A short distance from Alamogordo, about 65 miles north, our traveling home stops at Valley of the Fires National Recreation Area to take in the sight of a 5,000 year old lava flow. Valley of Fires offers a broadwalk style nature trail through the vast molten lava, along with a phenomenal campground that overlooks the lava flow. Camping in this recreation area is a treat of solitude, intriguing geology, and stunning sunsets.
Andrew, Ame and I took a late afternoon excursion to White Sands National Monument. This geographical desert oddity is home to vast dunes of white sand or gypsum. Hearing the pure white sand can be blinding or an eyesore in direct daylight, we opt to wait until the late afternoon, when the sun begins to set, to visit the park. It is quite magical place to play in the sand with our excited pup, while watching the sunset in the distance mountains.
Since we’ve been having such good luck with New Mexico’s state parks, Andrew and I picked Oliver Lee Memorial State Park as our next stop. While Oliver Lee is conveniently located near the town of Alamogordo and White Sands National Monument, it is also a great spot for taking in valley views and hikes around scenic Dog Canyon.