Located in southeast New Mexico, a little more than three hours' drive from Albuquerque, Roswell is often associated with aliens, thanks to a 1947 'UFO incident' that happened in a ranch some 80 miles away. The event was later attributed to a destroyed high-altitude weather balloon, but that didn't stop the public from visiting the area to see for themselves where the aliens landed.
The presence of the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) here has only strengthened Roswell's image in the public's imagination as the United States' UFO central. If you’re curious, book an RV in Roswell, NM for a chance to investigate.
Roswell is located in the semi-arid High Plains of New Mexico, and the first non-indigenous settlers here had to abandon the site because of a lack of water. In the 1860s, a Nebraska transplant constructed two adobe buildings from where the rest of the present-day city expanded. The founder named the newly built settlement after his father.
From Cenotes to Caves: Encounters of the Scenic Kind
Having found the best Roswell RV rentals by owner, you’re now ready to explore what lies beyond the bustle of downtown. Roswell may look dry at first glance, but it’s surrounded by life heavily dependent on water. Less than a half an hour drive by Roswell camper rental, the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge straddles the Pecos River and is pockmarked by more than 70 natural sinkholes of varying shapes and sizes. These attract migrating lesser sandhill cranes, snow geese, and northern shovelers along with more than 300 other species of birds. City dwellers are equally drawn to the wetland’s trails, so lace up your hiking boots for an invigorating walk.
Immerse yourself in the endless water-based fun at Bottomless Lakes State Park, also half an hour away in your Roswell RV trailer rental. Nine lakes (more like sinkholes or cenotes) of blue and green hues bordered by high red bluffs beckon visitors to swim, fish, and, hike. You can camp here too. Despite what the old Wild West cowboys believed, the lakes are not bottomless: Dive to a depth of 90 feet at Lake Lea for a look at endangered fish species.
Within a couple hours' drive from Roswell lies one of the state's natural wonders, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Above ground, deep rocky canyons, desert wildlife, and orange-blossomed cacti greet you before you descend to the star of the show: 119 caves with creative names Kings Palace, Queens Chamber, and Big Room, and fascinating limestone formations like the Witch's Finger, Totem Pole, and Iceberg Rock.
Join one of the ranger-guided tours to get to know the 'rooms' better, or camp out for a night for a family-friendly star walk or moon hike. The park does not offer onsite camping for your Roswell motorhome rental but you have options in Whites City or the town of Carlsbad closeby.
Where to Park Your RV
You'll find several RV parks within the city limits, including at Bottomless Lakes State Park. The closest parking for your travel trailer rental in Roswell is within five minutes' drive of the town center, with a couple options outside of town but still only 30 minutes away. Most have full hookup sites, offer hot showers, and have onsite entertainment.
If you are looking for more sites to choose from and a wider range of amenities, the Town & Country RV and Mobile Home Park is worth considering. Aside from full hookup sites with up to 50 amp electric service, the park welcomes visitors with an onsite refreshment bar, a swimming pool, and a workout facility.
Also in Roswell, about 3 miles from the center of town, you’ll find the Red Barn RV Park. The sites here are full hookup and easy to access in your Roswell RV rental. You can do a load of laundry while using the park’s Wi-Fi. There’s also a book exchange and a small games room to keep everyone occupied.
UFO Tours, Anyone?
If you come to Roswell to see a flying saucer, you won't be disappointed, at least if you step inside the International UFO Museum and Research Center. But, it's not the only place in town to have an out-of-this-world experience. Visit the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium and gaze up at comets, black holes, and quasars. Browse the shops for an ET costume, or leave your Roswell rental RV in the city and join one of the UFO-themed tours on site to learn more about the 1947 crash and retrieval.
Roswell has a handful of museums to get lost in whether you're partial to contemporary art, history, and culture, or military and aviation. Discover emerging local artists at The Gallery Main Street Arts, which features a variety of subjects, styles, and media. Admire a collection of paintings and sculptures from past and present at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art or view Georgia O'Keeffe's work at the Roswell Museum and Art Center.
See what life was like at the turn-of-the-century in Chaves County at the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico. Browse displays featuring the history of the NMMI at McBride Museum, and understand the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Roswell Army Air Field at the Walker Aviation Museum.
After a full day of sightseeing, you deserve a tasty reward. The dining scene in Roswell is surprisingly varied: Mexican/New Mexican, Italian, Asian and homestyle cooking are well-represented. If you’re into casual dining, BBQ or food truck fare, you won’t go to bed hungry.
The truth is right here in Roswell. And it has little to do with whether those close encounters of the third kind were real or not. Come and visit this corner of New Mexico and decide for yourself.