by trees. There is a nice Natural History display in a building by the trailhead.
For more information see my Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Page coming soon.
Address: HC 68 Box 100, Silver City, New Mexico 88061
Phone: (575) 536-9461
More Reviews (59)
Basaic's Related Pages
New Mexico Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Land of Enchantment"
- "New Mexico, Earth, But Out of this World"
- "One of our 50 is missing!"
- "UNIQUE CULTURE AMONGST SOUTHWEST GRANDUER"
- "Land of Varied Scenery"
- "New Mexican Legends ...."
- "Our Land of Enchantment"
- See All...
- Things to Do in New Mexico
- Hotels in New Mexico
- Transportation in New Mexico
- Nightlife in New Mexico
- Restaurants in New Mexico
- Shopping in New Mexico
- Warnings and Dangers in New Mexico
- See All...
Explore the World
- Petrie Hotels
- Lake Havasu City Hotels
- Dar es Salaam
- Plaridel Hotels
- Al Wakrah Hotels
- São Luís
Badges & Stats in New Mexico
- 491 Reviews
- 1,467 Photos
- 5 Forum posts
- 86 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (138)
Have you been to New Mexico?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in New Mexico
- Posted in Travel Grand Canyon National Park Forum "Re: Snow chains needed"
- Wrote a Review Not the Best Choice in Clovis in New Mexico Hotels
- updated a New Mexico Travel Page "Land of Enchantment"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Good Home Cooking in Lovington"
- Commented on one of jumpingnorman's New Mexico travel pages
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Arizona Intro, 224 reviews, 557 photos, 6 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Intro, 183 reviews, 381 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tucson Intro, 110 reviews, 327 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination New Mexico Intro, 91 reviews, 259 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Texas Intro, 104 reviews, 197 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Joshua Tree National Park Intro, 81 reviews, 190 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination California Intro, 68 reviews, 183 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area Intro, 72 reviews, 169 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Chiricahua National Monument Intro, 62 reviews, 164 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Great Smoky Mountains National Park Intro, 60 reviews, 148 photos
Top New Mexico hotels
- Albuquerque Hotels
- 775 Reviews - 1602 Photos
- Santa Fe Hotels
- 679 Reviews - 1352 Photos
- Roswell Hotels
- 79 Reviews - 169 Photos
- Cloudcroft Hotels
- 37 Reviews - 109 Photos
- Gallup Hotels
- 36 Reviews - 99 Photos
- Taos Hotels
- 208 Reviews - 526 Photos
- Las Cruces Hotels
- 76 Reviews - 202 Photos
- Carlsbad Hotels
- 61 Reviews - 132 Photos
- Farmington Hotels
- 2 Reviews - 10 Photos
- Brantley Lake State Park Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- Whites City Hotels
- 1 Review
- Ruidoso Hotels
- 24 Reviews - 56 Photos
- Silver City Hotels
- 65 Reviews - 134 Photos
- Alamogordo Hotels
- 62 Reviews - 150 Photos
- Chimayo Hotels
- 37 Reviews - 87 Photos