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6 Remote Destinations in New Mexico That Will Certainly Steal Your Heart

Suny Errot



New Mexico is indeed a beautiful place. But with so many visitors and tourists around, you’d probably find it hard to enjoy a moment of peace and solitude. If you want to stay close to nature, be in awe of amazing formations, and explore the best this state has to offer, you better keep reading! These remote destinations in New Mexico will take your breath away.

Here are 6 remote destinations in New Mexico guaranteed to steal your heart:

1. Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness

Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness nm

Source: Instagram

Don’t you think it’s only fitting that this otherworldly place just so happens to be one of the remote destinations in New Mexico?

The area is full of multicolored badlands, amazing hoodoos, as well as some petrified wood and fossils. You will certainly find its geology striking and the landscape unusual. Still, it holds a different kind of charm that most visitors would find attractive. We think it’s something straight out of a martian planet!

If you explore Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness , you will find petrified tree and some ancient bones scattered throughout – telling of the prehistoric tale of previous inhabitants. What’s interesting about this destination is that it is comprised of different layers of shale, sandstone, mudstone, and bituminous coal. The materials were deposited over 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous era and roughly translates to 75,000 millennia of wind, water, ice weathering, and erosion. As you can see, the end result is particularly picturesque.

Note: Before you visit Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness, make sure to be prepared. Remember that this is one of the remote destinations in New Mexico and you need to drive almost 15 miles of unpaved road to the middle of nowhere. It is highly recommended to bring a GPS so you won’t get lost. The trails are also not marked and you might find it difficult to get back to your vehicle.

2. Caballo Lake State Park

Caballo Lake State Park nm

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Sometimes, all you need is a trip to a state park to avoid the crowd. Caballo Lake State Park is a mountain lake dotted with boating, fishing, and hiking spots, as well as some campgrounds. It is located 16 miles south of Truth or Consequences on the Rio Grande. The lake was actually created in the 1930s when a 96-feet tall earthen dam was built across the Rio Grande.

Many people can’t help but gush about how this is the most beautiful place to camp because the setting is so peaceful and serene. If you are used to coming to Elephant Butte, you will be surprised when you come here. The place is far quieter, with lesser people and noise, and no garbage.

You only need to concern yourself with the beauty of nature and wildlife. Caballo Lake offers different facilities for tent camping, RVs, boating or kayaking, fishing, and hiking. As for the amenities, there is a beach, boat docks and boat ramps, campgrounds, a group picnic shelter, and a playground. There are also exhibits at the Visitor Center, restrooms, showers and toilets, and a dump station at Palomino Campground.

3. Very Large Array

Very Large Array remote destinations in new mexico

Source: Instagram

Nope, this is not a movie backdrop. The photo shows Very Large Array, one of the remote destinations in New Mexico, and an extremely famous radio astronomy observatory. It features 27 82-ft.-wide dishes and offers guided tours to curious travelers. This is photo-worthy for any photographer, with an experience that is truly unmatched.

Who knew you could find this in the middle of nowhere? If you are going on a New Mexico road trip, you might as well include this in your stops.
Very Large Array is only a two-hour drive from Albuquerque and is located 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. You will learn and be in awe at the Visitor Center which features an award-winning documentary narrated by Jodie Foster. There are also some fascinating exhibits that describe radio astronomy and the VLA telescope.

If you prefer to tour the area alone, there is a self-guided walking tour that features large, informative signs so you can find your way to the base of one of the giant dish antennas. After that, you can just purchase VLA souvenirs and educational materials at the gift shop.

4. Chaco National Historical Park

Chaco National Historical Park remote destinations in new mexico

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We just can’t stress how gorgeous the Chaco National Historical Park is.

If you want to go to a place telling of the ancestral Puebloan life, you should definitely come here. The remote network of pueblos or ruins is stunning, to say the least, and its geology and architecture is something else. Combined with its rich history, you will really think that this is a must-visit destination. While the place is fascinating in the day, it is even more interesting at night. Let’s take the Great Kiva at Chetro Ketl as an example.

The kivas pertain to the monumental structures believed to have religious significance. These structures are roofed over with beams and packed dirt, creating a gathering place on the roof. An individual enters from the roof by a ladder. On the other hand, the floor pits, fireboxes, and holes in the floor are called a Sipapu. This symbolizes the opening in the Third World through which the people emerged into the world.

The construction of Chetro Ketl began around 990 AD, which is after hundreds of years of human habitation in Chaco Canyon. It also comes a century and a half after Pueblo Bonito’s construction. Chetro Ketl’s footprint is the largest of any Chaco great house. However, at three acres, you can say that it is similar in overall size to Pueblo Bonito.

If you are coming to visit Chaco National Historical Park, you should already bring all the essentials such as food and water. There are not many concessions here.

5. Golden

Golden new mexico

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Of course, we have to include a ghost town in our list of remote destinations in New Mexico!

Golden  is a famous spot with crumbling ruins of its old establishments. It was founded by the Native Americans and Spaniards a long time ago. Some individuals found placer gold on Tuerto Creek on the southwest side of the Ortiz Mountains, eventually attracting some miners to look for more precious minerals. Golden became quiet for decades before companies really took notice of the golden opportunity. When they did, they brought in numerous workers, attracting some individual prospectors along the way.

The town experienced a gold rush hit in 1879. Soon after, high-volume businesses popped up such as stores, saloons, a school, a post office, and a stock exchange. However, like all stories of abandoned ghost towns, the opportunity came to an end and residents had to move out and shut their businesses.

Still, you will find interesting places such as the surviving Henderson General Store, which is the only store that is open for operation, and first opened in 1918. You will also see the famed San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, one of the most photographed sites along the highway. Originally built in the 1830s, the church was built to honor St. Francis of Assisi. This was when the town was growing from a gold strike. Today, there may be hardly anything here, but many people consider this one of the most beautiful churches in New Mexico.

Before you leave, make sure to drop by the wonderfully-decorated property, The Bottle House, and learn interesting stories from Mayor Leroy Gonzales.

6. Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Monastery of Christ in the Desert new mexico

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The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is truly a beautiful place with a tranquil atmosphere.

You need to complete a 13-mile dirt road to reach this place, but it is worth it. The chapel is small inside, but it has grand windows that reveal the beauty of the surrounding rock formations. If you walk the grounds, your eyes will find the Chama River running nearby, making the view much more beautiful.

The place also offers a glimpse of life according to the tradition of Saint Benedict. There are monks living there who begin each day with prayer, before continuing through the day along with work in the Monastery. If you want to concentrate on God and forget about the petty worldly concerns, this is your destination. If you are lucky, you might also get the chance to talk with the Benedictine monks.

What else can we say? You should come here if you are looking for a place for contemplation and worship.

Which among these remote destinations in New Mexico stole your heart?

If you want to learn more about another cool place, read this: This Epic Hike in New Mexico Takes You up Santa Fe Baldy and Lets You See Stunning Lake and Forest Views. You should also check the 15 Absolutely Stunning New Mexico Scenic Byways the Rest of the World Are Jealous Of.