Driving New Mexico: Desert, Forests, and Mountains


On Saturday, January 20, our original plan to boondock at the Guadalupe Mountains, visit Carlsbad Caverns and take our time traveling from El Paso to Albuquerque changed. The impending Federal Government shut down, combined with wind advisories along our planned route, kept us in El Paso one more night. Instead of hitching up the fifth wheel, we revisited our route and made new plans.

Roswell, New Mexico was on our list of cities to visit. Located outside of the wind advisory area and an easy drive from El Paso, we decided to head there first.

On Sunday morning, January 21, we headed north on US-54 toward Tularosa, New Mexico. It was still windy; however, the winds subsided as we traveled northward.

At Tularosa, we turned east on US-70 and headed towards the Mescalero Reservation. As we journeyed eastward, we slowly ascended into the Sierra Blanca Mountains. The highest elevation recorded on our Garmin was 7603 ft.

Tularosa, NM

As we neared the Mescalero Reservation, the scenery outside our windows slowly changed from desert to forest. We saw tall pines trees and bits of snow. It was a welcome change from the dry, brown Chihuahuan Desert.

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Mescalero, NM US-70
Mescalero, NM US-70

In addition to the Mescalero Reservation, we drove through several small towns that looked very interesting. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop and continued on our journey to Roswell.

US-70 merges with US-380, also known as Billy the Kid Trail, at Hondo. We turned east and headed towards Roswell. The landscape changed again, resembling a dry, hilly desert.

Picacho, NM

We stayed at the Red Barn RV Park in Roswell. It is a quaint little campground, with full hook-ups and a dog park. Located in the office is a library, small game room, restrooms, showers, laundry room and a small store. The host, Lee Fudge, gave us a city map and pointed out places we may want to visit during our stay.

Red Barn RV Park 

After setting up and exercising the dogs in the campground dog park, we went into town. It was too late in the day to go to any of the museums, so we drove around to familiarize ourselves and locate the attractions.

While driving, we saw this family receiving assistance from friendly intergalactic neighbors.

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Need a jump start?

We skipped lunch while traveling and our stomachs were rumbling. Based on the recommendation we received from our campground host, we decided to try the local Cattle Baron Restaurant.

The salad bar was large, with a good selection. I had a petite sirloin and Andy selected the prime rib dinner. (Sorry, no food pictures.) We left full and satisfied.

We returned to the campground, walked the dogs and settled in for the night. We made our plans for Monday, hoping to visit all the places we selected.

Check back soon for more on our visit to Roswell, New Mexico.

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Welcome to Roswell

4 comments on “Driving New Mexico: Desert, Forests, and Mountains”

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