8 Fun Day Trips From El Paso To Southern New Mexico
Summer is coming upon us quickly, and unlike last year, families looking for a day or weekend getaway have plenty of options.
Plan a family road trip this summer to any of these 8-day trip options from El Paso to Southern New Mexico.
Explore New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, camp and picnic at the Aguirre Spring Campground, or visit a living desert zoo.
Take your pick – there’s a little something for everyone:
Aguirre Spring Campground
- Distance from El Paso: The Aguirre Spring Campground nestled in the Organ Mountains recreational area, off of U.S. 70, about 15 miles east of Las Cruces.
- Site: Families will find over 50 family camping and picnic sites, plus hiking trails and horseback riding.
- Admission: $3 per vehicle
- Information: (505) 525-4300
Alameda Park Zoo
Isn’t it beautiful? 😍
Make sure to stop by and see all of the new and future improvements.
- Distance from El Paso: Alameda Park Zoo is located off North White Sands Blvd. (U.S. 54/70), Alamogordo.
- Site: The zoo is part of the park that lines Alamogordo's main highway and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
- Admission: $2.20 for adults, $1.10 for children and seniors.
- Information: (505) 439-4290.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Are you planning a Memorial Day Weekend visit to the park? You will not be alone! As the kickoff to summer, we...
- Distance from El Paso: Carlsbad Caverns is located about 160 miles East of El Paso.
- Site: The natural caverns are a sight to be seen, and visitors can walk to the main caverns through the natural cave opening with additional tours offered.
- Hours: The caverns open at 8 a.m. daily, and the last elevator down leaves at 3:30 p.m. - the last walk-in is 2 p.m. (hours extended 1 1/2 hours in summer).
- Admission: Cost is $6, $3 for ages 6-15, for seniors with a discount card.
- Information: (505) 785-2232 or visit www.nps.gov/cave.
City of Rocks State Park
- Distance from El Paso: Between Deming and Silver City, the City of Rocks State Park is located about four miles east of U.S. 180 off NM 61.
- Site: The City of Rocks is known for its peculiar formation as time has eroded and sculpted the rock city out of volcanic material.
- Admission: $3
- Information: (505) 536-2800.
Dripping Springs Natural Area
- Distance from El Paso: Dripping Springs recreational area is located about 10 miles east of Las Cruces at the base of the Organ Mountains at the end of Dripping Springs Road (eastern extension of University Avenue).
- Site: Dripping Springs features several hiking trails and a picnic area. No pets are allowed (except for assistance animals).
- Hours: Gates open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Admission: $3 per vehicle
- Information: (505) 522-1219.
Fort Selden State Monument
Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at Fort Selden on and off during the 1800s. Sergeant Richard Anderson was one of them....
- Distance from El Paso: Located 13 miles north of Las Cruces is the 19th-century adobe fort of Fort Seldon. (From Las Cruces, take I-25 North to Exit 19)
- Site: Designated as an NM State Monument in 1974, Fort Seldon is a state historic site with an onsite visitor center featuring exhibitions and living history demonstrations on frontier and military life.
- Admission: $3 (age 16 and under free)
- Information: (505) 526-8911.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park
- Distance from El Paso: Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park is located about 168 miles East of El Paso via US-180 E/US-62 E.
- Site: The NM zoo and park offers visitors an up-close view of mammals, reptiles, and birds that inhabit the Chihuahuan Desert.
- Admission: $3 ($1 ages 7-12, free for 6 and under).
- Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry at 3:30 p.m.)
- Information: (505) 887-5516
White Sands National Monument
The life and landscape of White Sands National Park is constantly transforming. The shifting gypsum sand conceals and...
- Distance from El Paso: The White Sands National Monument is located about 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, N.M., on U.S. 70.
- Site: The year-round attraction offers extraordinary vistas, relaxing hikes, and ranger-guided Sunset Stroll Nature Walks are offered an hour before sunset. Find Lake Lucero tours offered on the last weekend of each month - (Reservations are required two weeks before the tour)
- Hours: The visitor center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dunes Drive from 7 a.m. to sunset with expanded hours in the summertime.
- Admission: $3 for adults.
- Information: (505) 479-6124 or www.nps.gov/whsa.