The 9 best National Monuments and Parks in New Mexico

Discover 9 best National Monuments in New Mexico

New Mexico is located in south of the United States, at the border with Mexico. Visiting in October was perfect, as we could enjoy the hot weather and the beautiful colours of the autumn. If you want to visit New Mexico, but you’re not sure yet, keep reading to find out what are the 9 best national monuments and parks in New Mexico.

Called the Land of Enchantment, this state merits its description for its national monuments and the diversity of the panoramic views. In New Mexico, every several miles driven were a source of photography or video, and an occasion for us to be enchanted. Whether it’s the dalmatian hills around Albuquerque, or the red, white or yellow mountains, or interesting rock formations, they always had us in awe when road-tripping through New Mexico.

The States aren’t anything like the Europe. New Mexico was very far-reaching, wide and spacious. Read below about…

The 9 best National Monuments and Parks in New Mexico

Sandia Crest

Located in Albuquerque, this mountain is one of the attractions of the city. Make sure to take the Sandia Crest Tramway to the top to enjoy a panoramic view on Albuquerque from more than 3,000 meters.

Advice: Climb just before the sunset for the best view.

Price: 25$

View on the Sandia Crest from Sandia Tramway, at over 1,000 ft

Petroglyph National Monument

The actual monument is not in the same place as the visitor center. That being said, the Petroglyph is a National Monument that testifies the ancient civilization, and just as the Bandelier Monument, is a natural piece of history.

On the Boca Negra Canyon Trail, we found many drawings of the Native Americans on the black volcanic blocks of rock. The hike is easy and can be done within one hour. We spotted some chipmunks and road runners.

Advice: Bring water, it’s super hot while hiking because there aren’t any shadows, and the black rock reflects the sun.

Price: free of charge

Petroglyph National Monuments

 White Rock Canyon

Actually called the Rio Grande Valley, with its Cristo mountains, I took this picture at the Anderson Overlook, on NM Highway 502 while driving towards Los Alamos.

Advice: Pull your car here for a picture when driving to Los Alamos.

Price: free of charge

View on the White Rock Canion

Bandelier National Monument

If you’re here, walk at least the Main Loop Trail in order to see, or even climb inside the little caves carved inside the mountains by the locals between 600 CE and 1000 CE.

Advice: Go inside the little caves to find out the maximum height of their inhabitants.

Price: 20$ per car, 15$ per motorcycle, 10$ per pedestrian, depending on how you get there. If you plan on visiting several national monuments and parks in the US, you may want to consider the Annual Visitor Pass for 80$.

Maximum 4 signatures must be written on the pass. The pass grants access to a group of people who came in the same car (at least one person must have signed on the pass).

Bandelier National Monuments

Jemez Mountains and springs

Located in the same area as Bandelier National Monument, the Jemez Mountains are very particular due to their red rock. Moreover, this area is well known also for the springs.

When we drove between Los Alamos and Jemez Pueblo, it was shortly after the rain, so the roads were even more impressive, as the mountain looked like it was bleeding.

Advice: After the Battleship Rock you can stop at the Spence Hot Springs, a hike towards a natural hot spring. Too bad we didn’t have enough time for this one.

Price: free of charge

Jemez Canion, the red rock canion

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Also called the Tent Rocks Park, this attraction is located is the same area as the Bandelier and the other National Monuments previously mentioned. Take your time to enjoy these impressive rock formations.

Advice: If you have time, do the 2.5 miles hike loop to get a close view on the Tent Rocks.

Price: free of charge, included in the Annual Visitor Pass. That day we had forgotten our pass, so the fee was 5$ per car.

On the road of the Tent Rocks National Monument

Abiquiu Lake

When driving to Abiquiu Dam, the panoramic view from the car is absolutely overwhelming. The beautiful scenery appears before you as you drive towards the dam. On the farther plan you can spot the Ghost Ranch rock formations.

Advice: Make a stop at the Dam to take some pictures. The view is fabulous.

Price: free of charge

Abiquiu Lake

 Ghost Ranch

For the first time visitors, the Chimney Rock hiking trail is recommended by the visitor center. The park is private, so the annual visitor pass won’t work.

Advice: There are many hiking trails and activities proposed at the Ghost Ranch. Ask at the desk for more information.

Price: not very sure if we had to pay, but there was a donation box with a “recommended amount” of 5$. We put in the box 5$ per person, but not very sure we had to. Ask the staff what the donation box is for.

View on the Ghost Ranch from the Chimney hiking trail

Carson National Forest

On our way to Taos, leaving Ghost Ranch, we drove through the mountains and Carson National Forest. The view was a spectacle and we had to stop several times in order to enjoy the view and take pictures.

Advice: Have warm clothes with you, as temperature drops very fast in the mountains.

Price: free of charge

Carson National Forest

I hope you enjoyed discovering some of the best national monuments and parks in New Mexico. We didn’t know what to expect and the information on the internet wasn’t good enough to make an idea about this state. We were very pleasantly surprised about the state surnamed Land of Enchantment.

Have you been to New Mexico? What are your favourite natural attractions of this state? Share it in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Discover 9 best National Monuments in New Mexico”

    1. Hey, Ronald!

      Thanks for your input! Yes you’re right, the info on some of the prices may be a little off, but people will check the date of the post and will know that prices may have changed.
      Also, this info is more a review of what you could visit in new Mexico, not exactly a promotional post for parks.

      Have a great day!

      PS: If you have some remarks on the info provided here, please let me know! I’m eager to improve the info I put out there. Thanks!

  1. Thank you so much for this review for National Parks in New Mexico.
    I want to explore more of the US, but NM didn’t seem like much. But as we are passing through, we can plan to visit one or two parks. I loved the Tent Rocks and the Bandelier Monuments, so maybe we’ll go to see them in person.
    Thanks again,

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