New Mexico is referred to the Land of Enchantment for a reason. It is filled with beautiful desert views and mountains, not to mention the fact that it is rich in history and offers delicious authentic food. After spending three months in New Mexico on a travel nursing contract and absolutely fell in love with this state. This post covers a few places you don’t want to miss on your trip to New Mexico.
White Sands National Park: This is hands down one of the most magical places we’ve ever been. White sands is located in the southern part of the state (about a three hour drive from Albuquerque). We highly recommend camping here if you have the opportunity. The park has ten primitive backcountry camping sites which you have to reserve at the visitors center. Waking up here in complete silence and seeing nothing but the pure untouched gypsum sand and mountains as far as you can see is absolutely incredible. Note that if you do camp here the sites are first come first serve and you do have to carry your camping gear about a mile over the dunes to your site.
Las Cruces: During your visit to White Sands be sure to check out the nearby city of Las Cruces!! If you are interested in hiking around this area we would suggest the Dripping Springs Trail, the Achenbach Trail, and the Pine Tree Trail. Las Cruces also has one of the best farmers markets on Saturday morning. There are so many unique vendors and a ton of amazing food!
Bandelier National Monument: Bandelier allows you to go back in time and experience how the Pueblo people lived hundreds of years ago. It is fascinating to climb up into their cavates and imagine that this was home to them. Two trails that are a must would be the Alcove house and the Main Loop Trail. The Alcove house is a kiva where many of the people lived and it sits 140 feet above the ground. You climb four wooden ladders to reach the top and have amazing views of the homes carved into the canyon walls.
Bisti Badlands: You honestly feel like you stepped out of your car and walked on to Mars here. There are miles and miles of crazy rock formations and hoodoos. The Bisti Wilderness is BLM land and has two access points. We would suggest using the Bisti Access Parking Area (you can find exact directions to this access point and map at the attached link.https://www.blm.gov/visit/bisti-de-na-zin-wilderness)