White Sands National Monument
One of the most striking landmarks in the immediate area is White Sands National Monument. Located 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo on U.S. Highway 70/82, White Sands is open every day except Christmas. The pure white, great, wave-like dunes of gypsum cover nearly 300 square miles of desert. Lying just west of Holloman's western fence, the dunes are clearly visible from space. Enjoy picnicking, hiking, sledding on the dunes or take advantage of the monument's available programs: guided hikes and drives, full-moon night hikes, trips to the source of White Sands at Lake Lucero and evening slide shows. White Sands also hosts an annual balloon festival every September. There is a small charge for entry into the monument. For additional information, call (575) 479-6124.
For over one hundred years, the Village of Cloudcroft has been a delightful place to live and play. The Village, surrounded by Lincoln National Forest, is located at 8,700 feet elevation and 16 miles east of Alamogordo, Otero County, in the Sacramento Mountains of Southern New Mexico. Annual precipitation is about 33 inches, including 7.7 feet of annual snowfall.
The full-time population is just 750 or so. In the summer months, with an average daytime temp of 72 degrees, the population rises to almost 2,000. The winter low temperature, averaging about 38 degrees, attracts many who enjoy skiing, ice skating, snow sports. Although the Village may look rustic, complete, modern services are provided.
Visit shops filled with handmade crafts, Indian jewelry and antiques or relax in a rustic cabin and dine at one of the many fine restaurants. Whether strolling through the scenery, skiing the slopes or playing golf on one of the two courses, Cloudcroft is a year-round playground for the entire family to enjoy. Come visit and enjoy our summer of hiking, biking, golfing or winter skiing, snow play or just to relax. But be prepared, you might want to stay. The Lodge at Cloudcroft, the oldest and largest business of its kind in town, not only provides getaway lodging, but has a restaurant open daily for fine dining.
Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation
Located in the Lincoln National Forest is a 460,000-acre tract of fishing, farming and grazing land that belongs to the Mescalero Apache Indians of New Mexico. The Mescaleros were among the last Native Americans to surrender arms to the United States. Each year 15,000 Apaches gather the first week in July for four days of ceremonial dances, rodeos and the coming-of-age rites for maidens. To find the reservation, take U.S. Highway 54 north to U.S. Highway 70. Head east on U.S. Highway 70 and follow it to Mescalero. Owned by the Mescalero, Inn of the Mountain Gods is situated high in the picturesque mountains just outside of Ruidoso. Visitors come to enjoy clean mountain air, breathtaking scenery and exciting entertainment options at the Inn of the Mountain Gods. A four-diamond resort, the inn's management calls it, "New Mexico's extraordinary resort and casino."
The Village of Ruidoso is the perfect place for your winter or summer R and R getaway. Nestled high in the Sacramento mountains of Southern New Mexico, this idyllic resort community has everything from gaming and nightlife to outdoor adventure and serene relaxation. It is virtually the year-round playground of the Southwest, only an easy hour's drive from Holloman. The weather, scenic majesty of snow-topped Sierra Blanca and lush, cool forests make this a magnificent resort area. Many businesses in Ruidoso offer discounts to military members, so ask. During the summer, visitors flock to Ruidoso Downs to take in some of the world's richest horse races. Other fun-seekers play beautifully manicured golf courses that provide some of the most scenic backdrops in the country. Wintertime draws skiers to the slopes at Ski Apache, a favorite of America's powder enthusiasts. Whatever your pleasure, Ruidoso offers a treasure of activities. It's high time for high ground. If you need to travel and enjoy the convenience of a small airport, Ruidoso's airport in Alto connects to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. As the country's southernmost ski area, Ski Apache, adjacent to Ruidoso, offers the best warm-weather powder skiing in the world with snowmaking on 33 percent of the Mountain. The slopes offer a mix of wide beginner slopes, tough bump runs, a huge bowl, nice cruising runs and a terrain park named "The Boneyard" with jumps, tubes and rails. Snowboarding and other snow sports are also available. Ruidoso Downs, the next-door community, features a major horse-racing track open during the warm months.
Alamogordo lies in the center of a vast area of scenic beauty. A variety of historical, cultural, educational and recreational interests abound. Experience the fun of year-round sledding down the vividly white, pristine dunes of White Sands National Monument. Explore ancient petroglyphs, discover the history of the old west or lose yourself in the lush green of a huge mountain pine forest. There's always something to do in this Land of Enchantment! Holloman's host city is home to the famous New Mexico Museum of Space History and planetarium, which draws thousands of visitors annually.
In addition there is a zoo, several city and state parks, a golf course, a community theater and a small airport offering daily flights to Albuquerque and private aviation.
Growth and progress describe Alamogordo and friendship is the best way to describe the relationship between the city and Holloman. Alamogordo is a pleasant community. The hospitable people give the city a small town charm and make it particularly special for Holloman residents.
