2020 Conference Set

Mark your calendars for the 2020 conference of Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers – October 5 to 8 – headquartering in Alamogordo, New Mexico. That’s Sunday through Thursday night.

Soaptree Yucca along a dune ridge at White Sands National Monument.
© William Horton

Why Alamogordo? Mainly because it’s the closest place to some of the most scenic and fascinating destinations in southern New Mexico.

We’ll photograph the glistening white gypsum sands of White Sands National Monument, explore Three Rivers Petroglyph Site with more than 21,000 ancient petroglyphs, discover the true Wild West at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, and drop in to the New Mexico Museum of Space History for a glimpse of the beginnings of America’s space program. And let’s not forget the Toy Train Depot. Besides, Alamogordo is Spanish for fat cottonwood tree—a bit of trivia we all should have tucked away.

We’ve deliberately scheduled the conference to begin just after White Sands Missile Range’s open house at Trinity Site, where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested in 1945. We won’t be going as a group, but the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce leads a caravan (at no charge) to the site, where we’ll see the Ground Zero Monument, the ranch house where the bomb was assembled, and other exhibits. The site is open to the public only two days a year – the first Saturdays of April and October.

We’re also tentatively planning a full-day or day-and-a-half pre-conference (Sunday-Monday) photography workshop, probably somewhat similar to the one we offered at the Silver City conference back in 2005.Headquarters will be the Holiday Inn Express, which has an attractive meeting room. It is offering a group lodging rate of $135 plus tax for one or two people, which includes a full hot breakfast.