NM State Parks camping helps the road weary traveler by comfortably making an easy set-up for your camp by a New Mexico lake. We'll divide the state into quarters for easy discovery.
Thinking of Albuquerque NM as the center, even though it's not right in the middle. But it's where two major highways cross: I-25 & I-40.
I-25 will be the East to West division. With along I-25 in the eastern zone. Above I-40 in the northern area. Let's see what they all have to offer.
Here first is some general information you may want to know:
Most NM state parks camping have sites reservable online...
Pets are allowed at your NM State Parks Camping site, & within other park areas.
Remember, though, they must be leashed (10' maximum) at all times, even in water. Also prevent pets from excessive barking or howling, so don't leave pets unattended in vehicles or campsites.
Also please pick up after them.
Some lakes in the state parks have specific No Swimming areas.
Otherwise swimming is allowed in many lakes, but you swim at your own risk. Please remember to supervise children & have them wear a life-vest when at lakeside.
New Mexico state park lakes that allow swimming are Bluewater Lake, Bottomless Lakes/Lea Lake, Brantley Lake, Caballo Lake, Conchas Lake, Elephant Butte Lake & Navajo Lake.
Some lake parks may or may not allow campfires.
It will depend on current local fire conditions. When you arrive, look for the latest on fire restrictions & needed info.
Planning to fish while enjoying NM state parks camping?
If age 12/+ you need a license. Purchase validity is yearly, April 1 through the next March 31. Call 888-248-6866 or ask at email@example.com.
Remember if you Like To Fish, there's opportunity at every lake park.
Go for ice fishing at Eagle Nest & Bluewater Lakes.
There's even bow-fishing to think about! This growing sport is allowed at all lake parks, only for nongame species. And you don't need a fishing permit.
ANNUAL CAMPING FEES/PERMITS:
You may Purchase On-line, at any NM State Park office, by calling 888-667-2757 toll-free, or online while making your camping reservations.
Annual Camping Pass - For In-State Residents: $180; Out of State Purchasers: $225
NM Resident Senior Camping Pass - Cannot be purchased online. Must purchase at main Santa Fe Office or any NM State Park Visitor Center.
Proof of Age & Vehicle License Plate Number required.
NM Disabled Resident Camping Pass - $100
If you enter the park by walking or via bicycle, for day use, there is No Charge for entry.
Campsites range from very basic with only a place to pitch a tent along with picnic table & fireplace.
To an upgraded RV site with all utilities: electric, water & sewer. Most RV type sites, though, only have electric & water.
There are also primitive & boat-in sites available.
SUGARITE CANYON STATE PARK - Two lakes are in this park: Lake Maloya & Lake Alice. The campground is adjacent to Lake Alice.
Fishing is popular in both lakes, especially for rainbow trout.
For park details: 575-445-5607.
EAGLE NEST LAKE STATE PARK - An alpine lake about 8200' up. As such be sure if you go in winter, that it's open.
In fact, see this NM State Park Camping & Boating lake in real-time. Just scroll down the page for their Web Cam>
All kinds of boating is welcome.
CLAYTON LAKE STATE PARK - With DINOSAUR TRACKWAYS. An added reason to visit, giving you this rare look at preserved dinosaur footprints (at least 8 species)!
That's not all, see the night sky via their observatory.
Choose from one of 5 campgrounds.
There's all types of boating, but only up to trolling speed. Fishing, trails, ranger programs. It's a great place to visit!
MORPHY LAKE STATE PARK - A pristine mountain lake to really get away from it all. Open April through Oct. More info: 505-387-2328.
Morphy Lake was created bordering the Pecos Wilderness. It's part of the Acequia de La Isla & San Jose Acequias for irrigation water.
Nonmotorized or electric motor boating only. 1 ramp.
Basic campsites with no utilities, surround the lake. First-come/1st-served. No dump station. If you're RVing, max size: 18 ft. Water and rest-rooms available.
Great fishing opportunity, stocked rainbow trout.
Get There: From Albuquerque, North on I-25, take exit 345 onto Rt.65W. Left at Rt.104/W.University, continuing on 65W for 1/2 mile. Turn right on Rt.518, 30 miles to Mora, then turn onto Hwy.94S toward Ledoux. In 7 miles turn west on newly graded road.
CONCHAS LAKE STATE PARK - Enjoy a stay at one of New Mexico's largest lakes!
All kinds of boating, with 6 ramps. Fishing, picnicking, birding, swimming beach, playground. Visitor Center has exhibits.
4 campground areas. Restrooms with water & showers + scattered vault toilets.
NM State Parks Camping Details for Conchas Lake:
Directions: From Tucumcari, Exit 332 off I-40, head North on S.1st St./Rt.209 through town. After crossing Main St., keep straight, as it becomes Rt.104/N.2nd St. Continue to park/lake.
