MY FAMILY ROAD-TRIPPED throughout New Mexico in the summers when I was growing up, tent-camping out of a Ford Econoline van. Opportunities for outdoor fun seemed to await us around every corner: We’d regularly happen upon hidden waterfalls, cool ranger-guided hikes, and scenic places to float along a river. While it can be tough to find a common denominator for activities everyone enjoys and can keep up with, the stunning beauty of the landscape tends to cast a universal spell—and there are more ADA-compliant adventures out there than you’d think.

“It’s not a place you’d expect to see,” says Amanda Fry, public affairs officer for the Lincoln National Forest. “In the Carlsbad area, it’s very hot, dry, a lot of desert. And then you drive into Sitting Bull Falls, and it’s just this beautiful oasis.” Just a short walk from the parking lot, the spring-fed waterfalls at Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area cascade 150 feet from the canyon above to a cooling pool below; they can be admired from an ADA-accessible viewing platform nearby. The neat stone buildings around the picnic area, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940, complement the natural beauty of this unique spot. LEVEL UP: The Forest Service’s Enchantment Pass allows unlimited annual access to day-use fee sites throughout the National Forests and Grasslands of New Mexico.

Sitting Bull Falls, an oasis near Carlsbad, rewards weary hikers. Photograph by Michael DeYoung.

Rio Grande Stables has been guiding summertime horseback trail rides throughout the Taos area since 1991. “People love the smell of the ponderosa pines and the shade of the mountains,” says general manager Montie Mudd. Visitors are led by riders with Wilderness First Aid certification who know the lay of the land. LEVEL UP: A two-hour horseback ride on Cebolla Mesa cuts through juniper, ponderosa, and piñon groves to the edge of the impressive Río Grande Gorge.

Stuart Wilber, owner of Max and a longtime Las Cruces resident, says dog-friendly trails abound in the region. The humpbacked Tortugas Mountain attracts college kids with canines, while Prehistoric Trackways National Monument, in the Robledo Mountains, features fossil footprints, if your dog’s an amateur archaeologist. LEVEL UP: Wilber recommends “leash-matching etiquette” on trails with lots of other dogs. “If you see others with their dog off leash, let your dog off to meet them. If their dog’s on leash, make sure yours is too.”

White Sands National Park hosts a series of Full Moon Nights through October, featuring live music, ranger programs, and guest presenters and artists. But on the night before each full moon, visitors can take a ranger-guided hike to view the otherworldly lunar glow on the dunes during a Moonlight Hike. “It’s only about a mile walk,” says park volunteer Joe Elsen. “It’s not hard, and we take our time. You’re able to see what it’s like for the moon to reflect off the sand, which is very similar to snow.” LEVEL UP: Tickets for the limited-capacity hikes become available two months before the day of the tour. Get them fast.

Outdoor enthusiasts kayaking on the Río Chama. Courtesy of New Mexico River Adventures

“The Chama River is so iconic within the state because of Georgia O’Keeffe and Abiquiú and everything around it,” says New Mexico River Adventures owner Matt Gontram. On a chilled out, daylong raft trip down the Río Chama, “there’s no expectations for big white water,” he says. “You’ll see some rapids up to Class III, but it’s really manageable.” Guides include stops to explore sandy beaches and swimming holes along the way, as well as scenic picnic spots. LEVEL UP: “With extended family groups, we can put together a flotilla of multiple boats,” Gontram says.

Tackle Angel Fire on two wheels. Photograph courtesy of Angel Fire Bike Park.

With more than 2,000 vertical feet to experience along more than 60 miles of trails, Angel Fire Bike Park is the largest mountain bike park in the Rocky Mountains. “Last year, we created a Learn to Ride Center at the base of our mountain,” says Angel Fire Resort marketing manager Michael Hawkins. “The bunny slope for the ski area is now our beginner bunny slope for mountain biking.” Accredited mountain-biking instructors can teach newbies the basics and help others hone their skills. LEVEL UP: Kids’ clinics take place once a month in the summertime.

At Capulin Volcano National Monument near Ratón, visitors can enjoy views of four states from an extinct volcano and descend into its crater. Photograph by Tim Keller.

East of Ratón, view four different states from the vantage of an extinct cinder-cone volcano at Capulin Volcano National Monument. On the one-mile hike that circles the rim, “you can see Oklahoma, the hills of West Texas, New Mexico, and the southern Sangre de Cristos, in Colorado,” says interpretation program manager Geoff Goins. “Most people hike another 150 feet down into the bottom of the crater. You really can’t do that in most volcanoes.” LEVEL UP: “We’re one of the darkest places in the country,” Goins adds, touting the monument’s Dark Sky viewing events. They’re held twice a month during the summer, when telescopes are provided for seeing galaxies, planets, nebulae, and all the stars you can count.

See ancient rock art at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. Photograph by Minesh Bacrania.

Mysteries abound at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, near Tularosa. “It has long captured the imagination of not only the public, but also professional archaeologists, because it contains over 21,000 documented petroglyphs,” says Bill Wight, public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management. Grab a map at the visitors center for two self-guided hiking trails, including a shorter, easier route through a prehistoric village of the Jornada Mogollon people who made the rock art between AD 200 and 1450. LEVEL UP: A trail portion was made ADA-compliant last year, Wight says, with viewers near the petroglyphs available for folks who use wheelchairs.

Read more: Get active, unplug, and connect with your kids with these tips.