Film, Sand and Space ... Alamogordo, New Mexico

09/04/2012  | 

Filmmakers and tourists alike are welcomed with wave-like ever changing dunes at nearby White Sands National Monument, and other local and unique geological formations. In addition to these attractions, there is a diversity of locations available with a variance in altitude, climate, and terrain all within a 20 to 40 minute drive within the Tularosa Basin. Alamogordo is a thriving city of over 34,000 residents transformed from a railroad, ranching and farming hamlet into a progressive vibrant community. Developed in 1898 as a rail junction with nearby mountain lumber railroad, today Alamogordo presents a diverse economic base in a progressive community committed to continuing economic development.

Area attractions, outdoor activities and exciting area events provide many opportunities for tourists and locations for filmmakers. Oliver Lee State Park offers camping and nature trails, star gazing nights and events. Three Rivers Petroglyphs also has camping and offers a look into man’s past here in the area with its iconic and mysterious writings. Cloudcroft and Mescalero Native Lands offer the Lincoln National Forest elevations and Alpine ski resorts with camping and adventures in hiking and biking for the outdoor enthusiasts. The natural beauty of quiet meadows alive with big game such as bear, elk and deer presents a mountain venue with hunting and trekking opportunities, like the Rails to Trails hiking programs.

There are also public and private observatories for filming backdrops such as the Sunspot, National Solar Observatories; Apache Point; and Tzec Maun. Genuine anomalies and discoveries like Alan Hale’s discovery of the Hale-Bopp Comet from his rooftop observatory near Cloudcroft are woven into that research and discovery tapestry.

On the floor of the Basin there is the space research history of Holloman Aero Medical research with Ham, the first Chimpanzee in space. Col. John Paul Stapp, and the supersonic sled research that led to the national safety program and his invention of seat belt restraints that save thousands of lives every year on our national highways, and groundbreaking safety procedures for astronauts enduring the rigors of travel into space. Col. Joe Kittinger’s more than 50-year unbroken record of the almost 20-mile-high balloon jump over the Tularosa Basin archived with the history of the astronauts who came after him soaring in space safely due to all of this combined research done here in southern New Mexico and archived at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo.

Filmmaking locations such as ranches, alpine resorts, national forests, petroglyphs, desert, streams, mountain lakes, and others are all accessible here. Other attractions luring visitors include the Tularosa Basin Historical Museum; Oliver Lee Memorial State Park; the New Mexico Museum of Space History and IMAX Theater; Old Town Alamogordo, Lincoln National Forest; Kids Kingdom; the Alameda Park Zoo; the Toy Train Depot; Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts; and this is only the beginning of all that’s waiting for you in Alamogordo.

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