Northeast New Mexico

Northeast New Mexico is a very rural region bordering the Texas Panhandle and southern Colorado. There are fewer scenic and cultural attractions here than in most other regions of the state, but the area does contain a few things to break the tedium of the drive west across the Great Plains en route to the better-known tourist areas of Santa Fe and north central New Mexico, including a pair of national monuments and some historic towns.


Capulin Volcano National Monument

Other destinations


Northeast New Mexico Map

This region can be thought of as bounded by:

This is one of the "empty" corners of New Mexico, with low population density and comparatively few attractions. Culturally, it has many affinities to the "panhandle" regions of Oklahoma and Texas. Geographically, it forms the western edge of the Great Plains and gradually rises to meet the Sangre de Cristos, with a band of ancient (and, in a few areas, more recent) volcanoes running southwest to northeast toward the state's northeastern corner to provide a little scenic variety.


Mainly to yourself; this is a very empty region. Non-English speakers are in shorter supply than in some other areas of New Mexico, but you may have some opportunities to use Spanish, particularly in some of the small towns near the Sangre de Cristos where Spanish may even be the dominant language.

Get in

The nearest major airport is in Albuquerque just beyond the southwest corner of the region. Interstate highway 40 forms the southern boundary of the region, and I-25 runs through it north to south, so highway access is generally not a problem. The primary Amtrak line across the Southwest, the Southwest Chief, follows I-25 through this region, but stations are few and far between, with just one stop in Las Vegas and another in Raton.

Get around

Drive. The high plains generally pose fewer driving difficulties than other parts of the state, but make sure to keep your car well fueled owing to the paucity of service stations except along the interstates. Blizzards occasionally roar through in the winter and can close the roads for short periods.

Stay safe

The usual comments on driving in the Great Plains apply. This is a good area in which to keep your gas tank full; towns are few and far between, and you don't want to run out of gas forty miles from nowhere. There is very little crime (after all, there's very little population) and no public health hazards of any unusual significance.

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