Tour Southwestern New Mexico in an RV

San Felipe Church on Old Town Albuquerque

San Felipe Church on Old Town Albuquerque

The wonders are amazing in the southwestern New Mexico region. Spring is the very best time to come on a tour of the many landscapes, with mountains and deserts in every direction. Marvel at the blooming plants and the wildlife wandering near. It is the perfect destination for a tour in an RV motorhome, too. Drive along in superior comfort and enjoy the sights!

Start out in Albuquerque! Check out Old Town while you are here. There are so many things to see in the city that you may want to spend some extra time taking in the sights. Art lovers always make it a point to stop at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. More history is available at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center where you will get a realistic taste of the lives of Native Americans.

Next head for Leasburg Dam State Park, where you will love seeing the visitor center after a delicious picnic and short hike. Then go to the Aguirre Springs National Recreation Area (PDF) for some excitement. You may rough it and get into the backcountry here if you like. You’ll find rock art and fascinating caves. However, it isn’t recommended exploring the caves unless you are experienced in this sort of thing.

Hiking here is of the best quality, with a number of choices for lovely treks. Take the 4.5-mile hike on Pine Tree Trail in a loop. You can also try the Baylor Pass Trail which is longer and much steeper. Getting out in the fresh air and exercising helps loosen those tired muscles from so much driving.

Next stop is White Sands National Monument. The dunes are more like snow than sand as you see them while you approach. It is a wonderful place for photo opportunities. You can camp out at the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. This park has an RV campground with a dump station for your convenience. It is 24 miles south of White Sands.

Now for some real history! The Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site is one of the largest sites of rock art in the southwest U.S. See more than 21,000 glyphs depicting animal, plant and human life. There is also a campground with a few RV sites. While staying in this area, you can get in more hiking or even take off for a backpacking adventure.

Go towards Roswell and watch for signs to the Capitan Mountains Wilderness. The diversity of the landscape makes for a lot of outdoor fun, including hiking and wildlife watching. For the best views, take the Summit Trail along the main ridge.

When you are ready to continue your RV journey, carry on to Roswell. You’ll find a wealth of things to do, including visiting the Roswell Museum and Art Center, seeing the UFO Museum, and watching birds at the Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge.

What a trip! There is always more to do in southwestern New Mexico! You’ll have to return and do it all again on a fabulous RV vacation!

Picture credits: The picture of San Felipe Church on Old Town Albuquerque is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An Autumn RV Journey to Albuquerque

When you think of traveling by RV down autumn roads made bright by fall foliage, do you think of Albuquerque? You should, because the region surrounding this ancient New Mexico city comes to life when the leaves begin to turn.

One of the best-known ways to see miles and miles of autumn color in Albuquerque is to take the tram to the top of Sandia Crest. Standing more than ten thousand three hundred feet above Cibola National Forest, this peak offers a panoramic view in autumn that is simply stunning. You can also drive to the top of the mountain on Sandia Crest Road.

If you like to do your leaf peeping a little closer to the ground, hiking in Cibola National Forest will fill the bill. More than sixty trailheads are scattered through the forest’s ranger districts, meaning varied terrain hiking and lots of chances to see the glory of autumn. Affordable RV campgrounds can be found there, as well.

The brilliant fall colors of the Santa Fe National Forest reach their peak in early October and they’re only a couple of hours north of Albuquerque. Majestic stands of aspens, sage and cottonwoods are just what RV travelers hope to find on a Southwestern fall camping trip. The trails in the Pecos Wilderness area are particularly colorful in autumn.

And now for something a bit out of the ordinary; ever considered hovering above brightly-colored forests in a hot air balloon? The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held each year during the first week of October, offers leaf peepers the ultimate in autumn views. Balloon rides are readily available, so don’t miss the chance to soar above the autumn forests surrounding Albuquerque.

For full-fledged fall foliage fans, there’s an awe-inspiring loop drive through the rugged mountains northwest of Albuquerque. Start your trip in Bernalillo, twenty minutes north of town, and then follow the Jemez Mountain National Scenic Byway to find not only autumn leaves but also an abundance of New Mexico historic sites.

Not to be outdone by the splendor of Northern New Mexico in autumn, Gila National Forest, about three hours south of Albuquerque, is prime leaf peeping territory, too. Use this guide to fall color in the Gila National Forest to plan your RV camping trip from Albuquerque to the autumn beauty of Southwest New Mexico.

And there you have it, a quick overview of what to expect when going in search of fall foliage near Albuquerque. Savvy RV travelers will also use the tools available at NewMexico.org to help them find campgrounds, special events and travel tips to make the most of their autumn Albuquerque vacation. Come to New Mexico this autumn and find out why Southwestern leaf peeping is among the best in the nation.

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Top 10 Places to See in Albuquerque, NM

Surrounded by mountains and deeply rooted in Hispanic and Native American culture, Albuquerque, New Mexico is also an exciting RV camping destination. Here’s our list of the top ten places to see when you go RV camping in Albuquerque.

  1. Albuquerque BioPark – four fascinating attractions stretch out along the Rio Grande near Old Town. Purchase a combo ticket and visit the Botanic Gardens, the Zoo, the Aquarium and Tingley Beach, home to three popular fishing lakes.
  2. Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum – where else but the home of the premier international ballooning event to create a museum that celebrates the hot air balloon through the ages.
  3. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – nineteen unique pueblos dot the landscape from Santa Fe to the Texas/New Mexico border. Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center celebrates and educates about the indigenous Native American cultures of the Southwest.
  4. National Hispanic Cultural Center – permanent exhibits and special events display the creativity of the Hispanic culture in dozens of ways.
  5. Old Town Albuquerque – a unique shopping experience in a picturesque adobe village filled with shops, galleries and quaint cafes.
  6. Paseo del Bosque Bike Trail – sixteen miles of uninterrupted trail on the outskirts of Albuquerque allow bicyclists to explore the bosque forest ringing the Rio Grande.
  7. Paseo de la Mesa Multi-Use Trail – views of six mountain ranges greet bikers and hikers on this four mile trail through varied terrain.
  8. Petroglyph National Monument – more than twenty thousand ancient drawings tell the story of the Pueblo Indians who are still a major influence in the Albuquerque area.
  9. Route 66 Nob Hill – this 1940s entertainment district on historic Route 66 promises a full day of shopping, sightseeing and entertainment.
  10. Sandia Peak Tramway – ascend four thousand feet in a comfortable, enclosed gondola with awesome mountain views out every window.

Albuquerque welcomes visitors year-round. Pack the RV with bikes, cameras and shopping shoes and make tracks to the Land of Enchantment soon.

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