Road trips from Southern California: New Mexico
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( Stephen Capra / New Mexico Wilderness )
Distance: 843 miles one-way
The 1.2-million-acre mesa on the Texas-New Mexico border is notable for having the only pure herd of native pronghorn antelope and the last large tract of desert grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert. Black-tailed prairie dogs, mountain lions and others call the vast area home.
This is rugged, roadless land, but intrepid hikers who seek out a hike up the west side of Alamo Mountain will be rewarded with thousands of petroglyphs along the way.
Info: Bureau of Land Management, Las Cruces District Office, (575) 525-4300; for directions to Alamo Mountain, contact Coalition for Otero Mesa, (505) 843-8696; http://www.oteromesa.org
-- Mary Forgione