Marked by gorgeous desert landscapes and equally beautiful sunsets, New Mexico offers no shortage of things to do outdoors. While temperatures can soar during the peak of summer, they are often nearly perfect for exploring in the spring – typically in the 70-80 degree Fahrenheit range for April through late May, before trending upwards in June. If you’re looking to take advantage of the cooler weather and see what this desert state has to offer, here are 8 great suggestions.
1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park lives up to its name! This national park is home to over 100 caves, many of which you can explore. Two of the trails through the caves allow visitors to wander at their own pace, while others are accessible by joining a ranger-guided tour. Due to COVID-19, reservations are currently required to visit the caves. Face masks are currently only optional even inside the caves, though.
2. Hot Air Balloon Rides
Soar over the stunning desert landscapes of New Mexico with a hot air balloon ride. This could be a fun group outing or a highly memorable date idea for a couple. Groups such as World Balloon not only offer balloon flights, but also champagne along with your trip. Tickets can be booked for World Balloon in advance online.
3. Gila Cliff Dwellings
Experience a piece of history firsthand by visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings. These dwellings were used as shelter by the Mogollon people from the late 1200s to the early 13th century. Today, the remnants of the shelters stand empty and can be visited by heading over to the aptly named Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument.
4. Sandia Peak Tramway
This one’s probably not great for those with a fear of heights, but if you’re looking to enjoy views of the New Mexico scenery, an aerial tram ride is a great way to achieve this. The tram was recently closed for annual maintenance but is scheduled to reopen on April 6th, making this a great option for those planning a trip in the near future. Currently, passengers over two years of age are required to wear a mask while in the tram car, regardless of vaccination status.
5. Float The Rio Grande River
For those who are considering this sort of adventure for the first time, there are several groups that offer guided experiences such as New Mexico River Adventures. Such groups often also offer a variety of packages. New Mexico River Adventures, for example, offers both whitewater rafting tours as well scenic river kayak trips. If you’re feeling you’re ready to venture out on your own, there are also several locations that are great for both day trips and overnight kayaking trips.
6. Go On A Ghost Tour
If you’re in the mood for a spooky adventure, consider checking out ABQTours’ History and Ghost Tour. This haunted tour may not be in a remote area like some other suggestions on this list – you’ll head traverse parts of Albuquerque – but it is all memorable fun. You can look forward to not only hearing about the ghosts that supposedly haunt the various street and buildings of Albuquerque but also learning some about the more down-to-earth history of the area.
7. San Antonio Hot Springs
New Mexico’s desert landscape may not be the first place you associate with hot springs, but it actually is home to quite a few. One such spot is San Antonio hot springs. Located in the Santa Fe National Forest, these springs are a great way to relax.
8. White Sands National Park
While this national park may look like a remote, almost alien landscape, it’s actually only a few hours’ drive from Santa Fe. The national park lives up to its name by featuring expanses of glistening white sands, and is a great place for hiking, camping, and photography.
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