Information about New Mexico for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ARCHITECTURE
New Mexico celebrates ARCHAEOLOGY Month in May, and there are many archaeology events. In the Fall there is an Archaeology Fair. The state has several Archaeological Sites. The Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves ancestral puebloan structures in the state with building dating to the 11th to 13th centuries. The Blackwater Site is one of the most important archaeology sites in the new world. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology has many educational events.
New Mexico has a variety of
BIRDS. Bird watching is popular and there are many
Birding Hot spots and
Birding Trails. There are several Bird Watching
clubs. The State Bird is the
New Mexico has many
covered bridges and
suspension bridges. The
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the highest in the state and 5th highest in the country.
Rainbow Bridge is a National Monument and the largest known natural bridge in the world. Many bridges are on the
National Register of Historic Places in New Mexico.
New Mexico has many BRIDGES including covered bridges and suspension bridges. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the highest in the state and 5th highest in the country. Rainbow Bridge is a National Monument and the largest known natural bridge in the world. Many bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in New Mexico.
New Mexico has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazine, radio, and television. The telephone area code is 505. Internet Service Providers are located throughout the state, and some are free. Webcams are located throughout the state.
New Mexico has 33 COUNTIES. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government. Catron is the largest county and Los Alamos is the smallest. Bernalillo has the largest population and Hardingthe smallest.
New Mexico has 3 DESERTS. The Chihuahuan Desert is the 2nd largest desert in North America. The Colorado Plateau is largely made up of deserts with scattered areas of forests. The Jornada del Muerto is an expansive and long stretch of flat desert landforms and xeric habitat. White Sands National Monument is a desert made up of the largest gypsum dunefields in the world.
DINOSAURS roamed what is now New Mexico and a variety of fossils have been found in the state. The only Triassic Hall in North America is Dawn of the Dinosaurs in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Over 500 dinosaur dinosaur footprints have been preserved at Clayton Lake. In 1996, a Zuniceratops was discovered in the Moreno Hill Formation by an 8 year old boy. In 2009, two nearly complete fossil skeletons of the Tawa Dinosaur and 6 others were found close together in the Hayden Quarry. The remains of many different Late Triassic vertebrates have also been found at the Hayden Quarry. In 2011, the biggest dinosaur in North American was found in New Mexico. In 2017, a 9-Year-old boy discovered a Million-Year-Old Fossil in New Mexico. The State Fossil is the Coelophysis. The Museum of Paleontology at Ghost Ranch, has exhibits, photographs, and life-sized replicas of dinosaurs found on the Ranch and offers Tours. For dinosaur coloring pages, CLICK HERE
The New Mexico Department of EDUCATION provides free public education and is compulsory for children from ages 5-18. The state also has many Private Schools. Information about schools is available at Schoolbug and Great Schools.
A variety of EVENTS are held in New Mexico. A State Fair is held in Albuquerque, Roswell, and Las Crucas. There are many County Fairs. An International Balloon Festival is held in Albuquerque. There is a Great American Duck Race in Deming. Silver City has a Wild, Wild West Rodeo Week. The state celebrates Public holidays and other special days.
The New Mexico State FLAG is yellow and in the center is a red sun with rays stretching out from it. This is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia. Several Municipalities and Counties have their own flag. Some Native American tribes in New Mexico have their own flag including the Cochiti Pueblo, the Nambe Pueblo , the Navajo, the San Idelfonso Pueblo of the Tewa, the Santa Clara Pueblo of the Tano-Tewa, the Zia Pueblo of the Keres, and the Zuni. The State Seal is a disc bearing the coat of arms and having around the edge the words "Great Seal of the State of New Mexico". The State Colors are Red & Blue.
The Food Time Line of New Mexico date back to the Pueblo Indians who raised beans, squash, corn, and pumpkins. In 1609, the Spanish introduced the Indians to horses and cattle. Previously barren lands around the missions were turned into farms, orchards, and vinyards. New Mexico has Food Festivals and Events. Food in New Mexico food originated while it was still a part of Mexico. history. The Chile, an ingredient in New Mexico food, originated while it was still a part of Mexico. New Mexico was the first state to have a State Cookie - the Biscochito and the State Vegetables are Chile & Frijoles. By 1776 the agricultural lands of the Rio Grande Valley had very wide irrigation ditches making it possible to grow fruits, vegetables, and cereals. In the early 1800s the favorite beverage of New Mexico was chocolate prepared from blocks of unsweetened chocolate imported from Mexico.
