Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for New Mexico Camping

Map of New MexicoThe Land of Enchantment is aptly named. From the white sand dunes to the high mountains in the north, New Mexico is the canvas on which nature uses her most brilliant colors. Wherever you look, history is tucked in every nook and cranny, just waiting to be rediscovered.

Our one tank trip begins in Alamogordo, a city surrounded by the majestic Organ, San Andres, and Sacramento mountain ranges. Voted one of the healthiest places to live in the US, and with an average temperature of 75, Alamogordo sees more than its share of travelers from the north trying to shed the winter blues. It's here in this gorgeous city that you'll find the New Mexico Space Museum. Literally several museums within one building, space enthusiasts can find a wealth of information on space history, exploration, and the men and women who have made it their life's work. There are amazing archives and a library within the Hubbard Space and Science Research Building, with a huge collection of photos, collections and NASA publications.

We're heading out of Alamogordo, and off to our next New Mexico RV camping destination, Ruidoso. A short drive on US-70 E will get us there in no time. The mild climate here makes it perfect for a plethora of year round outdoor activities, including golf, tennis, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking and skiing. If you need a little break from the never-ending list of fun, head over to the Hubbard Museum of the American West. If you've ever had an interest in the history of this area, or of the Wild, Wild West in general, then you won't want to miss this! The collection at the museum contains just about everything from spurs and saddles, to wagons and horse drawn carriages, all spanning hundreds of years.

Load up the spaceship and set your phasers to stun, we're headed to Roswell! A short trip on US-70 E will bring you right to the center of a town with more than a little mystique, and a unique history all its own. Home to the 1947 incident in which an alleged UFO crashed nearby, Roswell is a quirky little place where the lampposts resemble alien heads, and the local stores have alien murals on their windows. No trip to this part of New Mexico would be complete without a stop by the International UFO Museum & Research Center. It's here that you can discover all sorts of other-worldly information about crop circles, UFO sightings and abductions, the famed Area 51, and the town of Roswell itself. Don't forget to pose for a picture with an alien ship waiting to beam you aboard their craft! Roswell is a town that doesn't take itself too seriously, and that makes for a very light and entertaining stop.

Our next New Mexico RV camping destination is the town of Artesia. Taking US-285 out of Roswell, you'll be there in no time, and quicker if you're going by UFO. Artesia is nothing, if not charming. Quiet and laid back, it's a good stop for anyone looking to move at a slower, more relaxed pace. Artesia was named for the artesian wells discovered nearby, and they give the town the feel of being a natural oasis in the middle of the desert.

Taking US-285 S will lead us to our final one tank trip destination, Carlsbad. Sitting on the banks of the Pecos River, the biggest tourist draw to the area is the nearby Carlsbad Caverns. This is not any ordinary cave, and on the surface, it might look deceptively normal, until you step inside the elevator and plunge 75 stories underground. Thankfully, you don't have to enter the caverns via an old guano mining bucket like they did when it was first discovered. There are 113 caves beneath the surface, and accessible by guided tours, or if you're a seasoned spelunker, you can take a self-guided tour. The park itself is a beautiful setting for some back country hiking, with many visitors hanging around during the summer dusk to watch the bats migrate. If you've never seen such a spectacle, you don't know what you're missing!

New Mexico is the kind of place you could get lost in. Its mild temperatures, deep-rooted history, colorful Mexican and Native American influences and expansive beauty are enough to hold any traveler under its spell.

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Woodall's Recommended New Mexico RV Campgrounds