Focus Regional Winter 2020 | Nature Play for Every Season

New Mexico is home to many natural wonders. Whether you are looking for an epic adventure or relaxing getaway, the Land of Enchantment offers various natural landscape activities for every season.

2020 has been a year unlike any other, and in an effort to follow COVID-safe practices, many New Mexicans have taken the opportunity to explore the great outdoors. From mountain tops to bottomless lakes, our state is home to some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes. This guide shares a focused look at our top-ranked nature play activities in Southern New Mexico, happy exploring!

Spring

  • Enjoy the rows and rows of fragrant rainbow blooms and explore the fairy garden at Hondo Iris Farms, one of New Mexico’s most beautiful gardens with over 400 varieties of prize-winning Iris.
  • Spring is a great time to visit New Mexico’s White Sands National Park. The weather offers the perfect temperature to enjoy a picnic and ride the gypsum sand dunes. Pack a blanket and observe the stunning night skies. Low light pollution provides a clear view of many constellations.

Summer

  • Take a dip in one of many desert oases. Brantley Lake, Sitting Bull Falls, and Bottomless Lakes offer natural water sources to keep cool in the summer heat.

  • New Mexico offers endless miles to hike, bike, and ride. From forest trails to red sand dunes, the recreation areas offer visitors an opportunity to explore the Land of Enchantment nature and history.

Fall

  • View the beautiful fall foliage in-state by heading west to the Lincoln National Forrest. The village of Cloudcroft offers several accessible trails, amazing views, and a charming shopping area. Or, follow the NM/TX border to find McKitrick Canyon and enjoy the scenic views of the Guadalupe Mountains.
  • Pack up your sleeping bags and spend the night in the great outdoors. There is nothing better than sitting around the campfire with your favorite people. NM has a vast amount of campgrounds and public land to enjoy. Check out New Mexico State Parks website for listings.

Winter

  • Snowsports and activities are accessible in just a few hours’ drive. Cloudcroft and Ruidoso, New Mexico, have developed into charming mountain towns. Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing offer a thrilling adventure for the whole family. Be sure to reserve your tickets online due to capacity restrictions at these facilities.
  • Explore the history of NM’s early settlers; many ancient artifacts remain scattered across the state. Our winter temperatures aren’t too harsh. Choose a day full of sunshine to discover the petroglyphs at the Three Rivers Site in Tularosa or explore downtown Lincoln, NM, to learn about Billy the Kid’s wild west ventures.

Article written by Jessica Addington and originally published in Focus Regional 2020 Winter edition.

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