We took the US-180/US-60 route from Las Cruces, NM to Carlsbad, NM. There were a few miles that were a little steep near Guadalupe Mountains National Park but the drive was easy overall. We got excited as we passed the Carlsbad Caverns National Park entrance as we continued past the town of Carlsbad to our campsite.
Brantley Lake State Park
This was our first week not having reservations before we arrived at a campsite. Since all the campsites in the area didn’t have good reviews, we decided to stay at Brantley Lake State Park. Being a state park, it wasn’t built to accommodate a large rig like ours. We had to navigate through a few stressful turns at the entrance. Once at the campground, we found a perfect open site with plenty of space to fit our 42-foot long fifth wheel and truck. With no sewer at the site, it took only minutes to setup and we settled into our new home for the week.
Snow in the Desert
We checked the weather and noticed that it was going to be below freezing one night. As I head outside to disconnect the water and let Carmen go the bathroom, we noticed it was snowing! Being from Los Angeles, CA we are always amazed by the snow. It’s one of those things that we head to the mountains to see so are captivated when it is snowing somewhere else…like a desert. There was even enough to build a small snowman on the hood of our truck. The storm stuck around for two days but then continued South to cover Texas with snow.
After work one day, we drove up the see the International UFO museum in Roswell, NM. To get in the right state of mind, we found a bunch of alien podcasts for the drive. We knew when we arrived in Roswell because there were aliens everywhere. From billboards to gas stations, everyone gets in on the fun. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm with a reasonable entrance fee of $5.00. One side of the museum is dedicated to the Roswell Incident, while the other covers UFO information overall. Be ready to read when you arrive though, the majority of the museum is text-based with personal accounts and affidavits.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Since we arrived in late fall, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park had off-season hours of 8 am – 5 pm. However, be aware that you needed to take the elevator down to the caverns by 3:30 pm or start your hike down before 3:00 pm. We were able to use our national park pass to get access to the caves which was a happy surprise (the Oregon caves weren’t covered). We also grabbed a self-paced audio tour for $5 at the gift shop and head out towards the entrance. The hike down is about 1 ½ miles and takes you through some interesting areas. We recommend it if you can make it! If you don’t have the time or care to hike down, then there is an elevator that will take you to the bottom. You can then explore the huge cavern using the trails they built in. The lighting is beautiful and adds to the ambiance perfectly. This was one of the coolest places we have been and is a must see if you are in the area.
We had a great week hanging out in Carlsbad, NM but we're excited to finally get into Texas as we head to San Angelo, TX.