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Old 07-23-2014, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
115 posts, read 79,384 times
Reputation: 151
Default Community with best view(s) south of I-40 in NM

I'm thinking down the road I might retire in New Mexico.

In my opinion, Alamogordo has the absolute best climate/natural environment situation in the state because it is so close to: high desert, White Sands, mountains, forests, basin. Alamogordo is also a very walkable city. But it doesn't quite scratch the itch.

So - is there another Alamogordo in New Mexico with just as inspiring views and diverse climate?

Note: Rodeo NM/Portal AZ might be good candidates, except they are too tiny.

I'd like to avoid snow, so the most attractive candidates would be south of I-40.

Would also rule out:

Las Cruces
Socorro
Cloudcroft
Columbus

I like the spirit of Truth or Consequences, and it's affordable, but I"m not wowed by the view - unless I could have something on the Rio Grande, I suppose.

There's something about Gallup I like, but not attracted to the wind/winter there.

I appreciate this query is probably annoyingly vague and specific, but what the heck?
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:24 PM
Status: "Body in Illinois/Soul in New Mexico" (set 24 days ago)
 
54 posts, read 17,965 times
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Views is kinda vague. What do you like looking at? I can tell you that for me views of greenery would get old pretty quick but that may be because I have so much of it here in Illinois. I find the west side of the Sandias far more interesting than the east side. I refuse to be rushed with someone on my butt no matter how many times I drive highway 4.

The Gila is beautiful too in it's own way but again I'll take heading toward Cuba from Bernalillo any day. Not all that far from me people pay millions to have windows facing Lake Michigan. Talk about something that would get old fast for me! It seems like you already know that there are not all that many places to even consider if you want a population over 200 or so. Tons of dreamworlds in NM if you don't mind driving fifty miles or more because you need some flashlight batteries.

Maybe check out the Elephant Butte area. I have only been by it in passing more or less.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
115 posts, read 79,384 times
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Ah, views. Here are two that are always uplifting to me:

San Augustin Pass going east on 70 from Organ toward White Sands

On Highway 380, the view of basin between San Antonio and Carrizozo
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,275 posts, read 27,533,211 times
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It may be too small but the view from the solar observatory parking lot at Sunspot is amazing.

If accessibility is a consideration near the Space science Museum in Alamogordo is also quite spectacular.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
2,442 posts, read 2,307,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
It may be too small but the view from the solar observatory parking lot at Sunspot is amazing.
I don't think there is a more spectacular vista in New Mexico. And I include the view from the top of the tram in Sandias. There is a viewing platform with coin operated binoculars next to one of the observatory buildings at Sunspot that can be accessed on the self-guided tour of the facilities.

There are a few lucky folk who own cabins in the village of Cloudcroft who have a similar view out over the Tularosa Basin. There are a number of spots along the highway between Cloudcroft and Sunspot where one can park and enjoy the view. And there is a overlook platform a short walk down the trail from the picnic area in the village. Watching nighttime thunderstorms out over the desert is better than any fireworks show, bar none.

But none of those viewing points beat the view from the top of the gondola that accesses the ridge at the top of the Ski Apache, unless it's the very peak of Sierra Blanca where one can truly view the horizon a full 360 degrees. Not only can you see White Sands in its entirety, but also the contrasting blackness of the Malpais lava flow near Carrizozo, the Organ-San Andres-Capitan Mtns, and the huge expanse of Lincoln Nat. Forest.

Last edited by joqua; 07-25-2014 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
1,309 posts, read 1,137,178 times
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If accessibility is a consideration near the Space science Museum in Alamogordo is also quite spectacular.

GregW-ahh, yes, the view from the Space Museum parking lot in Alamogordo! I remember my first discovery of this. I was down in Alamogordo interviewing for the job at Gerald Champion in Dec. of 2012. I had a hamburger in my rental car looking for a place ta stop and chow down. I happened across this road leading off of Scenic Dr. right by the hospital that went up a steep hill. I took a left after driving a ways up the hill.

There I was rewarded with a great view of Alamogordo below. Not anything as cool looking as the picture above but still a very nice place ta relax and chow down for a while. BTW-the Space Museum runs an IMAX theater just below that parking lot I'm talking about that is quite awesome, too. We saw one about tornado chasers there. The three men "starring" in that IMAX film lost their lives in the Moore, OK, tornado just a few days after we saw that film.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:04 AM
Status: "Body in Illinois/Soul in New Mexico" (set 24 days ago)
 
54 posts, read 17,965 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
I don't think there is a more spectacular vista in New Mexico. And I include the view from the top of the tram in Sandias. There is a viewing platform with coin operated binoculars next to one of the observatory buildings at Sunspot that can be accessed on the self-guided tour of the facilities.

There are a few lucky folk who own cabins in the village of Cloudcroft who have a similar view out over the Tularosa Basin. There are a number of spots along the highway between Cloudcroft and Sunspot where one can park and enjoy the view. And there is a overlook platform a short walk down the trail from the picnic area in the village. Watching nighttime thunderstorms out over the desert is better than any fireworks show, bar none.

But none of those viewing points beat the view from the top of the gondola that accesses the ridge at the top of the Ski Apache, unless it's the very peak of Sierra Blanca where one can truly view the horizon a full 360 degrees. Not only can you see White Sands in its entirety, but also the contrasting blackness of the Malpais lava flow near Carrizozo, the Organ-San Andres-Capitan Mtns, and the huge expanse of Lincoln Nat. Forest.
Lovely! I have to add to my list and limited time if I can ever get myself to break away from the mesa lands NW. As far as Sandia peak you can get some great views just venturing down the La Luz trail a few hundred feet.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
115 posts, read 79,384 times
Reputation: 151
Oh, well, if we're just talking about spectacular views in NM irrespective of buying property there, then I'd agree with all of the above and add these two little-visited, hidden (literally) gems

Angel Peak Scenic Area
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness

If you haven't been to Sunspot yet, then you may want to get there while it's still open and accessible. In 2013, things were up in the air (hehe, get it?) - it was about to be sold or had already been sold, with the scientific operations being moved to Hawaii.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Bernalillo, NM
697 posts, read 782,872 times
Reputation: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by elkotronics View Post
If accessibility is a consideration near the Space science Museum in Alamogordo is also quite spectacular.

GregW-ahh, yes, the view from the Space Museum parking lot in Alamogordo! I remember my first discovery of this. I was down in Alamogordo interviewing for the job at Gerald Champion in Dec. of 2012. I had a hamburger in my rental car looking for a place ta stop and chow down. I happened across this road leading off of Scenic Dr. right by the hospital that went up a steep hill. I took a left after driving a ways up the hill.

There I was rewarded with a great view of Alamogordo below. Not anything as cool looking as the picture above but still a very nice place ta relax and chow down for a while. BTW-the Space Museum runs an IMAX theater just below that parking lot I'm talking about that is quite awesome, too. We saw one about tornado chasers there. The three men "starring" in that IMAX film lost their lives in the Moore, OK, tornado just a few days after we saw that film.
A little off topic, but we visited the Space Museum about 3 years ago. Not sure if he is still there (he was getting up in years) but the docent that showed us around started as a frogman in the Mercury program and eventually worked up to assistant mission specialist although he never got to go into space. In his frogman work, he was one of the guys that went into the water and attached the flotation devices to the Mercury capsules after they splashed down.

Had absolutely great stories about the space program, and all the astronauts and cosmonauts. Sounded like one big club of grown up kids, which isn't exactly surprising.

If I were to go back, I'd definitely check ahead to see if he's still volunteering and arrange my trip for when he would be there. One of those found treasures you remember for a long, long time.

Rich
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Bernalillo, NM
697 posts, read 782,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzurie View Post
Oh, well, if we're just talking about spectacular views in NM irrespective of buying property there, then I'd agree with all of the above and add these two little-visited, hidden (literally) gems

Angel Peak Scenic Area
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
Another great view is from Sandstone Bluff Overlook off of Highway 117 south of Grants, over El Malpais National Monument. Maybe not as spectacular scenery but very different and special in its own right. See New Mexico | OutdoorPhotographer.com, Sandstone Bluffs Gallery - El Malpais National Monument (U.S. National Park Service) and Four Corners Hikes-Navajo Nation: El Malpais Sandstone Bluffs. The photos don't do the view justice at all.
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