Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield.
Sledding on the beautiful soft sand at White Sands National Monument is a popular activity and great fun for children and adults alike.
This alien-like desertscape is one of the most exotic sights in America: 275 square miles of silky-soft sand, as white as freshly fallen snow. Despite the name, it’s not sand you’re seeing at White Sands National Monument —it’s gypsum. And it’s fantastic for scrambling across undulating ridges, photographing the shadows at sunrise and sunset, and sandboarding like a maniac (the visitor center sells waxed plastic sleds for just this purpose).
New Mexico has the most spectacular sand dunes in the world!
Few places leave such an impression that they alter your world. New Mexico is filled with unique experiences that will touch your soul and leave an imprint so deep it stays with you forever.
Guess what's blooming in the dunes?
Rocky slopes, canyons, and the occasional tree, who could guess at the hidden treasures deep underground? Beneath this rugged land are more than 118 known caves - all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone.
Warm hospitality and southwestern charm describe "The City Different."
Ristras are the strings of chile you see hanging along fences, on patios and on portals all over New Mexico. In the Fall, you can buy ristras at farmer's markets and roadside stands. Ristras are sometimes used for decoration, and are said to bring good health and good luck. More often, they are hung up to dry for later cooking and eating.
In front of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, near Santa Fe Plaza, is a luminous bronze statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American woman to be canonized (in 2012).
The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a former Roman Catholic church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel. It is known for its unusual helix-shaped spiral staircase.
The New Mexico old state penitentiary is home to one of the deadliest prison riots in American history. On February 2, 1980 - for 36 chaotic hours - several hundred prisoners overtook the facility and terrorized those inside. Today, the New Mexico Corrections Department offers tours and is in the process of being revitalized into a full-time museum.
All you need is confidence and cowboy boots.
El Santuario de Chimayo is a Roman Catholic church located in Chimayo, New Mexico. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States."
McCall's Pumpkin Patch is a great place to bring your entire family for a full day of fall fun! McCall's is open on weekends throughout the month of October from 10am to 6pm. - in Moriarty, New Mexico.
It's huge, it's spacey, it's high tech. The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories and has been featured in the movies Contact, Independence Day, and Terminator Salvation. Bon Jovi also shot a rock video here.
The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas arranged in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter.
Roswell, New Mexico is the unofficial UFO capital of the world. Each year, thousands of tourists visit this small community to investigate the mysterious weather balloon crash of 1947 and simply "be in Roswell where it happened."
On July 16, 1945 the world changed forever with the detonation of the first atomic bomb. The explosion took place in a remote area of New Mexico. Today, the site is a national historic landmark open to the public just twice a year.
Test your radiation on the first Saturday of April and October.
In an instant you'll know why the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico was called "The Belle of the Southwest" when it was built in 1882. Suspended gracefully in the past, the magnificent hotel presides regally over the Old Town Plaza and has been lovingly restored a century later.
Called the "Home of the Movie Stars," the El Rancho Hotel was the base camp for hundreds of western films shot in and around Gallup, New Mexico during the 1930s and 1940s. More than 150 Hollywood icons have stayed at the El Rancho, including Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn and John Wayne.
The hotel is still in operation and is among the top attractions along Route 66.
The world-famous Blue Swallow Motel is one of the most unique and historic motels along Route 66. Built in 1939, this icon has been beautifully restored and features original furnishings, tilework and unique period decor in each room.
For something truly unique, sleep 70 feet underground in this incredible 1,650 square foot cave. Equipped with a kitchen, jacuzzi, master bedroom and plenty of food, this B&B offers astonishing isolation and magnificent views over the desert.
Reservations are required and often book out months in advance.
Come stay in one of the World's Top 10 Most Extraordinary Hotels.
Beautiful colors along NM Hwy 152, inside Gila National Forest.
Beautiful scenery inside Diamond Tail Ranch, located near Placitas, New Mexico.
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes.The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick.
They are ghost towns now. But in the late 1800s, each had a moment of glory that blazed and died like a sudden flame.
Hagan began in 1902 with the discovery of coal. The mining camp didn't really start to grow until the train came in 1924. With this, the town grew and had a power plant, restaurants, mercantile store, hotel, and other businesses. Of course, mining towns died when the ore ran out. When the coal ran out, so did the residents of Hagan.
Pecos National Historical Park preserves 12,000 years of human history, including the ruins of the Pecos Pueblo and a Spanish colonial mission. The approximately 2,000 Native Americans living here farmed in irrigated fields and hunted wild game. Their pueblo had 660 rooms and many kivas. In 1838, after a series of military and natural disasters took their toll on the pueblo, the 20 surviving Pecos went to live with relatives at the Jemez Pueblo.
(Pictured: Ruins of the Mission Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula de los Pecos).
