Need warmth? Head South

By bunny-terry January 1, 2017

New Mexico is a diverse state with many options for exploration during the winter months. Are you ready for a little bit more warmth this winter? If so, head to Southeastern New Mexico….as the weeks inch closer to February you’ll experience temperatures in the 60s.

Here are a few interesting and fun places to explore if you venture south.

Roswell, NM

Roswell’s claim to fame is the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident. The alleged crash site of the UFO was some 75 miles from Roswell, but because it was handled by the Roswell Army Air Field it helped put Roswell on the map.

For a quirky and very interesting field trip Roswell has everything “Alien” you could want. From the Roswell UFO Museum where you can learn all about the 1947 incident as well as other UFO sitings, to kitschy restaurants and roadside attractions.

Not only is Roswell known for it’s alien adventures, but there are also other tourist attractions like the Robert H Goddard Planetarium where you can view the heavens from it’s 120 seat auditorium to The Bottomless Lakes State Park Located just 14 miles southeast of Roswell. You can enjoy non-motorized boating in your kayak or canoe, camp, fish, picnic, swim, hike, go birding or even scuba dive! The unique lakes at this park are sinkholes, ranging from 17 to 90 feet deep. The greenish-blue color created by aquatic plants is what gives the lakes the illusion of great depth.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The National Park Service describes Carlsbad Caverns as High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus and desert wildlife – treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 known caves – all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.

Located a couple of miles down a windy desert road the caverns appear unassuming until you descend into the earth. You can choose either to walk down into the caverns via the walkway and stairs or you can take the elevator down to the cavern floor. You will feel like you stepped into another world. Amazing formations, watery pools, otherworldly sounds all greet you as you enter.Here’s a locals tip: Bring a bottle of water with you and a light jacket. The caverns are a consistent 56 degrees year around and the hike will demand you drink water.

The “Big Room” is the most popular cavern and easily accessible. It is the fifth largest chamber in North America and the twenty-eighth largest in the world.

Since becoming a National Park in the 1920s Carlsbad Caverns have attracted visitors from around the world and is sure to be a an experience etched in your memory forever.

White Sands National Monument

Folks say the White Sands National Monument is like no place on earth and they are right! It’s white desolate beauty is serene and enchanting. White due to it’s gypsum sand it’s like a dry snow that never gets you wet…The powdery white gypsum dunes are perfect for snow-like activities. You can ski along the dunes and even sled down some of it’s slopes….the gift shop sells saucers that you can wax for maximum speed.

Not only can you ski and sled but you can also hike, ride horses, backcountry camp, and drive the dunes. White Sands is an excellent stop for the outdoor enthusiast.

Perhaps most notably know for the “Trinity” bomb testing in 1945 (The first nuclear test by the US army as part of the Manhattan Project) it’s an are full of history worth exploring. Open to the public only two days each year (The first Saturday in April and October). Walk a quarter-mile to ground zero, and take a shuttle to the house where the bomb was assembled. Locals tip: A full tank of gas is suggested before you venture out there.

Another great stop to explore the military history of the are is the White Sands Missile Range Museum. This is a great way to actually “see” the missiles that have been tested in the area and learn about the military’s role in this place.

For new adventures and warmth this winter season – head south!