One of the best things about Mariposa is its proximity to so many great things. Because sometimes it’s nice to hop in the car for a day trip to an unknown destination. New Mexico has a number of exciting getaway spots to explore and here’s some of our favorites, all within 4 hours or less from beautiful Mariposa and Rio Rancho New Mexico.
Built atop a sheer-walled 367-foot sandstone bluff, Acoma Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America and a great place to learn more about the history of New Mexico’s southwest Indians. Known for its unique art and rich culture, visitors can view the cultural exhibits, take a tour and see the pottery and tribal celebrations. Home to 4,800 tribal members with more than 250 dwellings. About an hour and a half from Mariposa.
Explore 275 square miles of wave-like dunes of gypsum sand. Hiking, driving, sledding, bicycling and camping adventures await visitors to the monument in the Tularosa Basin between the Sacramento and San Andres Mountain ranges of southern New Mexico. Begin your visit in the visitor center where you can obtain information about programs and view the interactive exhibits about the history and ecology of the area.
Sledding down the slip face of dunes is a popular activity and is allowed in the loop portion of Dunes Drive. Most sledders use waxed, plastic snow-saucers, which can be purchased at the park gift shop. Be sure to become familiar with proper sledding techniques and safety precautions. About 4 hours from Mariposa.
Love local art? Madrid is an artists’ community with galleries lining New Mexico State Road. Once a historic coal mining town and ghost town, Madrid is now a creative community with over 40 shops and galleries, several restaurants, a spa and museum. A couple miles north is the quaint village Cerrillos that includes a state park with hiking paths and horseback riding. About an hour from Mariposa.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
There’s beauty above and below at this must-see destination. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves—formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes. There are a variety of easy to challenging ranger-guided tours. For safety, closed-toe shoes with good traction are recommended. From late May through October, enjoy a ranger program about the Brazilian free-tailed bats that emerge from the canyon each evening. Above the caverns, you’ll see desert wildlife, including several species of reptiles and a diversity of birds and insects, plus flowering cactus, when in season. About 4 hours from Mariposa
Climb aboard! This is a 64-mile day trip you’ll never forget. The steam engine zig zags between the Colorado and New Mexico border. Take in the gorgeous views as you step back in time and ride in the Victorian elegance of a parlor car or the budget-friendly coach car. Delicious buffet lunch is included. Trains depart daily from Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. A luxury motor coach chauffeurs you back to your starting point at the end of the ride. About 3 hours from Mariposa.
Enjoy exploring all these unique and beautiful areas!
Looking for a new home or custom home site near Albuquerque? Nestled among the foothills of Rio Rancho, Mariposa is a master-planned community situated just 30 minutes north of Albuquerque. Mariposa is designed for living naturally and offers a fully-equipped fitness center, resort-style indoor and outdoor pools, parks, sports courts, miles of trails and abundant open space, and endless views at the Mariposa Preserve and surrounding mountains.
Learn more at https://liveinmariposa.com/
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