New Mexico national parks New Mexico national parks

The Best New Mexico National Parks: 14 Best National Parks

Mexico is considered one of the most happening cities in North America. It is the best for traveling if you like staying fancy outdoors. It has diverse sceneries, including vast landscapes, deep rocky canyons, volcanic rocks, and incredible views. The deserts of Mexico are covered with various flowering cacti.

This place also has many natural and artificial attractions and scenic beauty. One among them is the national parks of New Mexico. They are known for their unique beauty, which attracts people. Let us take a look at some of the New Mexico National Parks.

Some of The Best New Mexico National Parks

New Mexico is often referred to as the land with many open spaces. All these open spaces in Mexico are preserved as national parks. Some are also preserved as national monuments and national preserves.

Let us take a detailed look at some of the national parks in this region.

1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

One of the most famous national parks in New Mexico, this place has underground treasures. Carlsbad Caverns is located underneath a desert, namely the Chihuahuan desert, consisting of around 100 caves. These caves are filled with geographical formations and fossils. They also have scarce species of Brazilian bats.

presley roozenburg DjJxfuZuzYY unsplash scaled
Photo by Presley Roozenburg on Unsplash

The caves of this park were created after the reaction of sulfuric acid to limestone, which is commonly known as an “accident.” They also provide the facilities of guided tours to their visitors.

2. White Sands National Park

White Sands national park is not like other places. It has rugged cliffs and different types of rocks. The main component of this national park is the glistering white sands. They have great wave-like dunes that move with the movement of the wind.

joonyeop baek vNis5oVROWk unsplash scaled
Photo by Joonyeop Baek on Unsplash

The total area covered by this park is around 275 square miles. One can easily spend an afternoon here with friends and family.

New Mexico also has a place named the White Sands National Monument, which is equally beautiful.

3. Bandelier National Monument

The Bandelier national monument is a great spot. It has ancient runes that generally do not have any fixed shape or size. The runes of this place are believed to have been made up of cave dwellings, pictographs, and petroglyphs. It is considered one of the largest petroglyph sites.

jael coon A96gQRNCcG0 unsplash scaled
Photo by Jael Coon on Unsplash

Ancient Pueblo people’s early encounters are visible in this national park. It is one of the most famous New Mexico national parks with rich ranching history.

4. Kasha Katuwe National Monument

Kasha Katuwe National Monument is the best spot for nature lovers. It has many unique things that are fun to discover and learn about.

omer salom PfTNxPww6bY unsplash 1 scaled
Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

The hiking trails of this place offer mind-blowing views. It is one of the most significant attractions of this place. It also has the presence of cone-shaped rocks formed millions of years ago. Go with your friends and family and have a great time there!

5. Chaco Culture National Historical Park

The Chaco culture national historical park depicts the story of the ancestral pueblo peoples. The park is also known to have ancient runes. They dictate the story of how the people worked, lived, and led a happy life in those times. The pueblo people passed down their knowledge to the next generation and the generation after. That technique is also visible in this park.

bertrand borie CqyXj895IUg unsplash
Photo by Bertrand Borie on Unsplash

Whether you want to ride around on a bike or go hiking trails, this park also provides the facility of guided tours for visitors. The Chaco culture national park service is the best.

6. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Another doorway to the past is the Gila Cliff Dwellings National monument. It is filled with the residue of the Mogollon Culture. The caves that are present on the banks of the Gila River were home to various nomadic groups. In the late 1200s, the Native American people settled down in these caves and started working. It helped them to create a new life for themselves.

After around 20 years, the Mogollon people started building different structures in Cliff Dwellings’ national monument caves. After building structures, the people started hunting for food and other necessary things for a living.

barth bailey UIe7Ac6LII unsplash
Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash

After fulfilling their basic needs, the ancient people started making crafts and pottery to earn money. They raised children with the help of this money.

The remains of some of this pottery and crafts are still visible in these caves. The tales of their existence are what make these caves lively.

7. Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph national park holds profound spiritual significance. It is one such Mexican national park that has enormous historical significance. The caves have more than 24,000 images and designs made by the ancestral native peoples. They are safely kept in this park.

michael behrens CZABLi1Lbk4 unsplash scaled
Photo by Michael Behrens on Unsplash

They have the presence of a richly diverse volcanic landscape. The spectacular volcanic eruption created volcanic rocks that are over 500 years old. They depict the significance of the time which is entirely different from ours. This park is famous in northern New Mexico for everything they offer.

