Valley of Fires and Bosque del Apache
When we lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico we made a few trips up to Albuquerque either for work or play. We found a few places to stop along the way, including the Valley of Fires, Bosque del Apache, and Buckhorn Tavern.
First stop, The Valley of Fires located four miles west of the town Carrizozo on US 380. In the Tularosa Basin there is a lot of brown, trees are spares and tumbleweeds are plentiful. As you head North on 70 about a hour after you leave Alamogordo you will come upon a black lava section of rock and little cactus and yucca plants growing in the open crevices. The Valley of Fires recreation area is located immediately adjacent to the Malpais Lava Flow. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Little Black Peak erupted and flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin, filling the basin with molten rock. The resulting lava flow is four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. There is a park for future exploration with a hiking trail, 19 camping spots, picnic benches and bathrooms.
Up next is the largest bird sanctuary for migrating birds located just outside of San Antonio, NM. During the winter months thousands of migrating birds make to Bosque del Apache their temporary home. At twilight they can be seen for miles. It is really an amazing sight. My family stumbled along and found this place, unbeknownst to us that it is one of the premier birding and wild life refuges in the world.
After a day filled with bird watching hop over to Buckhorn Tavern to grab one of the top ten burgers in the United States. Here is San Antonio, NM Buckhorn Tavern is home to a great green chili cheeseburger. The restaurant doesn’t look like much, but this whole in the wall place will not disappoint.
Shortly after San Antonio, NM you catch I-25 and it is a straight shot to Albuquerque. Hop over to this post to find activities to do in Albuquerque.
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