Camping in New Mexico

Known as the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico is a land of beauty and contrasts. With its significant native Spanish-speaking population as well as many Native American communities, New Mexico offers a unique culture that clearly stands apart from that of other states. When visiting this state, expect fantastic natural scenery, unique geology, a major fine arts scene, great outdoor recreational opportunities, and a distinctive regional cuisine.

Landmarks

Bandelier National Monument
Located near Los Alamos, this area was once inhabited by ancient Puebloans. Even though the Puebloans abandoned the site, most likely due to drought and a decline in agriculture, the area is still honored by the present-day Pueblo people. They left behind a land of enigmatic ruins and superb mesa scenery that beckons hikers, students and photographers alike.

Four Corners Monument
First erected in 1899 to honor the only geographic location in the country where the boundaries of four states touch, the Four Corners Monument is a cartographic curiosity with essentially one thing to do: to stand in a number of places simultaneously. Come prepared. There are waterless self-contained toilets, but the site has no running water, no electricity and no telephones or cell phone coverage.

Events

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
For more than three decades, guests from all over the world come to celebrate ballooning at this annual event typically held the second week of October. During the festival, the New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off. Plan a visit and enjoy whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and balloon glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to enjoy.

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta
This annual event features the culinary artistry found in Santa Fe’s many excellent restaurants coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries. Take a culinary journey over five days packed with food and wine events like cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, and winery luncheons and dinners. The weekend culminates with the Grand Tasting at the Santa Fe Opera where all participating restaurants and wineries serve samples of their best food and wine.

Roswell UFO Festival
Held annually in early July, this festival commemorates the date back in 1947 when a strange object crashed on a ranch 30 miles north of Roswell. UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike continue the debate over the Roswell Incident during the UFO Festival where guest speakers, authors and entertainers gather. Additional family-friendly events include a costume contest for humans and pets, a car show and more.

Activities

Sandia Peak Tramway
Located on the eastern edge of Albuquerque in the Sandia Foothills, this tramway lets you travel three miles over deep canyons and breathtaking terrain as some of nature’s dramatic beauty unfolds before you. Enjoy sunset views from the observation deck atop Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest where you’ll scope out an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley.

Carlsbad Caverns
Discover a geological wonder firsthand. With more than 119 known caves secretly tucked below the desert terrain, Carlsbad Caverns is a hidden gem in a rugged landscape. The history of the area, from prehistoric human activity and historic American Indian occupations to European exploration and settlement and beyond, is rich and diverse. A visit here offers a truly unique opportunity to explore another side of nature.

Cultural Sites

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Showcasing the state's rich legacy of prehistoric life beginning with the formation of the universe and going through present day, this Albuquerque museum offers a comprehensive glimpse into New Mexico’s past. Permanent exhibits include an active walk-through volcano, realistic Ice Age cave, living forest and marine aquarium and more.

New Mexico History Museum and Palace of Governors
Among the newest museums in the state, this museum in Santa Fe features a theatrical environment designed to tell the stories of the many cultures that have called the Land of Enchantment home. The Palace focuses on the history that its walls have seen over the course of hundreds of years and includes a chance for visitors to interact with Native American artisans, who display and sell their wares, thus continuing a centuries-long tradition.