Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for New Mexico Camping

Woodall's One Tank Trips

As you take this one tank trips vacation through the southern part of New Mexico, you’ll be amazed by the astonishing views and unbelievable beauty to be found here. It’s easy to understand why they call this state the Land of Enchantment, because once you fall under New Mexico’s spell, you’ll always carry a piece of its magic with you.

Besides the awesome natural beauty, New Mexico camping has other unique attractions of note for those seeking the offbeat. One such novel location is the town of Roswell, which gained notoriety in the late 40s for being the site of an alleged UFO crash. Whether or not you believe in flying saucers and little green men, a cottage industry pertaining to all things extraterrestrial has sprung up in this area, and is well worth investigating for the curiosity factor alone. One particular spot you’ll want to visit is the UFO Museum and Research Center, which features several exhibits regarding the alleged saucer crash and other related activity, including info about the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, which was one of the only official projects devoted to the investigation of possible extraterrestrial activity. Every year, Roswell hosts the UFO Festival, which draws visitors from all over the world who enjoy parades, carnivals, and costume contests. It’s a great place to people-watch and star-gaze.

Presuming you get out of Roswell without being abducted by aliens, bear south on the US-285 and enjoy the spectacular views for 80 miles, until you come to the city of Carlsbad. Take the US-62 further south for 18 miles and you’ll come to one of the largest and most awe-inspiring collection of caves ever discovered; Carlsbad Caverns. There are more than 100 such caves in this grouping, including the deepest cave in the United States, measuring a whopping 1600 feet to the bottom. But there’s more to see than just caves. Witness naturally formed amphitheaters and stalactite formations more than 60 feet in size. You’ll also want to set up camp in the surrounding area and take advantage of the many outdoor activities, like mountain biking, rafting, and horseback riding, or doing a little off-roading on a rented ATV. This is a place where fun rules the day, so why not make the most of it?

Moving north on the US-62, drive for 20 miles until you come to the northbound US-285, then cruise along it for another 36 miles into Artesia, a small rustic town with a quaint, old-fashioned charm. This is a fine spot to stretch, maybe grab a bite to eat and look over the Artesia Historical Museum, which spotlights exhibits that tell the town’s story, dating back to the days of land baron John Chisum.

Driving west on the US-82 gives you a chance to see some truly impressive views as you travel a little over 100 miles into Alamogordo. As many of you are aware, this area gained fame – or notoriety – as the site of the very first detonation of a nuclear bomb, roughly 60 miles outside of town. The White Sands National Monument is a frequent destination for visitors, located about 15 miles outside the city limits. The monument is composed of nearly 300 square miles of white gypsum sand, and is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed. A scenic drive takes you to the heart of these magnificent dunes, and there are ample turnouts along the way for the unobstructed viewing of this truly incredible natural wonder.

Another fantastic New Mexico camping spot to enjoy the outdoors is the mountain town of Ruidoso, which is renowned for being a year-round resort community. It’s about 50 miles from Alamogordo via the eastbound US-70, and here you can enjoy horse racing at the local track, or hop on the ponies yourself and go on a trail ride like the cowboys of yesteryear. In winter, this area is blanketed with fresh snowfall, so for those of you who enjoy skiing or just playing in the snow, this is an ideal time for a one tank trips adventure. No matter what time of year it is, though, there’s always something to do.

Roswell’s another 60 miles east of Ruidoso by way of the US-70, putting you right back where you started. Say, aren’t those lights in the sky moving a bit faster than they should? Naah. Are they…?