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The Top Five Natural Wonders of New Mexico
Considering New Mexico’s landscape, the state is hardly short on outstanding natural attractions. That said, there are a few that you should make sure you visit no matter where else you happen to be heading in the state.
No matter what type of adventure – or calm nature observation – you enjoy, you’re certain to be astounded by these breathtaking New Mexico natural wonders.
Bisti Wilderness – Formerly known as the Bisti Badlands, this portion of the De-Na-Zin Wilderness looks as though you’ve stepped onto the set of a science-fiction movie. The area is filled with curious, unique landforms composed of eroded rocks across 60 square miles. You’ll need to bring your camera – and a backup portable battery pack – to take enough shots to even come close to describing this place to the people back home!
Blue Hole – The name doesn’t sound like much, but Blue Hole in Santa Rosa is a pristine natural pool that must be seen to be believed. Consistently 62 degrees at all times, this water is crystal clear to its depth of about 80 feet. Beneath it are a labyrinth of underwater caves. You’re welcome to swim in the refreshing (chilly!) water. This includes both paddling around or heading under the water if you can prove your SCUBA diving certification. However, the caves are not open to visitors.
Capulin Volcano National Monument – This natural wonder makes it possible for you to drive right up the side of a volcano along a spiralling road. Head around and around (don’t worry, it’s not as dizzying as it sounds) until you reach the top. This volcano is extinct and once you reach the top, you can hike along trails that take you right down into the volcano’s crater.
Shiprock – The Navajo call this outstanding natural structure the “winged rock.” It is a jagged rocky landform that peaks at over 7,000 feet. When you’re in the area, you simply can’t miss it. Find it about 10 miles southwest of the Shiprock city. View it from a distance or take the bumpy ride right up to its base. Keep in mind that as a sacred site, climbing is not permitted.
Rio Grande Gorge – Find this one just to the northwest of Taos. You’ll head through some relatively flat landscape (aside from the mountains you can see in the distance). Then, you’ll step out onto the Gorge Bridge and find yourself staring down 565 feet into the Rio Grande Gorge, to the Rio Grande River at its base. While there are miles of this gorge in each direction, as a visitor you’ll want to make sure to check it out from the bridge for the very best views.