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State Parks in Southern NM
The multitude of state parks set in the southern region of the Land of Enchantment features everything from water recreation to historic sites, living museums, and rock hunting.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
The Bottomless Lakes State Park became New Mexico's first established state park in 1933. The park contains nine deep water-filled sinkholes, in the valley along the Pecos River, 15 miles southeast of Roswell. Take a dip in Lea Lake, measuring ninety feet deep, and enjoy relaxing and playing along the sandy shoreline. Lazy Lagoon, the largest of the lakes, consists of three sink holes. Pasture Lake measures 18 feet deep and is the shallowest of all the lakes. Beautiful cliffs surround most of the lakes. Enjoy an afternoon hiking along these lakes in southern New Mexico. Best Western hotels provide convenient and comfortable lodging in Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad.
City of Rocks State Park
It's not often you can so easily combine history and fun, but it's an area where the City of Rocks State Park excels. Located near Deming, it's home to 35 million year-old monolithic rock formations, in the Mimbres Valley of the Chihuahuan desert. Bring along your camera to capture these incredible rocks and spend a quiet moment in the botanical garden If visiting at night, be sure to bring your binoculars for excellent star-gazing. After a wonderful night's rest, head out to Elephant Butte Lake State Park and Rock Hound State Park for more outdoor fun in southern New Mexico.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
New Mexico's largest state park also happens to sit upon New Mexico's largest lake. Spanning 24,500 acres, Elephant Butte Lake State Park's main attraction is the historical concrete dam that created the lake that gives the park its name. Engineering buffs can learn about the construction of the dam at the park's visitor center.
Those coming for the water based fun will find plenty to cheer about. Sandy beaches, long coastlines, full-service marinas and open water provide the setting for boating, swimming, water skiing, fishing, and more. Visitors can find the park located between Socorro and Caballo Lake State Park and is also north of Las Cruces.
Leasburg Dam State Park
Located in Doña Ana County, Leasburg Dam State Park covers nearly 300 acres in southern New Mexico near Las Cruces. Founded in 1971, The 1908 Leasburg Dam is now operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division. Leasburg Dam State Park hiking, biking bird watching, and picnicking – plus water recreation like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing in the Rio Grande during the summer months.
Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
Open throughout the year, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is located in southern New Mexico near Alamogordo. Founded in 1980 and covering 640 acres, the park features outdoor recreation and the historic home of Oliver Lee. Operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park offers hiking one of three trails, including Dog Canyon Trail, and picnicking and bird watching. Don’t miss a ranger-led tour of the Oliver Lee Ranch House.
Percha Dam State Park
Founded in 1970, Percha Dam State Park covers 80 acres in southern New Mexico, just south of Truth or Consequences and north of Las Cruces. Set along the Rio Grande, the site is operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division. Percha Dam State Park features kayaking, canoeing, and fishing – plus leisurely activities like bird watching and picnicking. Exhibits and educational programs are also available in the Percha Dam State Park Visitor Center.
Rockhound State Park
Founded in 1965, Rockhound State Park is located in southern New Mexico near the city of Deming. Set in the Little Florida Mountains, the park covers 1,100 acres, and is operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division. Rockhound State Park features three miles of hiking trails, plus bird watching, picnicking, and educational programs. Exhibits, gardens, and gift shop are also available at the Rockhound State Park Visitor Center.
Brantley Lake State Park
Enjoy a day at the lake in New Mexico. The Brantley Lake State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts in southern New Mexico. Drop a line along the 31 miles of shoreline to fish for largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, and white bass. After a nice hike along a park trail, enjoy a picnic under a park picnic shelter or jump in the lake for a nice swim. Try dusting off your water skis for skimming across the smooth water. The Park is located 12 miles north of Carlsbad. Be sure to visit the world famous Carlsbad Caverns or visit the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, while in Carlsbad.
Caballo Lake State Park
Located in between Las Cruces and Socorro, Caballo Lake, along with Elephant Butte Lake State Park 20 miles upstream, offers plenty of resources for water lovers and makes its splash as one of Sierra County's top activities. New Mexico's third largest lake lies cradled against the picturesque Caballo Mountains in Southern New Mexico and boasts 18 miles of sandy coastline. It is a perfect place for year-round boating, sailing, wind surfing, motor boating, and water skiing. Fishing is also popular, with anglers pulling in generous catches of bass and walleye.
Harry McAdams State Park
Plan for an outdoor adventure in New Mexico. Harry McAdams State Park is located in Hobbs, the "Oil Capitol" of New Mexico. Enjoy an afternoon in the park playing baseball, soccer or just relaxing. Hobbs is home to two higher education institutions: the University of the Southwest, a four-year college and the New Mexico Junior College, a two-year vocational college. Visitors to Hobbs will find a wonderful variety of attractions including the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Zia Park racetrack and the Black Gold Casino. Enjoy your time exploring the American southwest on your next stay in southern New Mexico's.
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
Set at nearly 4,000 feet, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park covers over 300 acres in southern New Mexico. Founded in 2003, the park is operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division. Set south of Las Cruces along the Rio Grande, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is a popular bird watching spot. Other activities at Mesilla Valley include ranger-led and interpretive hiking trails, picnicking, and educational programs and events.
Oasis State Park
Located in Roosevelt County, Oasis State Park is located in southeastern New Mexico – set in Portales just south of Clovis. Founded in 1961, the park is operated by the New Mexico State Parks Division. Open daily, Oasis State Park features fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and picnicking across 200 acres. Other Oasis activities include educational programs and events, plus interpretive exhibits in the Oasis State Park Visitor Center.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
On your next visit to New Mexico, keep an eye out for the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs. This impressive and iconic site offers four different types of warm springs for a wonderful afternoon of soaking. The water temperatures in the Arsenic Spring, Iron Spring, Soda Pool and Lithia Spring range from 105 to 109 degrees.
Enjoy a nice hike after soaking in the springs, to the Posi-Ouinge Pueblo on the mesa top above. Keep a look out for the old pueblo sites and artifacts in the area. Travel 23 miles through beautiful northeast New Mexico to Taos, where you can visit the Taos Historical Plaza Shops and the Taos Pueblo. Outdoor recreation is plentiful. Favorite activities include, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, fishing or hot air ballooning.
Red Rock Park & Museum
Enjoy outdoor fun in New Mexico. Red Rock State Park, located in Church Rock, contains beautiful red cliffs formed 205 million years ago. They formed during the Age of the Dinosaurs. Visitors to the Red Rock Museum view exhibits showcasing the cultures of the region's Native Americans including, the Zuni, Hopi and Navajo. Enjoy annual events such as the Lions Club Rodeo, concerts and the Intertribal Indian Ceremonial. The park is located west of Albuquerque, in the heart of Native American lands in Gallup. While visiting northwest New Mexico make the most of your time and see Red Rock State Park.
Truth or Consequences Hot Springs
Many visitors to the Truth or Consequences Hot Springs enjoy soaking in the natural hot springs found in the town's several hot springs facilities. The locations using the free-flowing hot springs are Indian Springs Bath House, La Paloma Hot Springs and Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs. Several other facilities use the springs from wells. Soak your cares away and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. Visit the nearby Elephant Butte Lake to enjoy fishing, boating, hiking and picnicking. Drive 50 miles north of Truth or Consequences to Socorro for excellent views of the wide pastures and stunning mountain ranges. Relax along the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico.