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Recreation Areas: New Mexico

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Recreation Areas Guide
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Activity Location Description
Abiquiu Dam Abiquiu Dam This 5,200-surface-area reservoir offers some of the finest fishing in northern New Mexico.
Abo Pass Trail Abo Pass Trail,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
The Route is located within Socorro, Torrance, and Valencia counties and connects the Salt Missions Trail and El Camino Real Scenic Byways.
Avalon Reservoir Avalon Reservoir New Mexico Department of Game and Fish stocks the reservoir and provides law enforcement. Boating is permitted and must conform to New Mexico regulations. Boating fees are charged.
Aztec Ruins National Monument Aztec Ruins National Monument Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves structures and artifacts of Ancestral Pueblo people from the 1100's through 1200's.
Bandelier National Monument Bandelier National Monument On the canyon-slashed slopes and bottoms of the Pajarito Plateau are the ruins of many cliff houses and pueblo style dwellings of 13th-century Pueblo Indians.
Billy the Kid Trail Billy the Kid Trail,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
Follow the ghosts of famous lawmen, outlaws, and warriors through the rugged beauty of the million-acre Lincoln National Forest.
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the most biologically significant wetland in the Pecos watershed within New Mexico. The 24,500-acre refuge contains habitat types ranging from a saline playa lake and wetland areas to shortgrass prairie and desert uplands.
Black Range Ranger District Gila National Forest The Black Range Ranger District is located in the eastern most portion of the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico, and comprises 552,615 acres. A large portion of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness lies within the Black Range Ranger District, as well as a small portion of the Gila Wilderness.
Bluewater Lake State Park Bluewater Lake State Park Rolling hills studded with pinyon and juniper trees encircle the lake, which is stocked with trout and catfish. Bluewater Lake State Park is popular for boating and year-round fishing.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established as a refuge and a breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.
Bottomless Lakes State Park Bottomless Lakes State Park Actually seven small park lakes bordered by high red bluffs, Bottomless Lakes State Park offers a variety of sports including hiking, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving.
Brantley Lake State Park Brantley Lake State Park Brantley Lake State Park, a southern desert park, is a refreshing place to fish and enjoy other water sports. The visitor center includes historical exhibits about the Wild West Town of Seven Rivers.
Caballo Lake State Park Caballo Lake State Park The Caballo Mountains serve as a majestic backdrop for Caballo Lake State Park, which boasts a full array of water sports, winter waterfowl watching, and cactus gardens in bloom.
Capulin Volcano National Monument Capulin Volcano National Monument This symmetrical cinder cone is an interesting example of a geologically recent inactive volcano, and continues to be of scientific.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Caverns National Park This site was established to preserve and protect a system of more than 80 caves in southeastern New Mexico.
Carson National Forest Carson National Forest Some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest is found on the Carson National Forest in Northern New Mexico. The Carson is located around Taos and encompasses a large portion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Chaco Culture National Historical Park The canyon, with hundreds of smaller sites, contains 13 major archeological sites unsurpassed in the United States, representing the highest point of Pueblo pre-Columbian civilization. Proclaimed Chaco Canyon National Monument March 11, 1907; redesignated and renamed December 19, 1980.
Cibola National Forest Cibola National Forest The Cibola National Forest is scattered in different segments, over the mountain ranges of central New Mexico. The mountains, with their cooler summer temperatures and winter snow, draw year-round recreationists.
Cimarron Canyon State Park Cimarron Canyon State Park Set in New Mexico's high country, where spectacular palisade cliffs and clear running waters dominate the landscape, Cimarron Canyon State Park is part of the 33,116-acre Colin Neblett Wildlife Area -- the largest wildlife area in the state.
City Of Rocks State Parks City Of Rocks State Park City of Rocks State Park takes its name from incredible rock formations. Cactus gardens and hiking trails add to this unique destination.
Clayton Lake State Park Clayton Lake State Park Set among rolling grasslands, Clayton Lake State Park offers excellent trout, catfish and bass fishing. Walk a half-mile to the lake's spillway and see the internationally significant dinosaur trackway, containing more than 500 footprints dating back more than 100 million years.