STORRIE LAKE STATE PARK - Lots of activities to keep a family busy here. All kinds of water fun!
From motorboats to kayaking. From windsurfing to paddle-boarding. From tubing to water skiing.
There's also Ranger Programs, Fishing, Picnicking, a Swimming Beach, Volleyball, Birding, a Playground & exhibits in the Visitor Center. 505-425-7278.
NM State Parks Camping at Storrie Lake has 6 areas to choose when reserving your site. Water & electric hook-ups. Not only that, there's plenty of primitive camping along the lakeshore & for boating-in, too!
Directions: Take I-25N out of Santa Fe. Entering Las Vegas, NM, Exit 343, take Business 25N/Hwy.85. Make left on 7th St., becoming Rt.518 to park on left.
UTE LAKE STATE PARK - Almost 13 miles long, with tons of shoreline. You won't want for fun water action here!
Has all types of boating. A dock, ramp & marina are lakeside.
Plus Fishing, Picnicking, Swimming Beach, Birding, Playground, Visitor Center/Exhibits, & Trails for hiking or biking.
Camping - Lots of variety to choose for your NM State Parks stay at Ute Lake. Either reserve, or 1st-come/1st-serve.
Choose from primitive sites, or basic sites with a table - both have access to water & vault toilets &/or restrooms nearby. Or more deluxe sites with water & electric. Restrooms with showers accommodate any camping.
Directions: Just west of Tucumcari, NM, I-40 exit 329 onto Business 40/U.S.Rt.66, becoming W.Railroad Ave. through town, as Hwy.54 coming to a "T." Make a left staying on 54. Eventually cross the Canadian River, then make left onto Rt.540 to NM state parks camping at Ute Lake.
SANTA ROSA LAKE STATE PARK - Lake action from personal watersports to water skiing. One boat ramp.
Swimming is available. Other things to do: Fishing, Picnicking, Birding & Ranger Programs. Enjoy the playground, watch wildlife from the blinds, take a trail on foot or by horse. 575-472-3110.
Camping Sites to choose from include group, reservable or 1st-come/1st-serve. Electric/water hookups, basic sites with nearby water, or primitive sites.
Directions: From west of Santa Rosa NM, take I-40 exit 273 to 40-BUS-E/Rt.66. Go left on S.2nd St., right onto Eddy Ave. Then left on N.8th St. which curves right becoming Hwy.91 about 6+ miles to lake/park.
BLUEWATER LAKE STATE PARK - If you'd like something more, here is some great tiger muskie fishing for you! They're stocked, along with rainbows & channel cats.
With 1,500 surface acres there's plenty of room to launch whatever boat you'll bring to hook 'em.
Plus scenic hiking trails, playground for the kids & a swimming beach. Check your Blue Water Lake NM State Parks Camping Options>
Directions: From Albuquerque, I-40 west about 109 miles. Take Exit 63, go south on Hwy.412 about 7 miles to east Main Park Entrance.
EL VADO LAKE STATE PARK - This gorgeous lake is adjacent to Heron Lake, too. Like a two for one deal!
And it has everything you could possibly think of to do. Elevation just over 7000'.
Every boating method. Plus a dock, ramp, rentals & marina.
Trails for hiking, biking or horseback-riding. A swimming beach, even scuba diving. Winter sports, historic area. Picnicking, birding & a playground. 575-588-7247.
NM State Parks Camping Options in 8 campgrounds Here:
Directions: From North of Albuquerque I-25 exit 242, go West on Hwy.550. After reaching Cuba, turn right on Rt.96, which turns right some miles ahead. Instead go straight, staying now on Rt.112. After passing lake's dam, continue, watching for park entry on right somewhat further.
FENTON LAKE STATE PARK - With an elevation 7,650 ft. this piney forest lake is a welcome retreat for reel & fly fishing. There's both rainbow & German brown trout. Get the fry-grill ready!
Boating with electric & nonmotorized selections, ramp available.
Hiking, horseback & bicycling trails. Birding, playground, picnic areas, ranger programs. Even paid WiFi if you can't stay away!
Fenton Lake has NM State Parks Camping with 5 water/electric hook-up sites. The remaining 31 sites are suitable for tenting or self-contained RVs.
Some are near the Rio Cebolla. No sites are lakeside.
All must be reserved online or by calling 877-664-7787.
Directions: North of Albuquerque, take I-25 Exit 242, turn N on Hwy.550. In about 22 miles, watch for right onto Hwy.4E into San Ysidro. Follow this 26 miles, then watch for left onto Hwy.126N. In just over 9 miles, park entry on left.
HERON LAKE STATE PARK - Wonderful high mountain camping with lots to do.
No wake boating here, plus swimming beach, ranger programs & mountain bike trails make it fun for kids.
