New Mexico State Overview

State of New Mexico general data

  • Time zone: 8 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Santa Fe
  • Main towns: Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell.
  • Area: 314.915 km²
  • Population: 2,100,000 inhabitants approximately.
  • Population density: 6,6 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: NM
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on January 6, 1912, it is the 47th state to join the union.

According to, New Mexico has a considerable average elevation, 1,739m, with the highest point located in Wheeler Park, 4,014m, and the lowest in the Red Bluff reservoir, 867m. Its territory is divided into four main physical regions: the lowland region, the mountainous region, the plateau region and the valley region.

The lowland region is part of the North American Great Plains. In this flat area with no tree cover lies the area called High Plains, between the Canadian and Pecos rivers. The High Plains also extends into the state of Texas. The mountainous region is part of the Rocky Mountains, its most rural area is the one called Sangre de Cristo which extends south of the city of Santa Fe. The plateau region, is actually a sector of the Colorado plateau, between the Rocky Mountains and the Range Coast, deep canyons have formed in this area. Finally, the region of valleys and mountains occupies the southwestern and southern part of the state,

The most important rivers that flow in the territory of New Mexico are the Rio Grande, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan and Gila. The Rio Grande, the third largest in the United States and the one that runs the most surface of this state, 756 km. Tributary of the Rio Grande, the Pecos River, originates in north-central New Mexico and crosses the plain region, to focus in the Rio Grande, in Texan territory. This river forms a 300m deep canyon near the city of Roswell. The Canadian River originates near the border with Colorado and flows along the slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and then travels across the eastern plain. On the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains flow the San Juan and Gila rivers, tributaries of the Colorado River. These rivers drain the mountainous area, plateaus and plains of central and western New Mexico. As for the lakes of New Mexico, the largest are artificial, among them the basins of Elephant Butte and Caballo, on the Rio Grande.

Flora and fauna – From a natural vegetation standpoint, New Mexico is divided into six regions. The lower Rio Grande and Pecos valleys and the south-western part of the state up to 1400 m are included in the Sonora Inferiore area. However, 80% of the state is included in the area of ​​Upper Sonora, characterized by the presence of pinon pine and American juniper. The other four regions, comprising altogether less than 10% of the state territory, are limited to mountain areas.

The native fauna includes the antelope, various species of deer, the bear and the peccary. There are more than 300 bird species, including quail, duck and wild turkey.

The climate of New Mexico is dry and temperate, but with a large difference in temperatures due to altitude and latitude. Although the average annual temperature is 12 ° C, in winter temperatures as low as -46 ° C have been recorded in the mountains, while in the plains of the southern area the thermometer has occasionally reached 47 ° C. The high average altitude means that temperatures are lower in summer than expected in an area located so much to the south. Therefore, the night temperatures during the summer season are very mild. As for rainfall, the annual average recorded is 380 mm, although in some areas, such as the Sangre de Cristo mountains, almost 1,000 mm of rain have been reached, while in the valley area the average is only 250 mm per year. This rainfall is concentrated in the summer months between June and September. Precipitation in the form of snow is common in the mountainous area.

Santa Fe

According to, Santa Fe is the capital of the state of New Mexico. Commercial, tourist and mining center (lead, zinc, gold and silver) of the region. Each year it hosts nearly 2,000,000 visitors, usually during the summer season. Santa Fe is located in an area with desert characteristics, at the foot of the slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and near the Chapultepec forest. The capital of New Mexico is one of the oldest cities in the USA, and due to the mixture of Indian and Spanish culture that characterizes it, also one of the most interesting. It is not for nothing that Santa Fé is considered one of the main centers of the state for Indian crafts and contemporary art. Today Santa Fé fascinates with quaint ocher clay palaces, sacred buildings from the Spanish colonial period and modern adobe architecture. The lively center of the city is the Plaza. The oldest buildings in the city are located on the south bank of the Santa Fé River, in the Barrio de Analco, where there is also the oldest building in the United States, which dates back to the 13th century.

What to See – It is renowned for its adobe buildings, art galleries and the four sections of the Museum of New Mexico. In addition to the Palace of the Governors and the Museum of Fine Arts, there is also the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, northwest of the Plaza. Across the River Santa Fé is the Museum of International Folk Art, with an astonishing collection of folk art from around the world. Next door, on Museum Hill, is the Museum of Indian Art and Culture dedicated to the traditions of the Native Americans. Canyon Road, once an Indian trail between the Rio Grande and the Pecos pueblo. Today there are numerous art galleries along the street.

To the west, on the Old Santa Fé Trail, is the San Miguel Mission, from 1610. To the north-west, on the other hand, the Santuario de Guadalupe was built in 1795, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here ended the Camino Real, the main trade route with Mexico. About 25 km south of Santa Fé is El Rancho de las Golondrinas, an open-air museum, once a stop on the Camino Real. Among the most important cultural events the Indian market and the Hispanic market, in which the work of more than a thousand American, Canadian and Mexican artists and artisans is presented every year.

History– According to, the Santa Fe region was occupied by the Tewa people when Francisco Vázquez de Coronado arrived in 1540, exploring the area on behalf of the Spanish crown. Colonization began in 1598, and Santa Fe was founded in 1610 to become the capital of New Mexico. In 1680 the Spaniards were driven out of New Mexico by the Pueblo revolt. They reconquered the region in 1692, and Santa Fe was occupied in 1693. Zebulon M. Pike explored the area on behalf of the United States government in 1807, but Spain did not surrender the territory until 1821, when the region came under the control of the United States. Mexico. Stephen W. Kearny led the US occupation troops in Santa Fe during the Mexican War (1846-1848). New Mexico was ceded to the United States in 1848, and Santa Fe became its capital in 1851. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Santa Fe was briefly occupied by Confederate forces. The city’s economy benefited from the establishment, in the 1940s, of major atomic research facilities at the nearby Los Alamos site.

New Mexico State Overview