El Morro National Monument is a fascinating mixture of both human and natural history. Rising 200 feet above the valley floor, this massive sandstone bluff was a welcome landmark for weary travelers going along the east-west trail in western New Mexico. A reliable waterhole hidden at its base also made El Morro (or Inscription Rock) a popular campsite.
Beginning in the late 1500s, when Spanish, and later on, Americans passed by El Morro, many would carve their names, dates, and messages onto the rock. Today, El Morro National Monument protects over 2,000 inscriptions and petroglyphs, as well as Ancestral Puebloan ruins that sit atop the bluff.
Petroglyphs feature designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.
Spectacular views and inspirational architecture exist within these ancient cliff dwellings. The mystery behind their abandonment still baffles scholars.
The beautiful state of New Mexico is fortunate to have several federally-protected wild horse populations left in the state. The largest and best known mustang herd ranges in northern New Mexico between the U.S. Forest Service's (USFS's) Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory (WHT) in the Carson National Forest and the Carracas Mesa Herd Management Area (HMA), managed by the BLM. A second herd lives on BLM land in eastern New Mexico, in the Border Atravesado HMA, where mountain lions help keep the small population check. Two additional populations live in the USFS Caja del Rio and Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territories.
In total, federally-protected wild horses live on less than one percent of federal land in New Mexico.
Sandhill cranes take flight inside Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.This is one of the most spectacular refuges in North America today. The 57,331 acres straddle the Rio Grande Valley and includes three wilderness areas and five research natural areas.
An image of the New Mexico state flag, reflected on top of a Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon. The colors of New Mexico's state flag are the red and yellow of old Spain. The simple, elegant center design is the ancient Zia sun symbol, which represents the unique character of New Mexico.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta dates back to 1972 and today holds the distinction of being the world's largest hot air balloon festival. Approximately 750 balloons take off each year during the nine-day event that's held every October. Can you guess how many balloons are in this photo?
(114 Hot Air Balloons!)
The Darth Vader balloon stands as a very Vader-esque 86-feet tall, while Yoda stands at a comparatively (and appropriately) diminutive 62 feet.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event in the world.
The Alvarado Transportation Center is a multimodal transit hub located at 100 1st Street SW in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With an estimated population of 556,495, Albuquerque, New Mexico is the largest city in the state. It represents a synergy of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo communities where traditional and modern cultures coexist. Here is a look at Downtown ABQ.
One of college basketball's most famous and recognizable arenas, The Pit was named to Sports Illustrated's "Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century," in the company of Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Pebble Beach and Wembley Stadium. The court sits an impressive 37 feet below the ground.
Did you know that New Mexico is the oldest wine producing state in the country? Dating back to 1629, before Napa Valley, the state now has over 42 wineries that produce more than 700,000 gallons annually.
New Mexico's green chile season typically runs from August into early September.
Beautiful night for a ballgame at Isotopes Park. Before the Isotopes were founded in 2003, the Albuquerque Dukes were the hometown team from 1915-2000.
San Felipe de Neri Church is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Constructed in 1793, it offers liturgical, pastoral, and educational services to parishioners and visitors. The church building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has remained in continuous use for over 200 years.
A flock of Canada geese fly across the Rio Grande.
New Mexico's summer monsoon rains brighten up the Rio Grande.
Iconic Route 66 signage outside Albuquerque's famous 66 Diner.
Sandía means watermelon in Spanish and is popularly believed to be a reference to the reddish color of the mountains at sunset.
Since time immemorial, Pueblo communities have celebrated seasonal cycles through prayer, song and dance. These dances connect them to their ancestors and traditions, while honoring gifts from their Creator. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is the only place in North America to offer traditional Native American dances every week year-round, showcasing dance groups from the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, as well as Plains Style, Navajo, Apache, and Hopi dancers.
Meet "Alberta," a meat-eating Albertosaurus guarding the front entrance of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.
Visitors to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will thrill to find themselves face to face with the gaping maw of the second largest T. rex ever found, in full attack mode, as they round the corner of the Museum Atrium."Stan" is a Tyrannosa
Established in 1880, the Albuquerque Rail Yards are a massive complex sprawling over 27 acres. During its heyday, it employed 25% of Albuquerque’s work force and was a major driver of the local economy.Today, the site continues to benefit the City of Albuquerque.
This house was designed by Bart Prince, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is in wonderful shape and the dinosaur "guards" are still out front.
Visitors queue up to board the Sandia Peak Tramway.
Built in 1966, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a modern marvel of engineering that takes passengers more than 10,000 feet into the air above the Cibola National Forest and the ruggedly steep terrain of the Rio Grande Valley.
Season's Greetings from "Frosty," the lovable tumbleweed snowman located along I-40, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.