These natural springs just 45 minutes away, over the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, make for a fun and relaxing recreation area, but also offer hiking trails varying from easy trails for casual hikers to the steep and jagged Organ Mountain climbs that have challenged even experienced climbers. The views of the Tularosa Basin are breathtaking.
The more than 100 caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park include the nation’s deepest, Lechuguilla, which runs 1500 feet underground. Tours of Carlsbad Cavern show off one of the world’s largest underground chambers, whose dizzying depths include natural stunning rock formations. In summer evenings, a flight of Mexican free-tailed bats exiting the Cavern is one of the park’s most popular attractions – don’t worry, the large colony of bats feeds entirely on insects.
Kilbourne Hole/Aden Crater Volcanoes
Kilbourne Hole, one of several volcanic craters in New Mexico, about 30 miles west of the Franklin Mountains, is a mile wide and nearly 300 feet deep. A journey to this spectacular crater takes you straight through the desert, over dirt roads and lava flows, so make sure you have a vehicle capable of harsh terrain and wear sturdy hiking boots. If Kilbourne isn’t enough hole for you, there’s also the nearby Phillip’s Hole, Hunt’s Hole, and Aden Crater.