New Mexico road trips for travel enthusiasts

By Stef Zisovska
Publish Date:
New Mexico road trip

New Mexico is a state full of secrets and mysticism. A lot of people come here to learn about voodoo rituals, explore hidden corners, or learn more about this part of the country. The Land of Enchantment is a perfect place for all of you who like to go on a wild road trip and jump into the unknown. A road trip is a fun way of exploring the country, but it’s even better when there is a theme connected to it and when you know why you’re going to a certain place.

Here you can find four road trip options across New Mexico that will help you learn more about extraterrestrial experiences, Billy the Kid, art, and archaeology.

Ruidoso to Capitan

Billy the Kid Trail in Capitan

You can start your road trip from Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway and make the first stop at the Hubbard Museum of the American West located in the small town called Ruidoso. The museum displays artifacts that represent the history of the Southwest. When you’re done with the museum, continue down I-70 and check out the Billy Byway Visitors Center where you can find out all about his criminal life and suspicious activities.

Further down the road, stop at the bloodiest crime scene in New Mexico’s history in Lincoln. In 1877 two owners of stores in the town got into a huge fight, and Billy took the side of the weaker owner, fighting against the establishment. He was imprisoned in Lincoln County Courthouse from where he escaped in 1881.

Chaco to Aztec Ruins

The central room block of Aztec Ruins National Monument – Author: Rationalobserver – CC BY-SA 4.0

Chaco Canyon National Historical Park is one of the most important archeological sites in the United States. The site protects ruins that were part of the ancient Pueblo culture that was present in the area from 850 to 1250. The historical park is a perfect place to stop at for archeology buffs. Guided tours and volunteering programs that will let you dig with the archaeologists are available if you book in advance. When you are done with Chaco, continue to Salmon Ruins and expand your knowledge even more. For a perfect ending to your road trip, make your final stop at Aztec Ruins National Monument, which is also part of Chaco Canyon’s abundant history.

Santa Fe to Taos

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico – Author: John Phelan – CC-BY 3.0

If you’re looking for a mixture of art and road trip, then this is your route. Start at Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to see the world’s largest collection of her famous paintings of New Mexico landscapes and large colorful flowers. When you continue up the road, stop in Taos where all the art life is concentrated in and around the Taos Art Museum. Here you can find original works of Ernest Leonard Blumenschein and Bert Geer Phillips.

Soccoro to Roswell

Very Large Array – Author: Jawed Karim – CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you an alien fan? If yes, start your journey in the plains of San Agustin around 50 miles west of Socorro. Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory that has 27 giant dish-shaped antennas use for detecting sounds from the outer space billions of miles away. The next stop on your trip should definitely be the town of Rosewell and its International UFO Museum and Research Center. Further down the road, make sure to visit Apache Point Observatory and the National Point Observatory. New Mexico has nine observatories that you can visit on your road trip.

Thematic road trips are an excellent way to spend some good quality time around New Mexico and learn more about the country’s history. If you have never been here, then choose your favorite route and surprise your loved ones by taking them on an unforgettable road trip across the Land of Enchantment. Good luck!

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