Three Rivers State Park

Address:  Three Rivers NM
Phone: 505-438-7400
Directions: It is located on U.S. Highway 54, about 17 miles north of Tularosa and 30 miles south of Carrizozo.

To me, the Three Rivers States Park is a secret gem in the desert. Not a lot people have visited this sanctuary because it is remote and hidden within mountains. This is a place where you can escape from the desert sun and enjoy some peaceful time surrounded by tall pine tress, lush green vegetation, and cool fresh mountain air. Since it is far away from any civilization, the only sounds to be heard are the chirping of various types of birds and the running water that is lapping through the rocky creeks.

I took my parents and my three years old son for our first visit to Three Rivers State Park. After spending several hours in the desert sun, our entry to this enchanted place hiding under the giant green canopy of trees was enthralling. All of the desert landscape has vanished; even the Organ Mountains were nowhere in sight. In a strange way, I felt like Alice having stepped through a strange mirror and entered into another world. Surely, this can’t be New Mexico! Even my son forgot his weariness and darted off among trees like a little butterfly. I had to chase after him.

Underneath our feet, a thick layer of fallen pine needles acted as a soft carpet, cushioning our feet from each step. Brilliant rays of sun lights sparkled through the green canopy that hung overhead, decorating the forest floor with thousands of shining spots. My little guy’s giggles could be heard echoing in the forest as he led us down the path that seemed to disappear from time to time beneath the carpet of thick mulch.

We stopped by the river and washed our hands in it. Its frigidity betrayed its origin as high mountain snow. Any thoughts we may have entertained of stepping into the water were quickly dispelled.

Along the way, we briefly met a few other hikers. A few of them were walking on the other side of the river. At several points, paths led to the other side. After considering the water temperature and our clothing, we opted to stick to the side of the river we came from.

We walked for a couple of miles, a lot of time we were just walked in silence, enjoying a sense of harmony. If it weren’t for the fact that the sunlight began to fade to gold and then orange, we would probably have kept walking.

Upon our return to my car, my little guy said with enthusiasm, “Let’s go to the next one.” I take it he wanted to come back, just like the rest of us.

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