All American Road Trip: Exploration Into The Unknown From Roswell To Colorado Springs

The U.S. is full of strange and interesting sights and attractions. What better way to experience the unknown aspects of our world than to take a strange trip that highlights some of the more poignant anomalies of our planet?

This five-day road trip itinerary takes us from Roswell, New Mexico northbound up to the UFO Watchtower in Southern Colorado. Along the way, delve into sights both made-made and natural that punctuate our exploration of the otherworldly.

Examples of “extraterrestrial encounters” can be seen throughout the town of Roswell, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Simon Foot

DAY 1 – ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO

Most famous for the 1947 “Roswell Incident,” this is ground zero for the most famous of UFO crashes. Some suspect it was covered up by the military, so naturally, legends abound and the nearby town of Roswell has been transformed into UFO central.

A display at the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy of leiris202

The International UFO Museum and Research Center—if you have time for only one attraction in Roswell, this should be it. Visitors can explore the timeline of the Roswell Incident along with a history of UFO encounters through a myriad of interesting exhibits. Are YOU a believer?

There are several other great attractions in this small town. Among them are the Roswell Historical District, the Roswell Visitors Center, and Roswell UFO Spacewalk. If you want to get away a little from all of the UFO folklore, pay a visit to the Spring River Park and Zoo.

Once you’ve had your fair share of otherworldly encounters, relax and dine at the Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro. Enjoy a tasting of locally produced wines paired with casual and delicious dishes.

Where to Stay in Roswell

Clary Sage B&B is a two-story historical home built in 1914 and is one of the top-rated places to stay in Roswell. It features a dormer with a circular roof, arched front porches, and a red tile roof that characterizes the California Mission-style building.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Matthew Dillon

DAY 2 – ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

As we head northwest of Roswell, Albuquerque is a great little city in its own right. In keeping with the strange and unknown theme, there are several places to visit. Among them is the National Museum of Nuclear Science. Discover the intriguing aspects of the Nuclear Age, including the peaceful uses of today’s nuclear technology.

The Spaceship UFO House built by Bart Prince in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Luca Guido

Fans of the show Breaking Bad will enjoy the Breaking Bad Fan Memorial, Breaking Bad Meth Candy, and the Tombstone of Walter White. Other notable attractions are the X-Ray Museum and the Center of the Universe, right on the University of New Mexico campus. One highlight not to miss is the Spaceship UFO House. Also known as the ‘Bug House,’ this structure is actually a residence and studio space of architect Bart Prince.

Where to Stay in Albuquerque

Located near Historic Old Town in Albuquerque, the Painted Lady Bed & Brew is a former brothel and saloon with a haunted story to tell. Gather ‘round over a beer (or your beverage of choice) at this twist on the traditional bed and breakfast.

The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Keyzer

DAY 3 – LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO

Heading north on Interstate 25, through Santa Fe and west via U.S. Route 84 and state Route 502, we hit downtown Los Alamos and the Bradbury Science Museum. What started as a collection of Manhattan Project memorabilia that were somewhat interesting has grown into a fascinating look into the unknown as the museum continues to add exhibits as soon as they’re ‘declassified.’

The brainchild of researcher Robert Krohn, he began gathering these science experiments while working on the Manhattan Project and saved them, lest they be buried and forgotten forever. Experiments, once classified documents, and other public items are now on display for the general public to explore. Many date back to atomic bomb experiments during World War II.

Where to Stay in Alamosa

Continue driving toward Alamosa, Colorado for dinner and your evening accommodations. Dig into authentic southwestern cuisine at Emma’s Food of the Southwest before checking in at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge to get a good night’s sleep. For tomorrow is another UFO adventure!

Milky Way night-scape from Great Sand Dunes National Park.

DAY 4 – CENTER, COLORADO

Take a trip along state Route 17, also known as the Cosmic Highway, for a chance to spot a UFO. Today our journey takes us to the UFO Watchtower. The domed-shaped structure features a 10-foot-tall observation platform, taking advantage of higher elevations in this remote area. This location has hosted numerous UFO sightings over the decades, thanks in part to Alamosa’s vast and unfiltered view of the night sky. With the Great Sand Dunes National Park right around the corner, this is a designated International Dark Sky Park, an exceptional environment for flying saucer hunting.

The UFO Watchtower near Hooper, Colorado. Photo Courtesy of Larry Lamsa

The 600-acre area surrounding the watchtower is said to have had more UFO sightings than anywhere else in the country. The building is surrounded by a healing garden and is supposedly scattered with trinkets left behind by those from a parallel universe. Dozens of psychics have visited and all agree that there are two vortexes in front of the tower, which could act as gateways from our world to another. And yes, there is even a gift shop.

Where to Stay Near Colorado Springs

You have the option to call ahead and spend the night camping at the UFO Watchtower, based on availability. Rates are around $10 a night. But if you don’t care for a slumber party with the aliens, continue on to Colorado Springs and stay at Kinship Landing for the next two nights (not to be confused with a UFO landing). This is the city for your final adventure.

DAY 5 – COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

Begin the final day of your road trip with breakfast at Denver Biscuit Company for a sweet or savory start to your morning before heading to your next stop.

Deep in a Colorado mountainside lies a semi-secret base, thanks to its appearances on both the big and small screen. What began as a privately-owned mining operation in 1961 eventually morphed into a classified U.S. military compound. They blasted inside the mountain, creating a series of chambers housing several military buildings.

The tunnel entrance to the North American Air Defense (NORAD) Space Command Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Photo Courtesy of The National Archives Catalog

By 1966, this fully operational underground military facility became the headquarters of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which controlled the “buttons” that could at any moment be pressed and escalate the Cold War into an all-out nuclear-charged World War III. Thankfully that never happened.

While most of its functions have been moved elsewhere, this is still an interesting foray into military history and the entrance portal has been featured in the movies Wargames and Independence Day, as well as the television show Stargate SG-1. Today, the facility is still somewhat operational and a backup for NORAD. Tours are not allowed, but you can drive by it to see the entrance (it’s lit up at night) and stretch your legs. It’s located about 14 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.

Peterson Air & Space Museum in Colorado. Photo Courtesy of Ian Abbott

If you have time, make one last visit to the Peterson Air and Space Museum to perfectly complement your exploration into the unknown. This base enables a wide range of missions in direct support of national security, space operations, and homeland defense.


The Great American Road Trip. Photo from our Original Series Venturing Out: Park 2 Park

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