What has white, green, fast flying objects? Evidently New Mexico! Or a portion of it. We recently spent time in the other wordly Bisti Badlands followed by Lava meets Sandstone in El Malpais National Monument. Now we’ve migrated to southern New Mexico, specifically to visit White Sands missle range and the monument.
In addition to visiting the White Sands sites, we tackled a hike that almost blew me over, touched a rocket, saw an alien and was hugged by Teddy, a Great Pyrenees.
Missle Range Musuem
Following a short 20 minute drive we were getting our visitor badges to enter White Sands military base. For anyone interested in space development, history and activity, this is a great place to see the actual missiles and rockets.
Space History musuem
See the space hall of famers and the historical development of rocketry at this musuem. The musuem is located in Alamogordo, NM and documents how the Tularosa Basin and New Mexico were major components of our space exploration history. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit there were exhibits being renovated and the theatre wasn’t available. With those limitations it was only an hour break to walk through the facility.
White Sands National Monument
Shortly after our visit this unique monument was designated as the newest National Park. It is now the 62nd national park to be exact. This vast gympsum dunefield at 275 square miles is the largest dunefield in the world. The dunes have a life of their own as they shimmer in the sun and shift with the wind.
The Dunes road takes you down into the dunes with various stopping points along the way including nice picnic and sledding areas. Watch our visit video clip:
Baylor Canyon Hike
Behind our campsite was the Organ mountains and the Baylor Pass. We hiked up to the pass from the other side of the mountain by starting up from Aguirre Springs recreation area.
Alltrails rates this hike as hard and 5.5 out and back. We choose to enjoy the shorter climb from the campground area and only have a short distance of very windy walk rather than hike all the way through the pass and down the other side.
The views down to White Sands were great as we wandered in and out of a couple small canyons.
The last 0.25 miles of the trail was a short climb up and through the gate to the pass marker. I had trouble navigating with the wind blowing me over but with help we made it to the marker. Gusts of 30-40 mph were wicked.
As a Harvest Host member, we enjoy a convenient, quiet, safe overnight spot that’s not a walmart or other highway drone parking lot. If there’s wine, the spot is even better.
Tularosa winery started growing their vines back in 1989 and produce a range of local wines. The owner has grown production from the initial 100 cases to current capacity of 3500 cases. All were tasty and had a unique character that I enjoyed. We also enjoyed talking to the owner David Wickham and learning about his history and the winery.
The most enjoyable surprise of the afternoon was meeting Teddy. A Great Pyrenees lover. He will give you a hug!
Stopping in Roswell, NM
After crossing the mountains from Tularosa Basin area you land in Roswell. A quirky little downtown making for an interesting mid day break. We stopped at the UFO musuem, a spacewalk and enjoyed chimichangas for lunch in the touristy downtown.
Where to Next?
We decided to do a repeat visit to one of our first boondocking spots and National Parks. Carslbad Caverns here we come!