For trekkers, there's a trail taking you to adjacent El Vado Lake. There's cross-country skiing & snowshoeing for winter sports lovers.
Excellent NM State Park Camping options here in 10 different campground choices.
Camping Options: 2 primitive camping areas.
LaLaja Campground is excellent for boaters, right next to the ramp.
Ponderosa, Ridge Rock, Salmon, Island View & Brushy Point are nice non-hookup sites with water nearby. 250 altogether!
Blanco & Willow Creek Campgrounds total 54 sites with electric/water for RVs, a dump station nearby.
Directions: From I-25 Santa Fe Exit 282B, go Rt.285N/84 (St. Francis Dr.). In Española it takes a right turn, but continue following. Soon after, the highways split. Follow 84E, which veers to the left. After passing through Tierra Amarilla, watch for your next left at Hwy.95. Entrance straight ahead.
NAVAJO LAKE STATE PARK - Second biggest New Mexico lake, part of it's even a Colorado Lake. It's got everything going for it. You'll love the campsites & more! What's it got?
Any kind of boating. Plus 2 marinas, 3 boat docks & 2 ramps. With several lengthy arms, lots to explore!
Even via scuba!! 15,600 normal surface-acres make ample room for every kind of water-sport.
Plus fabulous fishing options, varied trails, birding, picnicking & a playground. Get your friends together for the Group Campground.
Other Fantastic Camping Options in 7 total campgrounds:
Directions: From North of Albuquerque, I-25 Exit 242, make left onto Hwy.550N for 152 miles to Bloomfield. Turn right onto Hwy.64E for 25 miles. Make left at Hwy.511 & another left at Hwy.539 to Navajo Dam, straight on West side of lake to Visitor Center.
BOTTOMLESS LAKES STATE PARK - Unusual attraction getting you to this wonderful place. Where you feel like you're entering the State of Enchantment for sure!
Looking as if it goes to depths unknown (bottomless - who knows??), it's really an optical illusion. Try scuba diving to discover any of these numerous lakes are anywhere from about 17 to 90 feet deep.
That can keep you & the kids busy awhile, figuring out this mystery.
And there's lots more to do besides: diverse trails, playground, beach & volleyball, summertime pedal-boat/paddle board/lifejacket rentals, birding & wildlife blinds, ranger programs & fishing.
NM State Parks Camping at Bottomless Lakes - Several camping areas with access to multiple bottomless lakes.
Directions: From Roswell New Mexico, drive East on Rt.380. Turn right on Hwy.409 taking you into the park. Watch for right turn to Visitor Center.
BRANTLEY LAKE STATE PARK - Your usual go-to park for also seeing Carlsbad Caverns. This desert oasis is the Southern-most lake in NM.
Boating of every type when you get the craft out onto its waters via 2 ramps.
There's swimming, fishing, hiking trails, excellent birding, ranger programs, picnicking & 2 playgrounds.
Many Camping Choices:
Dump station for RV convenience. Plus restrooms & showers. Vault toilets placed strategically.
Directions: Drive south out of Roswell NM on Hwy.285. In about 62 miles watch for left turn onto Capitan Reef Rd. to park entrance.
SUMNER LAKE STATE PARK - In the high grasslands, this is another type of lake environment for a unique state park. 575-355-2541.
Good boating of all sorts on the lake here with 2,800 surface-acres. There's 3 ramps & 3 docks.
People love fishing for white, spotted & large/smallmouth bass. Plus trout, crappie, walleye & catfish. Nice assortment!
Also swimming, hiking, ranger programs & a playground.
Good assortment for camping, too.
ELEPHANT BUTTE LAKE STATE PARK - Everything is here for your fantastic stay.
More details? 575-744-5923 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully the water will be enough for your enjoyment. It's a lot lower in recent times, since fed by the Rio Grande, being impacted by Western Drought.
We've been here several times, always had an enjoyable time. One time brought our granddaughters on their Thanksgiving school break & celebrated Thanksgiving in our camper!
Can you think of what you might do at lakeside? It's got it - I believe every single thing you could think of. Plus optional WiFi, too!
And the camping! Here you go:
CABALLO LAKE STATE PARK - Lots of varied & interesting things to do here. On a normally quite large lake (been suffering from the drought, though, lately - so the water's down).
It's water comes in from the Rio Grande. All kinds of boating with 2 boat ramps & 3 boat docks.
Trail options for hiking & horseback riding. Fishing for bass, bluegill, Northern pike, crappie & catfish. Swimming beach, gardens & playground.
What's Your Caballo Lake NM State Parks Camping Choice?
Directions: From Las Cruces NM, I-25N about 60 miles to Exit 63. From Albuquerque, I-25S about 165 miles to Exit 63.
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