It won't take you long to understand the term, "Hollomogordo." Another expression you'll hear and see here is, "The Friendliest Place on Earth." Alamogordo's historic shopping district offers a variety of quaint shops specializing in hand-crafted southwestern goods. The White Sands shopping mall is located on the northern end of Alamogordo. Throughout the year the base and city work together on many projects and celebrations aimed at making life here good for everyone.
Alamogordo is popular for being "sunbird country"—a great place to retire—evidenced by the estimated 7,000 military retirees living here. The mixture of business and professional people, technical and farm workers and, of course, the many people stationed and working at Holloman make for an exciting and pleasant tour. About 65 percent of locals are directly related to the base in some way, so the Air Force influence is inescapable. The population of Alamogordo is 36,000 and its elevation is 4,350 feet.
Alamogordo—a great place to live!
Located approximately 60 miles southwest of Holloman, Las Cruces is the neighbor of the United States Army's White Sands Missile Range and home of New Mexico State University. Called the "Crossroads of the Southwest," at the junction of Interstate Highways 25 and 10, Las Cruces is in south-central New Mexico's Mesilla Valley and just 45 miles from El Paso, Texas. Nestled in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande, Las Cruces, N.M. is quickly becoming a popular southwestern destination. Our ideal location at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and 25 brings visitors into contact with 72 holes of spectacular year-round golf, unique special events, historic attractions such as Old Mesilla—not to mention world-class Mexican food. Las Cruces also blends a unique variety of attractions, culture, historical sites and superb year-round weather with 350 days of sunshine per year. In addition, Las Cruces, has received several awards including rankings from Money magazine as one of the "best college towns to retire" and from AARP as one of their "dream towns" to retire. Las Cruces has also been ranked by Forbes as one of the best small metro areas for business and careers. The surrounding state and national parks offer visitors a wide array of outdoor experiences. Among these are the sounds of engines revving and tires squealing at the Mesilla Valley Raceway. Many Holloman people make the one-hour drive for major shopping malls, Sam's Club and many other major, familiar businesses. At the base of the Organ Mountains lies NASA's "Man to the Moon" Apollo site, also known as White Sands Testing Facility. Las Cruces also offers stimulating nightlife.
Elephant Butte Reservoir
About 30 minutes north of Las Cruces just off Interstate 25, the largest and most popular water-recreation area in the state, Elephant Butte caters to all types of water activities. Boating, fishing, water-skiing, swimming and camping are all popular. There are excellent motels and restaurants as well as good camping facilities. Drive on U.S. Highway 70 through Las Cruces and follow the signs to the levee road at the bridge outside town.
El Paso, Texas
El Paso offers many points of interest for Holloman people and is a favorite of people stationed here. This city offers great fun for families big or small. Kids can count the whiskers on the tigers in the "cool" park environment of the El Paso Zoo. Spend a Sunday, biking along the Rio Grande or feed baby goats at the Lincoln Dairy petting farm. Western Playland offers rides and roller coasters under the warm sun any day of the year. Many Holloman people get their introduction to El Paso as they arrive at its international airport. Conveniently small, it offers a great mix of airlines and flights to major hubs such as Phoenix, Ontario and Houston. El Paso provides a rare mixture of Old World charm and New World excitement. Located at the foot of the Franklin Mountains, El Paso is less than a 90-minute drive from Holloman. The city gained its notoriety during the 1800s as a cattle town and trading outpost between the Texas territory and Mexico. Such infamous characters as John Wesley Hardin and Pancho Villa once walked the streets. Many historic buildings still stand and several museums chronicle El Paso's contribution to Wild West lore.
One of the United State's largest bases and home to the annual Amigo Air Show, Fort Bliss has museums, fairs and one of the biggest post exchanges in the Southwest. History and military buffs alike will find plenty to do. Each year festivals on both sides of the border celebrate the area's diverse and colorful past. The student of ancient cultures can find museums and actual sites of prehistoric life at the Heuco Tanks State Park. El Paso also boasts a number of recreational activities more commonly associated with larger cities, such as professional baseball and soccer, dog racing, university sports, live theater and two large malls. El Paso is also home to a symphony orchestra and a popular five-acre zoo. Another popular attraction is Sunland Park Racetrack, which enjoys a lengthy horse racing season from October to May. Auto racing and rodeo are other local favorites.
White Sands Missile Range
Twenty-six miles west of Holloman is the main area of the world-famous White Sands Missile Range, cradle of space and armament research and development since 1945. After World War II, the "Space Race" got underway here as hundreds of missiles captured and removed from Germany were launched in New Mexico. Today a quiet research base, it is scheduled to become a major installation in the next few years. There is a space and missile museum just inside the main gate, open almost every day.
Just 11 miles north of Alamogordo, Tularosa offers a quaint, small, historical New Mexico pueblo feeling. Good food, interesting New Mexico souvenir shops and a historic main street make Tularosa worth visiting. Tularosa gets its name from the Spanish description for the red or rose colored reeds growing along the banks of the Rio Tularosa. The Rio Tularosa, which still exists along the north side of the village, attracted the original settlers as a water source in the desert.