When you think about New Mexico, there is a great chance that you are thinking about the intense humidity and heat that befalls the state during the summer months. While high temperatures and humidity are a mainstay in the four corners state, there are some very fun ways to combat them.


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One amazing way to beat the heat is travel to the amazing Cliff’s Amusement Park that just so happens to include a water park section complete with some of the most fun and exciting water-based rides in the country.


While the fun you will have cooling off on these rides is undeniable, the water park section is only a small part of the park.


After you find relief from the heat on rides such as the famed “WaterMania!”, you can set your sites on the amusement park side of Cliff’s that offers great rides such as the award-winning New Mexico Rattler roller coaster.


Built with families in mind, Cliff’s Amusement Park has something for everyone. If you are planning a trip to New Mexico next summer, do yourself and your family a favor and make Cliff’s a part of your shared Southwest experience.



Previously known as Uncle Cliff’s Kiddie Land from its inception in 1959 until 1963, park owners Cliff and Zella Hammond decided to drop the Kiddie emphasis to focus on the full family experience.

While there are still several rides of the “kiddie” variety to this day, the Hammonds decided that by removing the child-centric moniker, they could focus on making the park a place that the entire family could enjoy.


The original name and park format change led to the creation of Uncle Cliff’s Amusement Park, a name that would stay with the park until 1991. It was then that the Uncle would be dropped to give us Cliff’s Amusement Park, an identity that would remain with the park to this day.


While Cliff’s Amusement Park is still open on weekends this October for the 3rd annual Halloween themed Oktoberfest, the water park has been closed since the conclusion of Labor Day weekend.


If you’d like to take part in the full Cliff’s experience, you’ll have to plan your trip sometime between the park’s full-service hours beginning Memorial Day weekend and going through to Labor Day.

Once you have your dates planned out, you will need to know which attractions to check out, and the answer is all of them.

Cliff’s Amusement Park Attractions

The following are some of the attractions at Cliff’s Amusement Park that are absolute musts.

WaterMania!

Designed with the kids in mind, WaterMania! is a fun for all interactive water-themed experience that earns every ounce of its exclamation point.

 cliff park watermania

The Li’l Squirts section of the water park is made for toddlers and tykes measuring in at 40 inches and below. Parents can accompany their little squirts through a variety of shallow pools, small water slides, and splashing opportunities.

If you are over 40 inches tall and don’t have a little tyke to accompany in this section, there are still options for you, which include the star of WaterMania! the exhilarating Mega Water Monkeys.

This jungle-themed section of the park features seven different water slides and a gigantic bucket of water just waiting to be poured on top of you. If you need somewhere to cool off from the intense New Mexico heat, the Mega Water Monkeys section of WaterMania! is absolutely the place to be.

Rocky Mountain Rapids

rocky mountain rapids

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The most popular water-based attraction at Cliff’s is the massive log flume known as Rocky Mountain Rapids.


Unlike other flume-based rides that are usually just about the ride experience with little splash action, Rocky Mountain Rapids is built with heat relief in mind. Through each and every turn, you will be greeted with a splash of refreshing water.


The big finale of a drop will surely soak any dry parts of your body that you have yet to make contact with the water. Rocky Mountain Rapids is intended for riders of at least 48 inches, but children from 36 to 48 inches can ride with adult supervision. Just be prepared to get very wet.

Big Flush Coaster

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If you are a fan of roller coasters and water rides, you are in luck. Cliff’s Amusement Park offers a unique ride that is one-part exhilarating coaster, and one-part drenching water ride.


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Big Flush Coaster is a raft-based water ride that utilized roller coaster components of tight twists, turns, and gravity defying moments to create an experience that can only be explained as a roller coaster in the water.


What makes this ride even more exciting is that all the components are located within the tunnels of the amazing water slide, so you’ll be enjoying everything in complete darkness.

New Mexico Rattler


If water rides are just not your thing, or you have already taken part in all the water rides that Cliff’s has to offer— head over to the dry side of things and enjoy some of the thrill rides that the amusement park has to offer.


Out of all of the options, the most renowned attraction is the New Mexico Rattler, a hybrid coaster that just so happens to be the only wooden roller coaster in the state of New Mexico.


Opening towards the end of the 2002 operating season, the New Mexico Rattler is a true hybrid coaster. This means that it has both wood and steel components. Inspired by Pueblo and other Spanish revival influences, the roller coaster is sure to please any thrill ride enthusiast.


The initial 75-foot drop will send riders at full speed down a metal tunnel that will keep your screams inside just in case you don’t want anyone outside of the coaster to hear you. After getting your initial screams and laughs out, you will be treated to an incredible 200 degree turn that will surely leave you on the edge of your seat.


Enjoy another tunnel before going through a series of 5 different drops and a massive 270-degree embankment, sure to provide you with some great airtime and thrills that will stay with you long after you have left the park.

Demolition Disco

While bumper cars under a disco theme, can be very exciting to some, hardcore thrill seekers may be left wanting more. Luckily, Cliff’s Amusement Park offers a variety of intense thrill rides sure to make any seasoned vet scream in happiness.


The free fall ride Cliff Hanger sends riders 120 feet into the air only to be dropped in an instant to let gravity take control. This thrilling free fall ride brings with it a mandatory minimum height of 48 inches for riders.


Unlike most cliff hangers that leave you wanting more, this one will surely satisfy your need for a thrilling experience.

Cliff Hanger

While bumper cars under a disco theme, can be very exciting to some, hardcore thrill seekers may be left wanting more. Luckily, Cliff’s Amusement Park offers a variety of intense thrill rides sure to make any seasoned vet scream in happiness.


The free fall ride Cliff Hanger sends riders 120 feet into the air only to be dropped in an instant to let gravity take control. This thrilling free fall ride brings with it a mandatory minimum height of 48 inches for riders.


Unlike most cliff hangers that leave you wanting more, this one will surely satisfy your need for a thrilling experience.

Key Takeaways from Cliff’s Amusement Park


Cliff’s Amusement Park has been a family institution since it opened in 1959. Although once intended for only children, the park has evolved throughout the years to allow the entire family to take part in all the fun.


Water park enthusiasts can enjoy WaterMania!, Rocky Mountain Rapids, and Big Flush Coaster. The most efficient way to dry off after cooling off from the New Mexico heat, would be to travel to air dry on the New Mexico Rattler, the only wooden roller coaster available in the state.


You can then ride bumper cars along with some great music at Demolition Disco or take the plunge over at Cliff Hanger.


These are only a few of the amazing attractions available at the New Mexico park. If you’d like to see the rest for yourself, plan your next family trip in Albuquerque and be sure to check out Cliff’s Amusement Park.

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