8. Pecos National Historical Park

Another famous historical place in New Mexico, the Pecos national park, is different from other places. It is situated in the middle of lush green woodlands. These woodlands are full of juniper trees and many other things are located at the base of the enormous mountain meadows of the Sangre De Cristo mountains.

ellis dieperink DZQV8a063dM unsplash scaled
Photo by Ellis Dieperink on Unsplash

They also hold the remains of various 19th-century belongings, such as artifacts used during the civil war battle.

9. El Malpais National Monument

El Malpais is a place that has rich and diverse volcanic landscapes. It is rich in history and comprises lava tube caves, cinder cones, and sandstone bluffs. It offers solitude and recreation to visitors.

anthony lopez mvMgew4Vez0 unsplash scaled
Photo by Anthony Lopez on Unsplash

The people are free to walk on the same trail of Bandera Volcano, which was called the Desert Ice Box by the contemporary native Americans. They are seen in the fertile forests and open grasslands of New Mexico. It is one such place in New Mexico and is home to abundant wildlife.

El Malpais is considered a place of both fire and ice.

10. Fort Union National Monument

One of the most famous New Mexico national parks, this place is famous for the military fort union. Fort Union functioned as the agent representing political and cultural change for more than forty years.

steve harvey Po8sBBgdP3Y unsplash scaled
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

It is known to offer military protection for the people who traveled on the Santa Fe Trail. It still has the remnants of that era which were rich in history and tradition.

11. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Located in the middle of Mexico City, this place offers a peek into the rich cultural history of the ancient era. The sites that are now considered abandoned were the sites of early Spanish settlers. These sites are also an example of the Pueblo people’s early encounters. The Spanish national historic trail is still found in this park.

dominik schroder AwYfijxeBag unsplash scaled
Photo by Dominik Schröder on Unsplash

The Pueblo people describe the rich history of ancient times. The visitors to this place get the opportunity to know the culture and living style of the ancient Spanish settlers of this region. New Mexico is home to many such beautiful places.

12. Santa Fe Trail National Historic Trail

The Santa Fe trail is spread over five states and is one of the most famous national monuments of New Mexico. The people interested in knowing about the history of this place are advised to travel over these states. They hold the history of past travelers and dwellers.

sheena woodhead HiUe5uhTzVs unsplash scaled
Photo by Sheena Woodhead on Unsplash

It has some of the world’s great natural wonders. The visitors of this place get the opportunity to explore incredible geologic features. They also have to move past a few massive buildings.

Today, the trail extends between Santa Fe, New Mexico, to western Missouri. The visitors can see many museums, landmarks, historic sites, and original trail segments along this path.

13. Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument

The Rio Grande is considered another famous New Mexico national monument. It has a lot to offer to its visitors. It has the service of both scenery and recreation. The monument of 242000 acres of land is located at an elevation of 7000 feet and has volcanic features and deep canyons.

george stackpole o29VqE0bOCc unsplash
Photo by George Stackpole on Unsplash

The Rio Grande offers endless recreational facilities to the people. Some of the facilities include camping, hiking, whitewater rafting, biking, and wildlife viewing. Checking out the famous Taos Valley Overlook is a must-do at this place.

14. Valles Caldera National Preserve

Around 1.25 million years ago, a volcanic eruption occurred, which created a depression that was 13 miles wide. That depression is now known as the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

amanda schmidt unz5gJeUfjc unsplash scaled
Photo by Amanda Schmidt on Unsplash

It was home to the ancestral native peoples of that area. It has enormous mountain meadows and the presence of various wildlife. It offers various outdoor activities to the people who visit this place. They are backcountry access, astronomy, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing.

Some of these activities require a permit, whereas some can be done by all the people visiting this place.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Makes Carlsbad Caverns National Park Special?

The amazing underground cave network in Carlsbad Caverns National Park is well-known. Visitors to the caves can take guided tours to view the magnificent rock formations and bats that occasionally live there throughout the year.

2. Is There Anything to Do at White Sands National Park?

Unique sand dunes consisting of gypsum crystals can be found in White Sands National Park. Hiking, beautiful driving, sledding down the dunes, and even stargazing at night are all available to visitors.

3. Where in Pecos National Historical Park Are the Historical Sites?

Ancient Puebloan ruins and the remains of a 17th-century Spanish mission can be seen in Pecos National Historical Park. With interpretative exhibits, visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the history of the region.


All the places are rich in history and cultural exchange. New Mexico’s national parks offer both recreation and historical knowledge to visitors. Some of the places also offer outdoor activities.

You can feel free to visit these places with your friends and family and have a wonderful time there. If you plan to pay Mexico, or specifically New Mexico, a visit, do not forget to check out some of the best New Mexico National Parks.

Suggested reading:

Fun Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

Last Updated on March 13, 2023 by Steffy Michael