Cochiti Lake Cochiti Lake Adjacent Indian land is closed to public.
Conchas Lake State Park Conchas Lake State Park With its ample camping and picnicking facilities, boat ramps, marina, bait and tackle supplies, food services, and playgrounds, Conchas offers visitors much
Coyote Creek State Park Coyote Creek State Park Coyote Creek State Park is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along a meandering stream. Enclosed by a forest of spruce and pine, the small valley displays abundant wildflowers and beautiful fall foliage.
El Camino Real - New Mexico El Camino Real - New Mexico,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
During colonial years, New Mexico was tied to the outside world by one thoroughfare, El Camino Real. This route descended the Rio Grande valley from Santa Fe on its way to Mexico City to the south.
El Malpais National Monument El Malpais National Monument El Malpais - "the badlands" in Spanish - is a spectacular volcanic area, featuring spatter cones, a 17 mile-long lava tube system, and ice caves. The area is also rich in ancient Pueblo Indian history and features diverse ecosystems.
El Morro National Monument El Morro National Monument "Inscription Rock" is a soft sandstone monolith, rising 200 feet above the valley floor, on which are carved hundreds of inscriptions. The monument also includes pre-Columbian petroglyphs and Pueblo Indian ruins.
El Vado Lake El Vado Lake There is a boat ramp at the north end of reservoir, via State 95, limited to high water use. The lake is not serviced by concessionaires and there is no lodging within park. Nearest lodging is 23.5 miles from the lake headquarters to Chama.
El Vado Lake State Park El Vado Lake State Park Located in New Mexico's northern mountains, El Vado Lake State Park offers fishing, boating, water-skiing, and winter cross-country skiing. A five and one-half mile scenic trail along the Rio Chama connects El Vado with nearby Heron Lake.
Elephant Butte Lake Elephant Butte Lake State Park The largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides a setting for every imaginable water sport. The visitor center offers regional interpretive exhibits. The mild climate of the area make this park a popular year-round destination.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
Take off from Taos, and enjoy the Alpine meadows, scenic vistas and breathtaking views of the northern New Mexico Mountains.
Fenton Lake State Park Fenton Lake State Park A popular year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests, Fenton Lake State Park features a cross-country ski and biathlon trail and wheelchair accessible fishing platforms.
Geronimo Trail Geronimo Trail,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
The Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway road is a picturesque and unique drive through some of the most scenic, as well as historical, territory in the United States.
Gila Cliff Dwellings Byway Gila Cliff Dwellings Byway,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
The route begins at Silver City and ends at the Gila (He-la) Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Be prepared for breathtaking views as you travel into the Pinos Altos Mountain Range.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument These well-preserved cliff dwellings were inhabited from about AD 1280 to the early 1300s.
Gila National Forest Gila National Forest The vast 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest, tucked away in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico, is a paradise for those seeking solitude and escape from modern society's busy lifestyle.
Glenwood Ranger District Black Range Ranger District Glenwood Ranger District surrounds Glenwood, a town of approximately 300 people, known for its spectacular views of the Mogollon Mountains, Catwalk Trail and ghost town of Mogollon, is tucked away in the Southwest corner of the state, 65 miles north of Silver City. The elevation in Glenwood is approximately 4,770 ft, but the district ranges in elevations up to 10,535 ft.
Hackberry Lake Recreation Management Area Hackberry Lake Recreation Management Area
Heron Lake State Park Heron Lake State Park A picturesque lake set among tall pines, Heron Lake State Park has been designated a "quiet lake" where boats operate at no-wake speeds only.
Historic Route 66 - New Mexico Historic Route 66 - New Mexico,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
Short sections of Highway 66, originally constructed in 1938, are interspersed by other highways that traverse the state from the Texas state border to the Arizona state border.
Hyde Memorial State Park Hyde Memorial State Park Beautiful scenery, a quiet natural setting, and easy access make Hyde Memorial State Park a favorite picnic area, campground, respite, and base camp for excursions into the surrounding Santa Fe National Forest.
Jemez Mountain Trail Jemez Mountain Trail,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
Just north of Albuquerque is one of New Mexico's most spectacular scenic drives. This journey through time takes you past amazing geological formations, ancient Indian ruins, one Indian Pueblo, and the area's logging, mining, and ranching heritage.
