The cold season is finally over, and with the warm weather comes the need to get outdoors and see all of the beauty of the world around us. With so many awesome spots to explore across the state, you might want to head out on an epic road trip and mark every spot off your bucket list within one incredible summer. Here are 8 scenic road trip spots in New Mexico that will have you awestruck by all of the colorful views. Get your camera ready!

Shiprock 

Address: San Juan County, NM

Why You Need To Go: Located about 15 miles away from Shiprock, New Mexico, Shiprock is an incredible sight to be seen. The massive structure was formed around 30 million years ago and is actually a volcanic plume that came out of an active volcano.

The myth surrounding Shiprock claims that it was a piece of land that became a bird that carried the ancestral people of the Navajo.

Las Conchas Trail

Address: Santa Fe National Forest, NM

Why You Need To Go: This trail is along the East Fork of the Jemez River and is perfect for beginner hikers who just want to enjoy the view of calm streams, flower-filled meadows, rocky canyons, and the greenery of a beautiful forest. The trail's website claims that you can see the beautiful wildflowers from June through September. 

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Wheeler Peak Trail

Address: Carson National Forest, NM

Why You Need To Go: Wheeler Peak is located in Carson National Forest, where it stands as the highest natural point in New Mexico. The Wheeler Peak Trail climbs east up the Peak's northwest slopes. The route leads you through stunning green forests then steepens and leads you up to the top of the peak where you'll get the best (and highest) views of the forest.

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Trampas Lakes

Address: Carson National Forest, NM

Why You Need To Go: While you're in Carson National Forest, you can also find this incredible high-elevated lake where you can camp out or just enjoy the incredible scenery. A still lake surrounded by mountains and pretty greenery is just what you need after being locked indoors all spring.

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The Blue Swallow Motel

Address: 815 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 

Why You Need To Go: No road trip is complete without going all-out 80s vibes and staying at a retro motel with the cutest neon blue sign. The Blue Swallow Motel is a popular tourist spot on Historic Route 66 in Tucumcari. The spot is currently closed due to COVID-19 concerns but is estimated to be back open in mid-April. You can check out updates here

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Fenton Lake State Park

Address: 455 Fenton Lake Road, Jemez Springs, NM

Why You Need To Go: The Jemez Mountains line the beautiful skyline at this ponderosa pine forest state park. Fenton Lake State Park is the perfect place to escape to if you want to simply relax under the sun. It's also a popular spot to go fishing! To dip your toes in the water and cool off, this is the spot.

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Bandelier National Monument

Address: 15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 

Why You Need To Go: Bandelier National Monument protects around 33,000 acres of incredible canyons that you can explore. The area has evidence of human activity here from over 11,000 years ago including petroglyphs, rock cliff dwellings, and standing masonry walls. You can see most of these awe-inspiring sights to learn more about the history of the cultures that still survive in local communities.

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White Sands National Park

Address: 

Why You Need To Go: White is a color too! Well...it's the sum of all possible colors, but you get what I mean. This spot will really bring out the colors in your clothes while you stroll through the seemingly endless pure white sandhills. To feel like you've totally escaped reality and have entered a spectacular world with magic carpets, you need to head over here. 

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We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.



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