I’ll be staying in Ruidoso, NM this upcoming October, I was wondering what I should add to my list of must see destinations in the surrounding area. Anything less than three hours away would be most preferred. Thanks!!
White Sands NP is unique and interesting. One of the best petroglyph sites I know of is Three Rivers Petroglyphs, north of Alamogordo and Tularosa. I also enjoy Valley of Fires State Park, near Carrizozo.
Roswell is fun for the alien stuff, but also check out the Robert Goddard museum at the Roswell Museum & Art Center. He did much of his early rocketry experiments in this area and they have a recreation of his workshop as it was in the 30s.
Never heard New Mexico’s Salinas Pueblo Missions? That’s why you should go see these haunting ruins, a reflection of the crossroads of Spanish Catholicism and American Indian spiritual beliefs formed in the 1620s.
While in Central New Mexico, make a point to visit three Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monuments, centered around Mountainair, New Mexico. At 161 miles (2.5 hours) from Roswell, it’s on the outskirts of your visiting range, but highly recommended you visit these three Indian-Spanish pueblo missions, all that’s remaining of vibrant cities, holding 20,000+ people each - in the 1620-30s, before all three cities were abandoned for unknown reasons, and left to go to ruin.
The wikipedia entry has a few photos, but none that do these three separate, ancient, ruined cities justice: Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument - Wikipedia
Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, NM, 150 miles, so worth the trip! A lot of oil field work in SE NM at this time, especially around Artesia area but unknown what the future holds for them! Some cities can smell really bad due to oil field, my husband jokes “smells like money!”