New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment

New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment

The state of New Mexico is bordered to the north by the state of Colorado, to the east by the states of Oklahoma and Texas, to the south by the state of Texas and Mexico, and to the west by the state of Arizona. The total area of ​​the state is 315,115 square kilometers. The state has about two million inhabitants. From north to south the distance is 629 km and from east to west 553 km. The capital is Santa Fe with 83,875 (2016) inhabitants.

According to EJIAXING, the state consists of mainly mountainous area. The southern end of the Rocky Mountains is in New Mexico territory. The state is actually divided in two by the Rio Grande River. The highest point in the state is Wheeler Peak with an elevation of 4011 feet and the lowest point is Red Bluff Reservoir with 859 feet above sea level. Due to these very varied and different heights, a clear distinction can be made in the vegetation. The cool mountain slopes are mainly covered with conifers, but in the south of the state cacti are the main vegetation.


The eastern part of the state is part of the Great Plains with vast plains, deep canyons, mountains and mesas (table mountains). Important rivers in this section include the Pecos and Canadian Rivers. These rivers also feed several reservoirs. To the north, the Great Plains gradually merge into the Rocky Mountains. Wheeler Peak is also located in this landing. The Rocky Mountainsare the main mountain range in the west of the North American country. The Rockies run 4,800 km from northwest Alaska to the heart of New Mexico. This mountain range forms the so-called Continental Divide. In other words, the continental divide between rivers flowing into the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other.

The Colorado Plateau is located in northwestern New Mexico. This is a plateau with various mesas, sandstone formations, high cliffs, canyons and valleys. Much of the south of the state is part of the Basin and Range Region. Narrow mountain ranges and wide desert plains are the backdrop here. Southern New Mexico is one of the driest areas in all of North America. The Rio Grande River is the largest and longest in New Mexico. It originates in Colorado and runs through the heart of New Mexico past the city of Albuquerque. From there it flows southwest to form the natural border between the state of Texas and Mexico. At Brownsville (Texas) and Matamoros (Mexico), the Rio Grande plunges into the Gulf of Mexico.

Pedro de Peralta

It is believed that four Spaniards, led by Cabeza de Vaca, were the first whites in this area in 1536. Their visit to this area was prompted by the stories they had heard in Mexico about a number of wealthy cities in the north. These were known as the so-called Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. These stories prompted an expedition, the Coronado Expedition, to set out from Mexico in search of the seven cities. The cities were not found. They did find villages of the Zuni Indians, but these were not made of gold. The very first settlement was founded in 1598 by the Spaniards near San Juan. In about 1610, Pedro de Peralta became governor of New Mexico and founded the capital, Santa Fe.

The Indians were forced to cooperate in the construction of Santa Fe. Ultimately, this coercion resulted in the Indian Rebellion in 1680. The so-called Pueblo Rebellion destroyed virtually all Spanish settlements. It was only two years later that the Spaniards were able to retake the area. In the early 1800s, New Mexico became a province of newly independent Mexico. In 1846, the Mexican War broke out, which was a conflict between Mexico and the United States. The victory for the United States was soon a fact, and after a short time of warfare, the United States could call itself the ruler of New Mexico. In 1912, New Mexico joined the United States as the forty-seventh state.

During World War II, the deserts of New Mexico became important areas for research and development of new weapons. The so-called Manhattan project, which ultimately developed the atomic bomb, saw the construction of secret laboratories where leading scientists worked. The first atomic bomb was successfully tested at the White Sands proving ground.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The Carlsbad Caverns are one of the most spectacular underground cave systems in the world. The area is located in southeastern New Mexico and covers an area of ​​189 square kilometers. It is located on the northern flank of the Guadalupe Mountains. The caves, with beautiful stalactite formations, were created more than sixty million years ago. The groundwater corroded the limestone. Here, stalagmites and stalactites are a feast for the eyes. Above ground, however, the park is just as admirable as below. The landscape is a rocky area with cacti and ridges.

The flat terrain at the foot of the mountains is full of drought-resistant shrubs. Willow, oak and black walnut are commonly seen tree species in the canyons. The caves of the park are open daily, but opening times depend on the season. In the caves it is well lit. Bringing a sweater or jacket is not an unnecessary luxury when visiting.

More info

  • New Mexico state slogan: The Land of Enchantment
  • Member of the union since: January 6, 1912
  • Travelogue New Mexico – Land of Enchantment

New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment