Although we stayed at the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park for 6 nights, the time seemed to fly by. Surely it was on account of how busy we were while we were there!
The park itself took us by surprise, as it sits on the base of the mountains. There were plenty of sites with electric and water hook-ups, which is where my parents parked. We chose a “dry” site, which allowed us to be on the outer edge of the B loop with a nice open view. The comfort station was nice and clean.
About 20 minutes from the park was the town of Alamogordo which was perfect for provisions, laundry, and a nice selection of places to eat. We stopped at the Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ and boy was it delicious!
The big attraction to the area was of course, the White Sands National Monument, 30 minutes from the park. Here we learned about the geology of the land and explored the rolling sand dunes. Josie was beside herself with excitement! You can read all about her thoughts HERE.
An hour drive north landed us at Three Rivers Petroglyph Recreation Site. Here we took a small hike up the ridge line to check out the petroglyphs left by people some 1000 years ago. We also explored the archeological dig site area of a small village in the area.
This drive brought us past a brilliant discovery! Another reason why No Plan is the Plan, is because it you never know what you are going to find! We happened to discover Pistachioland and just HAD to stop!
Dad’s a big fan of pistachios, and couldn’t resist having his picture taken with the largest pistachio in the world.
The best part was the snack bar, where they had all sorts of pistachios to taste test. Who knew you could get margarita lime pistachios! I tried a few, but the ice cream was better. And yes, they had pistachio ice cream!
And of course we had to check out the hiking trails that Oliver Lee State Park had to offer. Jason, Dad and I decided to venture out and take the Dog Canyon Trail, which was a 6 mile hike, with a 1500’ elevation gain.
It was definitely one of the more challenging trails I’ve been on – with all the rock climbing and elevation gain. It took us about 3 hours to make it to the end, which was the remains of a small cabin at the end of the canyon. You could feel the temperature drop as we ascended into the canyon and we even found ice by the small spring. Then it took us another hour and 45 minutes to climb back down. It was challenging, but the views were spectacular!
So far we have really enjoyed staying at the state parks in New Mexico. They seem to have very unique features to offer and we have yet to see better prices - $14 with hook-ups and $10 without. And a nice clean shower house nearby. Can’t ask for much more than that!
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