The summer months in Albuquerque are quite possibly the most miserable of the year. Yes, it's true that afternoon thunderstorms in July and August deliver a brief respite from the heat, but they never seem to last long enough to provide much relief.
El Malpais national wilderness area offers a fine example of New Mexico's geological brilliance and sometimes forgiving landscape. It's just a 90-minute drive from Albuquerque, and if you do a little research, pack the proper gear and plan the trip with respect for the summer sun's afternoon fury, you can enjoy a great trip and keep it cool at the same time.
When the blazing New Mexico sun is beating down on your shoulders, there's nothing better than diving into a pool of ice cold water and washing your cares away. Several public pools in Albuquerque offer recreational swimming for the kiddies and lap swimming for health-conscious adults. So cover your body with plenty of sunscreen, put on your flip-flops and floaties, and jump on in. The water's fine.
This wilderness area located in the Jemez Mountains might be less than a two-hour drive from Albuquerque, but the distance is measured in more than just miles. Hiking in the Valles Caldera is akin to dreaming in paradise. Imagine standing amidst one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes in the state and realizing this promise: "Don't expect big crowds, a shortage of parking, or a shop full of trinkets. Instead, we offer a chance to get out and really experience a sense of solitude that we hope will leave you refreshed and relaxed." That's from the preserve's website, and judging from the visitation format, the Valles Caldera's unique management structure means what the website says. What's more, the visitation program offers something for practically every outdoor enthusiast imaginable, whether you're into fly fishing, bird watching, photography, landscape painting, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking or elk hunting.
Got an itch to try kayaking, white water rafting, fly fishing or rock climbing but don't have the slightest idea how to get started? Well, your friendly neighborhood Alibi has done a good bit of the work for you. We decided to ask some experts at nearby outdooring stores the best way for novices to get started. Here's what they had to say.
In a state full of jaw-dropping scenic vistas, Wheeler Peak may very well beat out all competitors. Rising to a height of 13,161 feet from the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Taos, New Mexico's highest point is also embedded in one of the most beautiful areas of our achingly beautiful state. Because it scrapes the roof of the world, it's also nice and cool up there. So if you're looking for a way to beat the heat, Wheeler Peak is a prime place to start.