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Best Camping in Northern New Mexico

To say there’s a lot going on in the northern half of New Mexico is an understatement. For starters, there’s the stunning Pecos National Historical Park, lined with colorful aspen trees, scenic mountain trails, cascading waterfalls and the stunning blue Pecos River.

Whitewater rafting along the Rio Grande is bucket list stuff for the paddling set, and guided excursions range from beginner trips to super challenging, oh-my-god-what-have-I-signed-up-for rapids. On a quirkier tip, you can ride a llama in the Taos area, where outfitters take hikers on scenic day trips paired with gourmet food; or descend into the mouth of the non-active Capulin Volcano National Monument, near Raton. Hikers and fishermen love the rocky trails through Santa Fe National Forest, filled with thick forests and fly fishing streams.

Just the mention of Bisti Badlands (technically the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness) is enough to feel like you’ve stepped into a Mad Max movie. The remote, 45,000-acre high desert wilderness, located just south of Farmington, is home to some of the most unique rock formations on earth. This is one of the best-preserved records of a pre-historic swamp, filled with spires, hoodoos, and arches.

Scuba divers flock in from all over the country to find their way to Blue Hole, a famous artesian spring with pristine, electric blue waters offering 100 feet of visibility. The artesian well pumps out more than 3,000 gallons of water per minute — ensuring a steady 62 degrees and a continual rush of water.

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