Located in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is known for its Pueblo-style architecture and historic district. While you are there, you should check out the Palace of the Governors, which is now the New Mexico History Museum's home. On your Santa Fe to Ruidoso road trip, you should take the scenic route that travels past Albuquerque. This New Mexico city is a perfect blend of Spanish architecture and Native American culture. Finally, Ruidoso lies in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, and it is home to plenty of winter activities, including the Ski Apache resort.
You can have a fun day at a national park in New Mexico. As you plan your Santa Fe to Ruidoso road trip itinerary, make sure to add some of these parks to your schedule. If you would like to know more about these exciting parks, please visit RVshare's national parks guide.
White Sands National Park
As you travel through New Mexico, you should visit the White Sands National Park. This national park features the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world. At one time, this park was designated as a national monument. However, it was upgraded to a national park in 2019. When you visit this park, you can explore over 275 square miles of gypsum dunes. Many visitors head to this location to hike on the trails or sled down the dunes. The trails lead you to the raised Interdune Boardwalk. You can also learn more about the park from the interpretive exhibits on the Dune Life Nature Trail. If you love nature, there are plenty of native animals in the park, including bobcats, roadrunners, and coyotes.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
If you want to see an incredible underground limestone cave, you might want to make a stop at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, this national park contains over 119 limestone caves. The biggest underground chamber is known as the Big Room. You can drive along the Walnut Canyon Desert Loop to get some spectacular views of the desert. The Rattlesnake Springs area is home to hundreds of birds and reptiles. Along with cave exploration, you can see over 1,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats that make the caverns their home. Throughout the year, the park hosts several scheduled events, including a bat flight program. During the summer, you can witness the bats flying through the caves at sunset. The park also offers star-gazing guided hikes throughout the park.
State parks are a wonderful way to take a break from your long drive. There are plenty of beautiful state parks in New Mexico. If you need to plan your trip, make sure to check out RVshare's state park guide.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Along the Pecos River, you will find the first state park established in New Mexico. The Bottomless Lakes State Park takes its name from the nine lakes in the area. While they might be called "bottomless," most of the lakes range from 17 to 90 feet deep. The underwater plants in the lakes cause the waters to turn a blue-green color. You can enjoy kayaking or canoeing on the waters. This spot is a great place for scuba divers and swimmers. For anglers, you will have the best success at Cottonwood Lake or Devil's Inkwell. If you want to explore the area, make sure to hike on one of the trails. The Bottomless Lakes State Park is also an excellent place for birdwatching.
Hyde Memorial State Park
Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, you will want to plan a visit to the Hyde Memorial State Park. This park has plenty of spectacular views of the evergreen forests, mountain peaks, and rock formations. You can hike the trails to see the cascading waterfalls and pine forests. Along with the beautiful vistas, this park is also the home to native animals, such as porcupines, coyotes, and foxes. If you travel in the winter, you can enjoy other activities, including cross-country skiing, sledding, and tubing.
City of Rocks State Park
The City of Rocks State Park gets its name from the rock formations that can be found at this location. Many of these rocks were formed by volcanic ash about 30 million years ago. This park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, and it includes several picnic areas, hiking trails, a desert botanical garden, and an observatory. If you want to see the native animals, you will get your chance at this park. You can see antelopes, jackrabbits, deer, and birds roaming throughout the grounds.
When you are traveling on your road trip from Santa Fe to Ruidoso, you will pass by fascinating locations and magnificent landscapes. When you arrive at these points of interest, you should get out of the car and explore the best spots in New Mexico.
This chapel was once a Roman Catholic church, but it is now used as a wedding chapel and museum. This building is known for the unique helix-shaped spiral staircase. Today, you can visit the chapel and learn about the legend of the mysterious builder who constructed the stairs.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
If you love Georgia O'Keeffe's work, you will want to visit this Santa Fe museum. While you are there, you can discover her contributions to American modernism. This location features the largest collection of her work. Throughout the year, the museum will rotate the items in the collection.
Albuquerque is a town filled with charm. When you head through this town, you should check out the adobe houses and narrow streets. Albuquerque is known for the Old Town area. This section includes the 18th-century San Felipe de Neri Church. If you want to learn about the local history, make sure to head over to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. While you are visiting Old Town, don't forget to enjoy the local fare, such as enchiladas with Christmas sauce and sopapillas.
Ruidoso Winter Park
If you are looking for winter fun in New Mexico, this is the spot for you. Ruidoso Winter Park is a great place to grab an innertube and head down the snow-covered hills. The park even offers heated igloos for a comfortable winter experience.
Before you head out on your Santa Fe to Ruidoso RV road trip, you will want to know how to stay comfortable. In New Mexico, you can find plenty of campground options between these two cities. For those who need to clean their rigs, there are several dump stations available for your convenience.
Albuquerque is filled with southwestern charm. The famous Route 66 runs through the town, and you can see plenty of historic spots related to the Mother Road. Along with the historic spots, several art galleries are located throughout the downtown area. At the end of the day, make sure to find the perfect campground to relax for the night.
This city is renowned for the alleged UFO crash in 1947. If you want to learn more about this incident, the International UFO Museum and Research Center is a spot that you should visit. The Spring River Park and Zoo is home to an antique carousel and several native animals. Throughout the Roswell area, there are a couple of campgrounds where you can park your rig and chill for a few days.
Los Alamos is connected to the development of the atomic bomb. You can learn about the Manhattan Project at the National Historic Site located in the town. Los Alamos is also known for its spectacular views of the mountains. After a fun day of exploration, you can settle down at one of the relaxing campgrounds throughout the area.
With this road trip itinerary from Santa Fe to Ruidoso, you can see plenty of beautiful vistas and historic locations. New Mexico is known as the "Land of Enchantment," and the state lives up to its name. If you are looking for an RV rental, make sure to book with RVshare. You can find a large selection of vehicles, and there are options in Santa Fe and Ruidoso. When you rent from RVshare, you are covered with 24/7 roadside assistance and insurance. For your next Santa Fe to Ruidoso road trip, choose RVshare for all your rental needs.