10 Interesting Facts about New Mexico
Many of us here in New Mexico often feel forgotten by the rest of the country….we’ve all likely experienced the call with a sales person who thinks New Mexico is still a part of Mexico. Yes, you read that correctly….people actually think we are still a part of Mexico! I know, pure craziness if you ask me.
That aside, New Mexico is a beautiful and culturally rich state with a TON of history! And there are some interesting facts that not many people know about our great state and the Land of Enchantment.
So, without further ado, here are 10 Interesting Facts about New Mexico!
1. A Mile High….And Then Some
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#1
The Mile High City, Denver, doesn’t have anything on New Mexico. Santa Fe, NM sits at 7,000 feet above sea level, making it the nation’s highest capital. The highest peak in The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico’s Nickname) is Wheeler Peak soaring above the clouds at 13,000 feet.
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#2
New Mexico is a great purveyor of wine….with its origins dating back to the 1600’s, making it the oldest wine producing state in the nation. It was in the early 1600’s that Franciscan Garcia de Zuniga and a monk, Antonio de Arteaga, started growing wine grapes along the Rio Grande Valley. By the 1900’s New Mexico was producing over a million gallons of wine each year. And to this day, New Mexico is known for many award-winning wines produced by local winemakers/vintners.
3. First Atomic Bomb Exploded in New Mexico
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#3
On July 16, 1945 at 5:29 a.m., the very first atomic bomb was detonated in the desert sands of the Jornada del Muerto in south-central New Mexico and part of the Alamogordo Bombing Range (Known today as White Sands Missile Range). Known by its code name, Trinity, it was of the same design as the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, a few weeks later. Today, Trinity Site, is a National Historic Site that offers tours twice a year (April & October) to the public.
4. Hot Air Balloons Galore
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#4
New Mexico is home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held every October and boasting over 500 hot air balloons. The fiesta began in 1972 and has grown every year since, attracting people from around the world. Hot air balloon pilots love to fly in Albuquerque because of its predictable wind patterns that set in as fall begins across the state. These predictable wind patterns allow the pilots to fly north at low elevations and return south at higher elevations. The event is one-of-a-kind and you won’t find anything like it in the world!
5. YOU CAN SEE 5 STATES FROM ONE LOCATION
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#5
From the top of the 8,000 ft Capulin Volcano National Monument you can take in an awe-inspiring view unlike any other. The Capulin Volcano is an extinct cinder cone volcano that allows those who journey to the top to see 5 states from a single location….Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, in addition to New Mexico. This volcano also served as a reference point or landmark for those traveling along the Santa Fe Trail many years ago. So if you happen to be in Northeastern New Mexico, this is one sight to put on your “to-do list”!!
6. SMOKEY BEAR IS FROM NEW MEXICO
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#6
It was during WWII that Smokey Bear was invented to educate Americans about the dangers of wildfires….and Smokey’s roots were born here in New Mexico. The living image/symbol of Smokey Bear was actually a black bear cub found by firefighters during the Capitan Gap Fire of 1950. After his rescue, Smokey Bear was transported to the National Zoo in Washington, DC until his passing in 1976. To this day you can visit Capitan, NM and learn about the history of Smokey Bear and the Capitan Gap Fires impact on the national campaign to inform the American people about wildfires. Oh. And you can check out some AMAZING scenery as well!
7. NEW MEXICO HAS MORE LIVESTOCK THAN PEOPLE
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#7
Seriously. It’s true. Our wonderful state has more livestock that it does people…..with a human population of 2.09 million, it’s not hard to see how that could be possible considering there are approximately 1.29 million head of cattle in the state. That doesn’t include sheep and other livestock. So take some time to cruise those backroads, hang with the cattle and livestock, and lay back at night to admire the galaxies far, far beyond in our beautiful, crystal clear skies!
8. THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#8
Which road is the one less traveled in New Mexico??? The paved one! Nearly 75% of the roads in our state are dirt or caliche….which makes for one heck of a state to get off-the-beaten path and explore the backcountry!
9. BEST SUNSETS EVER!!!
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#9
For those of us who reside in the state, we know that New Mexico has the Best Sunsets Ever! Trust us. And come see for yourself, our sunsets will not disappoint. It’s a show unlike any you’ve seen before….just see below!
10. NEW MEXICO IS THE ONLY STATE WITH AN OFFICIAL QUESTION: “Red or Green?”
Interesting Facts about New Mexico….#10
New Mexican’s pride themselves on the delicious chile the state produces, of both the red and green variety. Hatch, NM is home to the Green Chile Festival and the one question residents of the state feel confident about answering at the drop of a dime is, “Red or Green?”. You won’t find a person in this state who doesn’t prefer one over the other….AND who won’t be able to talk at length about why their choice is the best. So find out for yourself and be sure to sample a little of both, either way you won’t be disappointed!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick is a husband, a real estate broker and investor, a friend, a foodie and lover of water (oceans/rivers/lakes). Born in Albuquerque, NM and raised in Alamogordo, NM he has a unique and interesting perspective on local real estate that he can’t wait to share with you. Nick resides in Alamogordo and enjoys getting to meet all the wonderful and vibrant people of Alamogordo and Otero County.