New Mexico is a land of two climates, though both zones share a high, dry desert environment. Conditions in the southern half of the state are noticeably warmer than the north. This translates to fairly mild winters in the south where daily highs average around 60°F between December and February, and hot dry summers with temperatures well into the 90s°F from June to August. Most of the precipitation in the south falls during the summer.
From Albuquerque north, the state takes on a noticeably colder climate. This is mainly because the elevation rises steadily from around 5,000 feet to 7,000 feet in Santa Fe and northward. Summers are warm (low 80s°F) and very pleasant, while winters get quite cold (low 40s°F) and see plenty of snow in the mountains. Most of the precipitation falls in the late summer, but overall northern New Mexico is known for its amazing weather. Spring is the only season that is less than ideal. It tends to be windy, dusty and chilly in March and April. Fall, however, is simply magical.
Best Time to Visit New Mexico
The only sub-par season to visit New Mexico is the early spring. From mid-May through October, the weather is fantastic, with bright sunny skies almost every day and pleasant temperatures in the north. Winters are best in the southern region thanks to their mild sunny conditions. In the north around Santa Fe and Taos, the summers are beautiful, the fall even prettier and winter is blessed with plenty of snow for the ski resorts. Timing your visit simply depends on what you want to see and do.
For hiking, biking and rafting, the summer is best, while skiers will want to come in the late winter months of February and March for the best powder. To simply bask in the glory of New Mexican scenery, late September or October is when the chili harvest comes in and the aspens and cottonwoods burst into golden yellow hues. You won’t find many hotel deals in New Mexico except during the spring.