Southeastern New Mexico: Places to Explore


  • Alamogordo

    Defense-related activities are vital to the town of Alamogordo and to Otero County, which covers much of the Tularosa Basin desert. Look up and you might see the dark, bat-shaped outline of a Stealth fighter... Read more

  • Artesia

    Artesia got its name from artesian wells that were dug here in the late 1800s to tap the abundant water supply just below the ground's surface. The region's subterranean bounty includes more than water... Read more

  • Capitan

    Capitan is famous as the birthplace and final home of Smokey Bear, the nation's symbol of wildfire prevention. The original bear concept was created in 1944, and the poster bear is still seen in public... Read more

  • Carrizozo

    Back when railroad crews began using this site as a supply center, the community that rose up was named after carrizo, the reedlike grass growing in the area. The extra "-zo" appeared when the carrizo... Read more

  • Cloudcroft

    Cloudcroft was established in 1898 when the El Paso-Northeastern Railroad crew laid out the route for the Cloud Climbing Railroad. The natural beauty and business possibilities for creating a getaway from... Read more

  • Fort Sumner

    Besides its historic significance as one of the area's earliest military outposts and the place where Billy the Kid was killed, the town of Fort Sumner is known for its air park, where NASA launches balloons... Read more

  • Lincoln

    It may not be as well-known as Tombstone, Arizona, or Deadwood, South Dakota, but Lincoln ranks right up there with the toughest of the tough old towns of the Old West. Mellowing with age, the notorious... Read more

  • Lincoln National Forest

  • Portales

    Along with neighboring Clovis, this farming and ranching community bills itself as the world's top producer of Valencia peanuts, a specialty crop ideally suited to red, sandy soil. In October, Portales... Read more

  • Roswell

    The true character of Roswell has been largely obscured over the last few decades by the brouhaha over UFOs. Rather than a hotbed of extraterrestrial activity, Roswell is in reality a simple, conservative... Read more

  • Ruidoso

    A year-round mountain resort town on the eastern slopes of the pine-covered Sacramento Mountains, Ruidoso retains a certain rustic charm. Shops, antiques stores, bars, and restaurants line its main street... Read more

  • San Patricio

    Ranchers, farmers, artists, and others who appreciate the lush, green loveliness of the Hondo Valley live in San Patricio and the nearby villages of Tinnie and Hondo. The Rio Ruidoso flows into the Rio... Read more

  • Santa Rosa

    A visually charming little town loaded with history, Santa Rosa also has the only body of water in the state—the Blue Hole—where divers can obtain deepwater certification. That spot, along with the Pecos... Read more

  • Tucumcari

    Tucumcari is a tumbledown little town with intriguing early- to mid-20th-century architecture. Neat little houses on quiet, tree-shaded streets can keep you peeking around corners and down new streets... Read more