If you're planning a trip to New Mexico or are simply interested in learning more about the state's beautiful national parks, take some time to review the interesting facts about them.
You'll discover fascinating information about the incredible natural features, ancient cultural sites, and abundant wildlife that make these parks so unique.
1. New Mexico has three national parks: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument, and Bandelier National Monument.
2. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to one of the largest cave systems in the world, with more than 119 caves.
3. White Sands National Monument is the world's largest gypsum dunefield, covering over 275 square miles. The white sands are actually composed of gypsum crystals that have been eroded by wind and water over millions of years.
4. Bandelier National Monument is a 33,677-acre park that preserves the ruins of an ancient Puebloan civilization. Visitors can see ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and other cultural artifacts.
5. In addition to the three national parks, New Mexico also has 13 national monuments, including the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, the Aztec Ruins National Monument, and the Petroglyph National Monument.
6. The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is also located in New Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the remains of a major center of ancestral Puebloan culture, with the most famous site being Pueblo Bonito, which was inhabited between 850 and 1150 AD.
7. The national parks and monuments in New Mexico offer a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing.
8. New Mexico is also home to the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which is not a national park, but is managed by the National Park Service.