New Mexico has had many FORTS. A few of them survived. Fort Burgwin now functions as a western campus for SMU. Fort Sumner is a State Monument and has a new museum. Fort Union is a National Monument and has a visitor center.
New Mexico has over 400 GHOST TOWNS.The town of Naravisa has several residents, intact buildings and vintage cars and trucks rusting away. A Post office established in 1902 is still open. Shakespeare has many original buildings & offers tours. New Mexico claims to have many Haunted Places.
The GLOBAL POSTION of New Mexico is approximately 35 degrees latitude north and 105 degrees longitude west. The geographic center is Torrance. The highest point is Wheeler Peak and the lowest point is Red Bluff Reservoir. Part of the Chihuahuan Desert extends into southern New Mexico.The topography of New Mexico ranges from 1,900 ft to 13,000 ft. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning System and the state has many Geocaches.
The HISTORY of New Mexico is based on both archeological evidence and written records. Human Occupation dates back at least 11,000 years. The first written records of the region were made by the Spanish Conquistadors when they explored the area in the 16th century. Since that time, Mexico, the Spanish Empire, and the United States (since 1848) have claimed control of the area. In 1878, the Railroad arrived and changed the face of New Mexico.. The area was governed as New Mexico Territory until 1912, when it was admitted as a state. New Mexico played a part in the CIVIL WAR, when it was a Territory, and both the Confederate & Union governments claimed ownership. New Mexico introduced the atomic age in 1945, as the first nuclear weapons were developed by the federal government in the research center it established at Los Alamos. The state participates in National History Day.
New Mexico has a variety of INSECTS including many butterflies and moths. It also has Beetles and True Bugs. There are a variety of Spiders and 2 of them are dangerous. The State Insect is the Tarantula Hawk Wasp.
Although New Mexico is landlocked, it has several ISLANDS in lakes and resovoirs. Some of them are on the U.S. Islands Directory because there is a ham radio. Conchas Lake has 5 islands, Ute Lake has 11 islands, and Elephant Reservoir has 12 islands. The state has Sky islands which are mountains in ranges isolated by valleys in which other ecosystems are located. Sky islands are at the northern end of the Sierra Madre Occidental
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The New Mexico judicial system consists of a supreme court, appeals court, district courts, probate courts, magistrate courts, and other courts as created by law.
Many aspects of life in New Mexico focus on KIDS. The Secretary of State has a special Kids Corner. Games and other activities are available at New Mexico Kids. NOAA has a special page for kids. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page. Agriculture in the Classroom has a Kids Page.
New Mexico has several MOUNTAIN ranges. Wheeler Peak is the highest peak in the state. The Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Region is a transition region from the lower elevation Sonoran Desert to the southwest and Chihuahuan Desert southeast; the west is bordered by the mid elevation Mojave Desert. Mountain Climbing is popular and there are many Mountain Climbing clubs.
New Mexico has a variety of MUSEUMS. The International Rattlesnake Museum has the largest collection of different species of live rattlesnakes in the world. The Bradbury Science Museum displays exhibits about the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory and its research. The Explora! Science Center and Children's Museum has inactive activities for children.
The 1st inhabitants of what is now New Mexico were NATIVE AMERICANS - The Clovis culture of hunter-gatherers. The land was then inhabited by the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. From those people arose the historic Pueblo peoples who lived primarily along the few major rivers of the region. Several thousand Anasazi sites have been found in the state. Many Native Americans now live in New Mexico. There are Reservations, Pueblos, and schools. The state has several Indian Casinos. A variety of Native American events are held during the during the year including PowWows.
New Mexico is part of the OLD WEST, a portion of the United States west of the Mississippi River. New Mexico has Wild West towns and Wild West Legends. The state has cowboys & cowgirls, and many aspects of the Cowboy Culture are alive and well. Horseback riding is popular and there are many Horse Trails and Campgrounds. Many Rodeos are during the year. Founders Ranch is home to END of TRAIL, The World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting & Wild West Festival.
