Colonized by Spain, the land that is now New Mexico became US territory as part of the Gadsen Purchase in 1853, although New Mexico did not become a US state until 1912. During World War II, New Mexico was the site of the top-secret Manhattan Project, in which top American scientists raced to create the first atomic bomb, which was tested on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity Bomb site, near Alamagordo.
In 1947, Roswell, New Mexico, became a subject of speculation about extraterrestrial life when a local farmer discovered unidentified debris on his property, which some believed to be the remains of a crashed alien spacecraft. Visitors to New Mexico regularly visit attractions such as the Very Large Array Telescope in Socorro and the historic city of Santa Fe, which artist Georgia O’Keeffe made famous.
New Mexico is a state located in the southwestern United States. It is bordered by Colorado to the north, Oklahoma and Texas to the east, and Arizona and Mexico to the south. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe, which is also its largest city.
The geography of New Mexico varies greatly across its area of 121,598 square miles. Much of the western part of the state is dominated by the Rocky Mountains, including several ranges such as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Sandia Mountains. These mountain ranges are popular destinations for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
To the east of these mountain ranges lies a vast arid desert known as Chihuahuan Desert. This desert covers much of southern New Mexico and contains some unique features such as White Sands National Monument, one of four national parks in New Mexico. The desert also contains several Native American tribal reservations, including Navajo Nation Reservation which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado.
In northern New Mexico lies a region known as High Plains or Llano Estacado which covers much of southeastern Colorado and western Texas as well as parts of eastern New Mexico. This region is characterized by flat terrain with an abundance of grasslands and shrublands where livestock grazing is common.
Further south lies another region called Rio Grande Valley which stretches from El Paso in Texas to Albuquerque in New Mexico along both sides of Rio Grande River into northern Chihuahuan Desert. This region has some lush vegetation due to its location near one of North America’s longest rivers; it also houses some agricultural areas where cotton and wheat are grown on large farms.
The highest point in all of New Mexico is Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet above sea level while its lowest point lies at 2,842 feet above sea level near Red Bluff Reservoir on Rio Grande River near El Paso in Texas/New Mexico border area.
New Mexico has many other geographical features such as volcanoes (most notably El Malpais National Monument), canyons (most notably Carlsbad Caverns National Park), rivers (Rio Grande being most significant), lakes (Elephant Butte Lake being most significant), mesas (Mesa Verde National Park being most significant) etc., making it an interesting place for travelers from all around world looking for diverse experiences from nature’s bounty.
Cities in New Mexico
Below are the top 15 cities by population in New Mexico. For all cities and towns in the state, please see New Mexico cities list.
Santa Fe is a stunning city located in the north of New Mexico. It is the state capital and home to a diverse population of over 70,000 people. Santa Fe is known for its culture, art and architecture, and its historic sites attract visitors from all over the world. The city has an excellent selection of museums, galleries, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. The Santa Fe Plaza is a popular tourist destination with its unique blend of Spanish colonial style buildings and modern urban amenities.
Albuquerque is another great city in New Mexico. Located in the central part of the state, it is the most populous city with over 500,000 residents. Albuquerque offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous galleries and museums as well as plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and skiing at nearby Sandia Peak or ski resorts like Taos Ski Valley or Angel Fire Resort. There are also many festivals throughout the year such as International Balloon Fiesta which attracts thousands of people every October. The city also hosts a number of cultural events such as Native American Pow Wow’s at Isleta Pueblo or Albuquerque Comic Expo at ABQ Convention Center each year. Additionally, there are plenty of attractions to explore from Old Town Albuquerque to Petroglyph National Monument to Rio Grande Zoo that offer something for everyone.
Counties in New Mexico
The State of New Mexico consists of 33 counties. They are:
- Bernalillo County, New Mexico
- Catron County, New Mexico
- Chaves County, New Mexico
- Cibola County, New Mexico
- Colfax County, New Mexico
- Curry County, New Mexico
- De Baca County, New Mexico
- Doña Ana County, New Mexico
- Eddy County, New Mexico
- Grant County, New Mexico
- Guadalupe County, New Mexico
- Harding County, New Mexico
- Hidalgo County, New Mexico
- Lea County, New Mexico
- Lincoln County, New Mexico
- Los Alamos County, New Mexico
- Luna County, New Mexico
- McKinley County, New Mexico
- Mora County, New Mexico
- Otero County, New Mexico
- Quay County, New Mexico
- Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
- Roosevelt County, New Mexico
- Sandoval County, New Mexico
- San Juan County, New Mexico
- San Miguel County, New Mexico
- Santa Fe County, New Mexico
- Sierra County, New Mexico
- Socorro County, New Mexico
- Taos County, New Mexico
- Torrance County, New Mexico
- Union County, New Mexico
- Valencia County, New Mexico