53 Interesting Facts About New Mexico

Last updated on June 27th, 2023

Home to the largest camping facility

41. Philmont scout ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest National High Adventure Base. The ranch operates 35 staffed camps and 55 trail camps that range in elevation from 6,500 to 12,441 feet.[16]

Microsoft was also founded here

42. Did you know that Microsoft was founded in a small Albuquerque garage? The company’s founders Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen wrote their first software here.[25]

Unusual White Sand Dunes
Unusual White Sand Dunes at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Home to white sands monument

43. The white sands national monument is a white gypsum crystal structure. It is a major tourist attraction in the land. The gypsum dune field is the largest of its kind on Earth. The white sands are situated in southern New Mexico. The whited sands stretch over 275 square miles of great white dunes. Some of the dunes tower to a height of 60 feet. Additionally, the park offers additional activities to ensure that you enjoy spending time there. They have craft-making programs for kids, stargazing parties, and sunset strolls.[23]

The state ranks first in alcohol-related deaths

44. There is a downside to being the state that produces fine wine. New Mexico is the leading state with alcohol-related deaths. New Mexico’s total alcohol-related death rate has ranked first, second, or third in the US since 1981. Nationally, one in ten deaths among working age adults (age 20-64) is attributable to alcohol. In New Mexico, this ratio is one in six deaths.[17]

The Four Corners
The Four Corners. Photo © Tom Dowd

The Four Corners

45. The only point in the United States where the boundaries of four states (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico) meet is termed as the Four Corners. Thus, one can practically stand in four states at the same time.[28]

Top glass

46. New Mexico is the country’s top producer of perlite, a type of glass used in insulation and gardening.[29]

Santa Fe is the country’s highest state capital

47. Santa Fe is filled with great art scenes, and the cuisines here are amazing. This place has an excellent visual vibe that can’t be found anywhere in the world. It is at 7199 feet above the sea level.[18]

New Mexico Chilies Peppers
Facts about New Mexico. Photo © Redwood8

Chili peppers are grown in this state more than any other states

48. If you love spicy foods, then you need to know that the chili peppers are primarily grown in this area more than any other state in the country. Chile plants arrived in New Mexico with the Spanish in 1540. The “New Mexico Chile” is the official state vegetable, and the state is known for its distinctive and flavorful cuisine that often incorporates chile peppers. 

Elizabethtown was the first town in New Mexico

49. Although this has become a ghost town, it was the first town to be established in the area. The town is found in Colfax County, and it is now deserted as people moved to look for better opportunities.[21]

75% of the roads are not paved

50. This may seem like a concern, but in New Mexico, it is practically a regular thing. Most of the roads here are not paved. This is because they are not used frequently and the area doesn’t have enough moisture to make the road disappear.[11]

Burritos wraps with beef and vegetables.
Burritos wraps with beef and vegetables.

The breakfast burrito is rumoured to have been invented in Santa Fe

51. Tia Sophia claims that they were the first to invent the breakfast burrito. They have claims on their menu, which dates back to 1975.[20]

Has the highest temperature ranges than most states

52. New Mexico has the highest number of temperature ranges with the highest record being 122 F (Lakewood, southeastern New Mexico, 7/27/1994) and the lowest being -50 F (Gavilan, northwestern New Mexico, 2/1/1951). This makes the state have the highest temperature range than most states.[10]

Neil Patrick is from Albuquerque

53. This famous actor is from Albuquerque. Yes, this place has got some talent.[9]

About the flag of New Mexico

Flag of New Mexico

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of New Mexico honors the history and traditions of indigenous people. It highlights the deep roots of the state.

It shows a red sun shining on a golden field. The simplified figure features a hollow circle with lines extending in four directions: north, south, east, and west. It can also represent the four seasons of the year (winter, spring, summer, and fall) or the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle age, and old age).

The sun is a sacred symbol of the ancient Zia people, who were among the first inhabitants. They drew it on ceremonial vases and campfire grounds. The four rays radiating from the circle may also point to their four obligations: a clear mind, a strong body, a pure spirit, and a commitment to the welfare of others.

2. Adoption

New Mexico adopted the flag in 1925. The design of Reba Mera remains unchanged.

3. Technical Details

The flag has a proportion of 2:3.The circle must be one-third of the size of the symbol. As for the four groups of rays, place them at right angles. Each group must have four lines, with the two inner rays being a fifth longer than the outer rays.

4. History

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state of the Union. An early but unofficial state flag had a blue field with “New Mexico” embroidered diagonally from left to right. A miniature US flag appears on the upper left, while the state seal is on the lower right. It was the design of Ralph Emerson Twitchell, a New Mexico historian.

In 1920, the Daughters of the American Revolution pushed the state to make a new flag that represented the state’s unique character. After three years, they held a design contest and picked the entry of Harry Mera. He submitted a design made by his wife, Reba.

As an archeologist, Harry Mera knew about the Zia sun symbol and the sacred significance of the number four. Reba combined these elements into the image that we see today. Gov. Arthur T. Hannett signed its adoption into law in March 1925.

5. New Mexico Flag Facts

New Mexico is the only state with no blue or white in the flag, with these being the most common colors in US banners.

It is also one of four U.S. state flags not to contain the color blue (the other three being Alabama, California, and Maryland).

The yellow and red in the New Mexico flag reflect the colors of Spain, highlighting the Spanish influence in the region. They are specifically from the colors of Isabel de Castilla, which made it to the New World through the Spanish Conquistadors.

It is one of two state flags with Native American symbols. The other one is Oklahoma which has a dreamcatcher design. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts and Minnesota flags depict Native people.

In a 2001 survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association, the flag of New Mexico got the highest marks.

A special flag ceremony happens every year on April 9 at the capitol building in Santa Fe, which incidentally resembles the Zia sun from above. Veterans remember the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942, where many American and Filipino troops died under the Japanese.

New Mexico – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationNM
State CapitalSanta Fe
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
Largest CityAlbuquerque
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 121,589 sq miles; Land Only: 121,356 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodJanuary 6, 1912
State rank by population36th
State rank by date of formation47th
State rank by area5th
Number of Counties33
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymNew Mexican
Bordering StatesArizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah
Official LanguageNone
Highest PointWheeler Peak
13,167 ft (4013.3 m)
Lowest pointRed Bluff Reservoir on Texas border
2,844 ft (867 m)
Length 370 miles (595 km)
Width343 miles (551 km)
GovernorMichelle Lujan Grisham (D)
Lieutenant GovernorHowie Morales (D)
Electoral Votes5
State MottoCrescit eundo (It grows as it goes)
State NicknameLand of Enchantment
% Water0.2
Noble prize WinnersPaul Modrich (Chemistry, 2015)
Famous peopleRonnie Lott (Pro Football player)
Ralph Kiner (Baseball player)
Neil Patrick Harris
Demi Lovato
State TreePiñon Pine
State AmphibianSpadefoot Toad
State AnimalBlack bear
State BirdGreater roadrunner
State ButterflySandia Hairstreak
State FishRio Grande cutthroat trout
State FlowerYucca
State FossilCoelophysis
State GemTurquoise
State InsectTarantula Hawk Wasp
State ReptileWhiptail Lizard
State VegetablesChile and Frijoles
Longitude103° W to 109° 3′ W
Latitude31° 20′ N to 37° N
Time ZoneCentral Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone
Area Codes505, 575, 957
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023