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5 Ways to Explore the Outdoors in New Mexico

These outstanding experiences help the state solidify its title as the Land of Enchantment.

By Livability on November 16, 2021

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New Mexico’s mild climate, abundant sunshine and postcard-perfect landscapes make it an outdoor lover’s dream. From rock climbing to water sports, these 5 outdoor activities in New Mexico will fill your weekends with loads of fun (and you’ll be surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the nation).

1. Photograph Unique Landscapes

New Mexico is rich with fascinating landscapes that intrigue photographers and nature lovers. Among them are the vivid yellow and red cliffs at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, the cone-shaped rock formations that jut into the sky at Tent Rocks (shown above) and Shiprock, a sacred mountain rising out of the desert plains in the Four Corners region.

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2. Stargaze State’s Stunning Skies

High elevations coupled with clear night skies make New Mexico a premier stargazing destination. The state is home to several dark sky-designated parks, including Capulin Volcano and International Dark Sky Park (pictured), where rangers hold “Star Parties” April through September, and Clayton Lake State Park, which has 14-inch Meade telescopes.

3. Dive Deep into the Blue Hole

In the middle of the desert is a bell-shaped turquoise pool: the Blue Hole. This geological phenomenon in Santa Rosa is 80 feet deep and has become a prime snorkeling and scuba diving destination. The watering hole is located off Route 66, which adds to its allure.

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4. Explore National Monuments

New Mexico is home to 15 national parks and monuments. Explore ancient Ancestral Pueblo dwellings amid mesas and canyons at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos or peek below the desert terrain and see the Carlsbad Caverns (shown above), a system of caves formed when sulfuric acid dissolved surrounding limestone. Or, in Alamogordo, witness the wavelike dunes at White Sands, which is the world’s largest gypsum dune field.

5. Ski New Mexico’s Mountains

Home to nine ski areas that are dispersed from north to south throughout the state, New Mexico residents can enjoy year-round recreation. There are runs for everyone here, from Taos Ski Valley, which is rugged and draws adventure-seekers, to Angel Fire Resort, which has a family-friendly feel.

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