Over 2 million PEOPLE live in New Mexico and residents are called New Mexican. Many welknown people have called the state their home including Robert Chrichton, author; John Denver, singer; William Hanna, animator, Conrad Hilton, hotel executive; and Demi Moore, actress. The New Mexico Mounted Patrol is a completely volunteer organization.
New Mexico has many species of AMPHIBIANS. All frogs, toads, and salamanders are native to the state. New Mexico has several species of turtles. lizards. The State Reptile is the Whiptail Lizard. The state has several species of snakes and 2 are venomous. The state is part of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Program. The American Rattlesnake Museum has tours and programs.
New Mexico has several RIVERS. The Rio Grande is the largest. The state has 4 wild and scenic rivers: the Jemez River, the Pecos River, the Rio Chama, and the Rio Grande. Carlsbad River Walk has 4 miles of paths along the Pecos River. Popular activities are river rafting and tubing.
New Mexico has many species of TREES. The state tree is the Pinyon Pine . The state has 7 national forests and Gila National Forest is the biggest. The Gila Wilderness was designated the first wilderness area in the world in 1924, and along with Aldo Leopold Wilderness and Blue Range Wilderness, is part of the Gila National Forest. The state has a tree on the National Register of Big Trees.
New Mexico has a variety of TRAILS and participates in National Trails Day. In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail opened. The Jemez State Monument is a special place to learn about the history of the Jemez Mountain Trail area. The Ten Rocks Slot Canyon Trail is one of the best in the state. The state has many Scenic Byways. The Jemez Mountain Trailis a National Scenic Byway. The High Road to Taos is an official scenic byway and one of the best road trips in the state . New Mexico has several Roadside Attractions.
New Mexico has all forms of TRANSPORTATION and an Adopt-a-Highway Program. The Department of Transportation is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating roads, bridges, and tunnels in the state. Many special License Plates Designs are available. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about traffic and road closures in New Mexico. The state has many Roadside Attractions. In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state. The vehicle for New Mexico was the Ford Expedition Police.
Two ships have been named USS NEW MEXICO. The 1st USS New Mexico (BB-40) was the lead ship of the New Mexico-class battleships, commissioned in 1918 and struck in 1947. The 2nd was the USS New Mexico (SSN-779) and is a Virginia-class submarine commissioned in 2010. During the Civil War the side-wheel river steamer Mexico was pressed into Confederate service and named USS General Bragg (1851).
There is evidence that at one time New Mexico had active VOLCANORS. The one million-year-old Valles Caldera is the centerpiece of the Jemez Volcanic Field. The Jemez Mountains are a volcanic group of mountains in Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Los Alamos counties. Fossils of the stegomastodon (a primitive relative of today’s elephant) have been discovered near Elephant Butte Reservoir and the name "Elephant Butte" was derived from the eroded core of an ancient volcano, now an island in the reservoir, in the shape of an elephant.
The WEATHER in New Mexico is arid and average rainfall is 15 inches a year. The average annual temperatures can range from 64°F in the southeast to less than 40°F in the northern mountains. The average high temperature in the summer can range from slightly above 90°F at the lower elevations to the upper 70’s at the higher elevations. The highest temperature recorded in New Mexico was 116° in 1918. The current weather is provided by Weather Underground and NOAA. The Environmental Protection Agency provides information about Global Warming in the state.
New Mexico has a variety of WILDLIFE including Bighorn Sheep,, the Black-footed Ferret, the Cougar, the Mexican Gray Wolf, the River Otter, and Bears. The State Mammal is the Black Bear. Some animals are threatened or endangered. The state has several Wildlife Refuges and has a Wildlife Action Plan.
Time ZONES are established by the Coordinated Universal Time. The United States has several Time Zones. New Mexico is in the Mountain Time Zone and observes Daylight Saving Time. The state has several Plant Hardiness Zones.
New Mexico has several ZOOS and Aquariums. The Alameda Park Zoo is the oldest zoo in the Southwest. Wildlife West provides a very special look into the animals and plants that are part of the ecosystems of New Mexico and the Southwestern United States.