See the Old West in New Mexico

The Old West has become a sort of mythic and legendary setting, immortalized in film, television shows and literature. Yet for travelers who take the time to look, there are still remnants of the past in the real world. Many of the places that purport to give travelers a taste of the Wild West are little more than tourist traps, filled with t-shirt shops and fake ghost towns designed to lure in vacationers. However, those with an RV can explore some real western historical sites in northeastern New Mexico.

Vacationers won't find many t-shirt shops in this part of the country, but they will see towns that look like they belong in a Sergio Leone film. Some of these are so picture-perfect that it's easy to imagine Clint Eastwood walking around any corner. Those who want to shoot their own western landscapes should watch a few episodes of the RVNN show "What's Wrong With This Picture?" before their trip, as this show details some of the best photography tips for RVers.

A good road to explore is Route 64, which heads east out of the town of Taos, just north of Santa Fe. In their "Ultimate Road Trips" guide, National Geographic recommends taking 64 east, then looping back on Route 56 west. This 400-mile loop provides a great opportunity to really take in the sights of the Old West.

The first town you'll likely come across is Cimarron, which is located just outside Philmont Scout Ranch, now the largest Boy Scout camp in America. The town itself contains plenty of relics from the past in the form of historic buildings and other cool sights, and the natural scenery surrounding it is breathtakingly beautiful, which is exactly why the Boy Scouts decided to build a camp here. Of course, there are plenty of campgrounds for RVers as well who want to explore.

You'll eventually come across the town of Folsom, which is famous for a different period of history. Some of the more amazing archaeological discoveries have been made near this town, specifically evidence that humans walked the continent more than 10,000 years ago. You can see some of these artifacts for yourself at the Folsom Museum, which is housed in a converted merchant building from the 19th century. About nine miles away, you can visit Capulin Volcano National Monument, where it's possible to hike up to the rim.

On your way back, you'll definitely want to stop in Colonial City, which is perhaps one of the most picturesque towns in the country. More than 900 buildings here have been entered on the National Register of Historic Places, so take your time and explore as many as possible.