A visit to New Mexico is the perfect excuse to visit its many national and state-run parks. Each one has breathtaking views and many activities to offer, with some even allowing visitors to camp out overnight. Here are the top five worth visiting.
Top New Mexico National Parks
- The Carlsbad Caverns National Park is among the most popular tourist attractions in New Mexico. This secluded park is home to at least 119 caves, including North America’s third-largest, Big Room. Overall, this cavern is also number seven on the list of the world’s largest. The park’s cave formations include underground lakes, stalagmites, flowstones, stalactites, and cave crystals and pearls. Some caves are appropriate for families, and others are too risky for children. It’s best to avoid visiting during the summer if one is afraid of bats, as they live in the caverns until the weather cools off.
- Not far from Santa Fe is Cerrillos Hills. It’s where visitors will find North America’s oldest active turquoise mines. While visitors aren’t likely to walk away rich in turquoise, they can at least go hiking in a desert environment. Those who make it to the base of the hills will come across the city of Cerrillos, where box-office movies have been filmed.
- In the southwest corner of New Mexico lies the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It is best known for having hot springs located within walking distance of the visitor’s center. There is another hot springs site that visitors can get to by embarking on a six-mile hike. At the end of that six miles is Little Bear Canyon, where many visitors choose to camp out overnight.
- The Bandelier National Monument is a popular destination for those who enjoy hiking. Its paved-loop trail is only 1.2 miles and takes hikers along the edge of a cliff. Wooden ladders along the way make it possible for visitors to get into the cavates. With 70 more miles of trails as well, this is also a popular place to go camping.
- The City of Rocks State Park is ideal for visiting most of the year, except for the coldest parts of winter. Its 52 campsites mean there are plenty of places for visitors to enjoy an overnight stay.