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New Mexico Camping

Beautiful State Parks Abound

By Julie O'Hara - Author, Poet and Spiritual WarriorPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

New Mexico is known as the "Land of Enchantment" and many campers, hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts know why!

From the vast White Sands in the southern part of the state, to the bustling metropolis of Albuquerque. From the history of the Lincoln County Wars to the history of the cattle trails of Santa Fe. The art communities in Taos. The beautiful Acoma Pueblos in the northern part of the state. The beautiful mountain villages of Cloudcroft and Ruidoso. The beautiful Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero. And of course, we can't forget the bustling "alien" industry that has grown in Roswell. New Mexico truly has something for everyone - especially campers and nature lovers!

Many of the camping opportunities in New Mexico are located on state and federal public lands, making them easily and cheaply available to the public. Among many of the camping opportunities available in New Mexico are:

Bottomless Lakes State Park:

Near Roswell, you will find Bottomless Lakes State Park. Bottomless Lakes is actually seven small lakes bordered by high red bluffs. This park offers a variety of sports including hiking, swimming, fishing and even scuba diving!

Brantley Lake State Park:

This park is near Carlsbad and is a great place to enjoy some fishing and other water sports. Their visitor center is especially interesting, offering historical exhibits about the Wild West Town of Seven Rivers. This is also close to Carlsbad Caverns which is a wonderful day trip and adventure for all people!

Caballo Lake State Park:

The Caballo Mountains serve as a scenic backdrop for Caballo Lake State Park. At this park you can enjoy water sports, winter waterfowl watching and view their beautiful cactus gardens.

Cimarron Canyon State Park:

In New Mexico's high country near Cimarron, you can enjoy and immerse yourself in the Colin Neblett Wildlife area. Beautiful camping.

City of Rocks State Park:

Near infamous Silver City, the City of Rocks was formed from volcanic ash 30 million years ago. Whipping winds and water have sculpted these rocks into rows of monolithic blocks. Hiking trails and cactus gardens are other amenities.

Clayton Lake State Park:

Near Clayton and set among rolling grasslands, Clayton Lake State Park boasts excellent fishing. And for the dinosaur buffs, there is a dinosaur trackway to explore and observe!

Conchas Lake State Park:

Another one of New Mexico's reservoirs which offers a wide variety of water sport activities including boating , fishing, and water-skiing.


Creek State Park:

Snuggled deep into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Guadalupita, Coyote Creek State Park is a wonderful family getaway with fishing and leisurely nature walks.

El Vado Lake State Park:

Located in New Mexico's northern mountains near Tierra Amarilla, this park offers fishing, boating, water-skiing, and winter cross-country skiing .

Elephant Butte Lake State Park:

Elephant Butte is the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico. Almost any kind of water sport is available to be enjoyed here. A manmade lake, Elephant Butte has been the destination vacation campsite for many native New Mexicans.

Fenton Lake State Park:

A popular year-round retreat near Jemez, Fenton Lake State Park is surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. It offers wonderful cross-country skiing , and is a great place to cool off from the desert heat!

Heron Lake State Park:

This lake near Tierra Amarilla is set among tall pine trees and is designated as a "quiet lake" where boats operate at no-wake speeds. Excellent sailing, fishing, and cross-country skiing opportunities.

Hyde Memorial State Park:

Near Santa Fe, this quiet park offers beautiful scenery in a natural setting.

Leasburg Dam State Park:

This state park in the southern part of the state near Las Cruces offers year-round camping, picnicking and bird watching . Easy access to Fort Selden State Monument.

Manzano Mountains State Park:

Nestled in the woods near Mountainair, Manzano Mountains State Park is an excellent location for fishing, bird watching, photography, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

Navajo Lake State Park:

Three recreation areas comprise this park near Archuleta. Navajo Lake State Park is known worldwide to have some of the best fishing in the state!

Oasis State Park:

This park truly is an oasis! Set near Portales and surrounded by cottonwood trees, shifting sand dunes and a small lake for fishing. Heaven... on... earth!

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park:

Backed up by the Sacramento Mountains near Alamogordo, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park offers historical exhibits and a fully restored 19th century ranch house. Also a short day trip to White Sands National Park and the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo. Be sure to ask a local to show you the mystical Lady in the Mountain!

Pancho Villa State Park:

Extensive historical exhibits depicting the Pancho Villa raid, the first armed invasion of the continental United States, near Columbus is the highlight of this park. A must for history buffs!

Percha Dam State


Located near Caballo on the Rio Grande, Percha Dam State Park features towering cottonwoods, fishing, and hiking. A great place for a quiet family vacation.

Rockhound State Park:

Near Deming, Rockhound State Park lives up to its name. This campground is a favorite for rockhounds because of the abundance of agates and quartz crystals found there.

Storrie Lake State Park

Favorable summer breezes attract colorful wind-surfing boards at this park close to Las Vegas. It is also very popular for fishing and boating .

Sugarite Canyon State Park:

This park near Raton on the Colorado border is wonderful for nature enthusiasts featuring wooded mountains and meadows awash with wildflowers and butterflies.

Sumner Lake State Park

Close to Ft. Sumner, Sumner Lake State Park offers wonderful fishing featuring bass, crappie, channel catfish and walleye.

Ute Lake State Park:

The best walleye fishing in New Mexico can be found here at this Canadian River reservoir.

Villanueva State Park:

With a scenic view of the picturesque Spanish-colonial village of Villaneuva and sandwiched between high red sandstone bluffs along the Pecos River, this park is truly an enchanted place!

The above is just a sampling of the camping opportunities available in New Mexico, truly The Land of Enchantment!


About the Creator

Julie O'Hara - Author, Poet and Spiritual Warrior

Thank you for reading my work. You can find my books and other writings at Please subscribe, like and share. Feel free to contact if you want to chat.

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