The 9 Best Summer Activities in New Mexico!

Summertime and the livin’ is easy! In New Mexico, this sentiment rings especially true. Long, sunny days are a call to get outside. From stunning national monuments, to scenic chairlift rides, to geocaching, you’ll find that summer opportunities are endless in the Land of Enchantment. Here are the 10 best summer activities to do in New Mexico. 

1. Stargazing at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Last year, this national monument was designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. A dark sky is viewable in a place where there is relatively little interference from artificial light. The New Mexico skies in general, but particularly here, are a panoply of constellations, stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen by the naked eye, although a telescope helps. Rangers hold night programs throughout the summer.

2. Angel Resort Zipline Adventure Tour, Angel Fire, NM

Grab on, hang on and fly down any one of six zip lines that, of course, begin at the top of a mountain here in the Sangre de Cristo range. You might even catch a glimpse of the beautiful Moreno Valley as you skirt the treetops. Zip lines range in length from 120 to 1,600 feet. The whole experience takes about three hours and includes some hiking be-tween zip areas. 

3. Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, Cimarron, NM

Have you ever wondered how prairie dogs forage? Wonder no more. A walk on the Ref-uge’s Prairie Path will open the window to the life of the indigenous black-tailed prairie dog. But that’s not all you’ll learn about here. Drive the 10-mile scenic auto tour loop and you’ll see songbirds, hawks, owls, eagles, wild turkey, white-tailed and mule deer. The Refuge, a feeding and resting habitat for migratory birds, covers more than 3,500 acres of short-grass prairie, play lakes, wetlands and crop fields. 

4. Mountain bike the High Desert Trail System

This trail system is monitored by local Gallupians, the Gallup Trails 2010 nonprofit, that believes that accessible trails improve the quality of life. The trail is a smooth and narrow single track through diverse terrain. There are three loops that take you across First, Second and Third Mesa which get increasingly more difficult and technical as you climb. The route is fast but fun with numerous small climbs. Maps and signs are posted at trail intersections. There are mountain biking areas all over the state, but this area is a successful collaboration with other users that brings people together.

5. Fishing at Navajo Lake State Park

Catch and release or catch and eat. You can do either at this popular fishing destination. This 15,000-acre lake is the second largest in the state. It’s a fisherman’s haven with rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, large/smallmouth bass, northern pike, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill all for the taking with the right knowhow. Below the lake is the San Juan River with one of the most famous trout fisheries in the state that lures fly fishermen to the banks for 17 miles of action.

6. Summer Scenic Chair Rides, Taos, NM

The view is from the top of any mountain, it’s just getting to a vista point that’s difficult sometimes. In the summer months, ski resorts keep their chair lifts moving, taking visi-tors up the mountains in the warm sunshine. The scenery is awe-inspiring at the top with here views of Wheeler and Kachina Peaks. The crisp mountain air is refreshingly invig-orating. Picnic tables at the top make dining al fresco easy. Open seven-days-a-week, June through September.

7. Pick your own fruits and veggies

There’s just nothing tastier than eating a fresh-picked plum or cherry or apple or peach or apricot. Summertime fruit is sweet and juicy and mouthwateringly delicious. Nichols Ranch has been farming for more than 100 years and know how to get the best out of their fruit trees. At any given time, depending on what’s ripe, you’ll find 15 varieties of cherry, 20 acres of apples, orchards of apricots, peaches, plums, figs, pears and sugar prunes. Take a basket or a bucket and pick your own every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June through October.

8. Go to the beach at Bottomless Lakes State Park

You don’t have to leave this land-locked state to sit at the beach. Head for these lakes located southeast of town. Sit in your beach chair, wiggle your toes in the sand, play some beach volleyball, watch the waves lap against the shore and build the sandcastle of your dreams, all the while enjoying soaking up the rays. The lakes here are really giant sinkholes that are between 17 and 90 feet deep. The bottomless feel is thanks to aquatic plants that turn the water a greenish-blue giving it the illusion of being really deep. A little family-friendly beach fun makes for a great summer vacation.

9. Geocaching

What kind of outdoor sport takes you on a real-time treasure hunt adventure? Geocach-ing! These hiding spots are found everywhere. All you need is a GPS mobile device, or a mobile phone with GPS accessibility, GPS coordinates of the cache and a dose of curiosity. The locations of these hidden treasures can be very diverse, from parks to mountain tops to busy city streets to even underwater—make sure your phone is waterproof. There are some rules if you uncover a cache: if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value. If there’s a logbook, write about your discovery. 

New Mexico Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
601 Eubank Boulevard South East, Albuquerque, NM
Mission:The Museum’s mission is "To serve as America’s resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quali... Read More
121 Sandia Crest Road, Sandia Park, NM
It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were fir... Read More
87 North Frontage Road, Edgewood, NM
About Us: Wildlife West Nature Park is New Mexico's premier facility dedicated to native wildlife and ecology. Located just minutes east of Albuque... Read More
100 West Eleventh Street, Roswell, NM
Mission:The Roswell Museum and Art Center inspires discovery, creativity, and cultural understanding of the art and history of the American Southwe... Read More
114 North Main Street, Roswell, NM
History: In July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell during a severe thunderstorm. Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What... Read More
409 East College Boulevard, Roswell, NM
The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1994 to showcase works of art produced by alumni of the Roswell... Read More
1001 West Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM
Mission Statement: The Cibola Arts Council is dedicated to providing the citizens it represents, especially our youth, with experiences in the Art... Read More
1717 West Second Street, Suite 205, Roswell, NM
Mission Statement:The mission of the Roswell Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is to provide the people of Roswell and Southeast New Mexico with the best of... Read More
108 Spencer Road, Alto, NM
Mission: The mission of the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is to enrich the cultural lives of South-Central New Mexico's residents and vi... Read More
102 Smokey Bear Boulevard, Capitan, NM
Smokey's Museum opened in 1961, having been dedicated in 1958, the rustic one room building almost bursts with Smokey memorabilia, photos and poste... Read More
727 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas, NM
Mission :  The City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection engages visitors in the rich history of the Las Vegas area by col... Read More
3198 State Route 2001, Alamogordo, NM
Mission: The mission of the museum is to educate the people of New Mexico and our visitors from around the world in the history, science, and tech... Read More
200 North Lea Avenue, Roswell, NM
About us: This stately home of James Phelps White, a Roswell landmark since it's construction in 1910, now stands amidst towering elms as the Chav... Read More
2900 Carlisle Blvd NorthEast, Albuquerque, NM
About The Vortex : The Vortex Theatre is a venue for classic, contemporary and cutting edge theatre. Our audiences can enjoy wonderful works for ... Read More
Show More
Select a New Mexico town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Los Alamos County