"Oliver Lee Memorial State Park" New Mexico Off The Beaten Path Tip by richiecdisc

New Mexico Off The Beaten Path: 93 reviews and 166 photos

  scenic Oliver Lee at sunset
by richiecdisc

We came upon this desert oasis quite by chance. With no campground in White Sands National Monument and our vow to not stay in a room till Las Vegas due to being insanely over budget on our six month journey, we had to find a place to set up the tent for a few days. A commercial campground, by experience, would not do. It would only serve to make us hate camping and lament our lack of funds for even a cheap motel. Enter Oliver Lee State Park which had camping. It served us very well in that department but we also discovered a beautiful part of New Mexico we would have otherwise missed.

These arid mountains are what you see as you drive from Albuquerque to White Sands to the east. If you've ever made a drive like that and love mountains, you know it's only natural to wonder to yourself what it would be like to be “over there.” If you really love mountains, you are probably just wishing you were “other there.” Well, you can imagine we were quite happy when we headed in that direction and pulled ip right smack dab on the edge of them. There are small interpretive trails as well as more rugged ones right into the mountains. We stuck to the former as we were only there that first night during daylight and even that wasn't for long. One had desert plants with descriptions and we spotted a lot of sphinx moths as the sun went down. It was certainly a magical place to spend our first night in the area. Lee himself was evidently a colorful character in New Mexican history and remnants of his cabin and frontier life are still visible and there are displays which we unfortunately missed in the visitor center.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 18, 2009
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