Tularosa, New Mexico

Tularosa Hills 
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Tularosa, New Mexico is located at the base of the western slope of the Sacramento Mountains on the eastern side of the Tularosa Basin. This area is best known as the site of the White Sands Missile Range, and the White Sands National Monument. Some tens of miles to the north, in the center of the basin, is the Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945.

Tularosa is located at just over 4,500 feet above sea level, which would be high by some standards. However, it is quite a bit lower than the 7,000 to 8,000 foot elevations surrounding Ruidoso, which is only about 30 miles east of Tularosa. The mountains provide some climate moderating summer breezes and they also provide protection from severe winter storms. But they also block most of the rain clouds.

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The Tularosa area is characterized by little rainfall and lots of creosote bushes. In short, it is located in a semi-desert that receives only about 11 inches of rainfall and 4-1/2 inches of snowfall annually.

Yet, despite the arid and somewhat hostile environment, Tularosa is known as "The City Of Roses"! The very idea that a rose garden could exist in a desert, let alone a City Of Roses stretches the credibility and astonishes visitors. But we ask you to suspend your disbelief for a little while and let the story unfold, because Tularosa truly is a city of roses in the desert.

Last updated 04/15/2002