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New Mexico’s National & State Parks

Show you all the fun there is in New Mexico parks? Easy. Visitors to New Mexico have more than enough options for outdoor recreation in the this lively southwestern state.

State and national parks are scattered throughout New Mexico, like the intriguing City of Rocks State Park near Deming, or the famed Carlsbad Caverns National Park. But don’t take our word for it, check out these impressive state and national parks found in the Land of Enchantment.

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad is an outdoor lover's paradise. Whether taking the kids out to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, or casting out for bass, catfish and bluegill at Brantley Lake State Park, there’s always a good time waiting for you in southeast New Mexico. Of course there is one thing you must do while visiting Carlsbad: A tour of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to 116 caves, accessed by entrances around the 50,000-acre park – including an elevator taking you 750 feet below the surface. Be sure to take a self-guided walking tour of these stunning caves, including the Balloon Ballroom, Hall of the White Giant, and the Big Room – the seventh largest of its kind in the world.

From spring through fall, Mexican Free-tailed Bats emerge from the caverns each night, creating a the must-see cyclone of bats. While exploring the park, be sure to rest up at the Best Western hotel in Carlsbad, just 25 miles from the Carlsbad Caverns National Park – you’re new favorite vacation spot.

Clayton Lake State Park

When traveling through eastern New Mexico, be sure to stop by Clayton Lake State Park – 15 miles north of the town of Clayton. The big attraction at this New Mexico state park is the preserved dinosaur trackways, best seen in the early morning or dusk.

Once you’ve seen the tracks, find a comfy spot next to the 170-acre Clayton Lake, and try to reel in some trout, bass, and some pretty big walleye from March through October.

Bird watching enthusiasts are encouraged to visit Clayton Lake State Park during the cooler months. The park acts as a waterfowl resting area during the winter, and Canada geese, bald eagles and all kinds of ducks can be seen in the area. Clayton Lake State Park is also a designated Dark Sky Park – so stargazers can be sure to get their hopes up. After a day of bird watching and a night of stargazing, head straight to the Best Western hotels in Clayton for some much needed rest.

City of Rocks State Park

Get that camera ready; the City of Rocks State Park is a must-see while exploring New Mexico’s state parks. Set in the southern part of the state, 30 miles north of Deming, the park is open to the public through the year. Rock formations can reach a height of 40 feet, and resemble a cluster of buildings similar to a downtown area, hence the name City of Rocks State Park.

Take a relaxing stroll through the City of Rocks State Park’s desert botanical garden, or stop by the park’s visitor center for books, maps and exhibits on the area. Explore one of the many hiking trails in the park, set up a tasty lunch in one of the picnic areas, or get those peepers ready for wildlife viewing and stargazing. Wrap up your time at the City of Rocks State Park with a comfortable night in at the Best Western hotel in Deming – and wake up to more adventure in outdoor New Mexico.

Harry McAdams State Park

Set just northwest of the town of Hobbs, Harry McAdams State Park is a laid-back, family friendly park set in southern New Mexico. Whether visiting Hobbs, or just traveling through southern parts of the Land of Enchantment, you can stop by the park for outdoor activities like fishing, birdwatching, biking and of course, picnics.

Schedule a tee time at the Ocotillo Park Golf Course, a neighbor to the Harry McAdams State Park, and enjoy the sunshine and fair weather of the southwest. Had enough sunshine for one day? Spend a few hours at the nearby Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum – the perfect way to brush up on your southwestern heritage. After a full day with the Harry McAdams State Park and its many neighbors, be sure to check into the Best Western hotel in Hobbs – one fun stop on your exploration of outdoor New Mexico.