Carlsbad, New Mexico is not a town many people think of when planning weekend trips in the Southwest of the United States. While places like Taos and Santa Fe get most of the glory, I think adventure lovers would be hard-pressed to find a town offering activities so close that they are also different.
I had only been in New Mexico one time before, and that was when I first visited Roswell, New Mexico, on my way to the Grand Canyon and Zion further West. I only stopped in the state for a quick overnight rest and was gone before I knew it. While Roswell does offer some fun things to do, such as the UFO Museum, I honestly didn’t get to experience many things in the state.
New Mexico never seemed like a state that would interest me much, but while researching my goal to knock out all National Parks in the United States, I came across two parks right on the New Mexico and Texas border. The two parks are Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, and the other is Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. I was intrigued for a few reasons, I would be able to cross off two parks on my list, I would get to climb the highest peak in Texas, and lastly, I do not think I had ever gone caving in my entire life.
The trip had been on my list for quite some time, but last Thanksgiving, things fell in place, and I was able to head out for a long weekend trip to Carlsbad, NM. My goal was to leave my home in Texas and drive straight after work to Carlsbad to camp for the night. I would use Saturday and Sunday to visit Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains, which I found out wasn’t enough. Monday, I would then drive to see my parents for Thanksgiving week.
Overall I would have added one more day to my trip since the Guadalupe Mountains deserves two full days to enjoy the summit hike and later some of the smaller valley hikes. Of course, I will be going into further detail on both National Parks since there is a lot to cover on what best practices I would recommend for each. I have to say now, though, is you should not skip these parks. They are truly unique and offer something that everyone should enjoy.
Have you been to New Mexico? How about to Guadalupe Mountains or the Carlsbad Caverns?
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