Alamogordo, NM

Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip

by and - last updated on 6/5/2024

This was day 4 of our Southwest Road-Trip and today's plan is to drive the 209 miles from our hotel in Albuquerque to Alamogordo, NM. Just prior to entering Alamogordo, we saw McGinn's PistachioLand Farm and decided to stop and stretch. Even though the Interstate speed limit out here is 75mph, there is only so much sitting that one can deal with before it becomes imperative to stop the car and do some walking!

McGinn's PistachioLand Farm   Map

The Chihuahuan Desert contains the World's Largest Pistachio! Towering over 30 feet tall, this giant nut caught our eye as we were driving south and we decided to stop and explore the store.

Inside their country store their pistachio selection is impressive, with flavors ranging from classic roasted and salted to adventurous options like green chile and ranch. They offer pistachio candies and ice cream – which we had and we enjoyed it.

The McGinn family started their 90 acre pistachio orchard in 1980. Today, the orchard contains over 12,500 trees. 14 acres of grapes are also grown at Pistachio Tree Ranch and 18 different varieties of wine are made at McGinn's Arena Blanca Winery on site.

Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Biggest Pistachio in the World
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Pistachio Grove
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Store Welcome
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Store Surfing
 
 More Info for PistachioLand
  • McGinn's Pistachio Land Farm Website
  • McGinn's Pistachio Land Farm Google Map
  • McGinn's Pistachio Land Farm Google Images Set
  • Our McGinn's Pistachio Land Farm Image Gallery
 

White Sands National Park   Map

We drove south from Albuquerque on I-25 and then east on route 380 to Carizozo where we then turned south on U.S. 54. The point of all these directions is that we began to notice somewhere after we passed Three Rivers and before we reached Tularosa, that there was a large amount of white sand off to the west of the highway - That was our first sight of White Sands National Park. The sand is so incredibly white, that it stands out distinctly on the horizon. After Tularosa and all the way into Alamogordo the White Sands were always visible on the horizon.

Can you imagine sprawling dunes of glistening white gypsum crystals - the largest such gypsum dunefield (275 square miles) on Earth? You can hike or sled the smooth slopes, feeling the surprisingly cool sand beneath your feet. With its unique beauty and ample space for exploration, White Sands National Park promised us an adventure.

Dunes Drive Closed at Mile Marker 3: This limited how far we could drive into the park, but we found that we got all of our goals met by stopping at the Dune Life Nature Area and walking into the sand dunes. The white sand is very fine and difficult to get traction in! The Dune Life Nature Trail is a 1.6 kilometer loop, but because the temperature had risen to over 92 degrees, and the sun was reflected by the white sand, we walked perhaps only a half mile before departing.

Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Trying to Walk in the Dunes
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
East of Dune Life Nature Area
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Dune Life Nature Area
Explore the American Southwest with this southwest USA itinerary through New Mexico, the southwestern corner of Utah and Northern Arizona. Get the Inspiration you need to plan your own trip
Dune Life Nature Trailhead
 

More Info for White Sands National Park 

  • National Park Service Page for White Sands National Park
  • White Sands National Park Wikipedia Article
  • Get Your Guide White Sands National Park Audio Tour
  • White Sands National Park Google Images Set
  • Our Youtube Channel
 
 

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