John Martin Reservoir John Martin Reservoir A portion of the Santa Fe Trail is preserved for visitor viewing. From Las Animas, 15 miles E on US 50 to Hasty, 2 miles S on county road 260.
Lake Valley Back Country Byway Lake Valley Back Country Byway,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
This backway is nestled between the Mimbres and Caballo Mountains and the Cookes Range in southwestern New Mexico.
Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge The refuge was established as a wintering and staging area for migratory birds. Species common to both the eastern and western United States visit and live on the Refuge. Many neotropical species nest on the refuge.
Leasburg Dam State Park Leasburg Dam State Park Leasburg Dam State Park offers fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Nearby Fort Selden State Monument has a museum and trails at the site of a 19th century army outpost.
Lincoln National Forest Lincoln National Forest The Lincoln National Forest covers over 1.1 million acres of southern New Mexico, stretching north from Texas past the Capitan Mountains.
Living Desert State Park Living Desert State Park Dedicated to the interpretation of the Chihuahuan Desert, Living Desert State Park is an indoor/outdoor living museum displaying more than 40 native animal species and hundreds of succulents from around the world.
Manzano Mountains State Park Manzano Mountains State Park Nestled in the wooded foothills of the Manzano (the Spanish word for apple) Mountains, this park is an excellent place for fishing, bird watching, photography, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge is located in the high plains area of northeastern New Mexico. Several playa lakes are located within the Refuge.
Morphy Lake State Park Morphy Lake State Park Surrounded by lush pine forest, the park lies on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness. Picnic sites are furnished with tables and fireplaces, but no drinking water.
Navajo Lake State Park Navajo Lake State Park Next to Elephant Butte, Navajo Lake is New Mexico's largest lake--more than 15,000- acre capacity--and offers the full gamut of water sports and services. It contains both cold- and warmwater fish species.
New Mexico Lakes and Reserviors New Mexico Lakes and Reserviors The wide range of terrain and climates found in the state of New Mexico creates diverse settings for the state's lakes and reservoirs.
New Mexico National Forests and Parks New Mexico National Forests and Parks The wide range of terrain and climates found in the state of New Mexico creates diverse settings in its National Forests and Park sites.
New Mexico National Wildlife Refuges New Mexico National Wildlife Refuges Refuges in New Mexico attract healthy populations of bald eagles each winter and provide crucial stopovers for countless migratory birds every spring and fall.
New Mexico Scenic Byways New Mexico Scenic Byways New Mexico boasts numerous scenic byways and historic trails, six of which are national level byways. Billy the Kid Trail, El Camino Real, Historic Route 66, Jemez Mountain Trail, Santa Fe Trail and Turquoise Trail are all National Scenic Byways in New Mexico.
New Mexico State Parks New Mexico State Parks The park system includes many lakes and reservoirs, trail systems connecting the parks with federal lands, botanical and geological interpretive sites, botanical gardens, and even a zoo.
New Mexico's Historic Sites New Mexico
Oasis State Park Oasis State Park A true oasis, Oasis State Park is set among cottonwood trees, shifting sand dunes, and a small fishing lake.
Oliver Lee Memorial State Park Oliver Lee Memorial State Park Set against the west-facing escarpment of the Sacramento Mountains, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park features historical exhibits and a fully restored 19th century ranch house.
Pancho Villa State Parks Pancho Villa State Park More than 30 different cacti are found at Pancho Villa State Park. Interpretive walking trails wind through extensive botanical gardens, which come alive in spring with vibrant cactus blooms.
Pecos National Historical Park Pecos National Historical Park The park preserves the ruins of two Spanish colonial missions dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. It also contains sites relating to the Santa Fe Trail.
Percha Dam State Park Percha Dam State Park Set in the deep shade of towering cottonwoods, Percha Dam State Park features fishing and hiking on the Rio Grande.
Petroglyph National Monument Petroglyph National Monument More than 15,000 prehistoric and historic Native American and Hispanic petroglyphs (images carved in rock) stretch 17 miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa escarpment.
Quemado Ranger District Gila National Forest Quemado is located in northern Catron County, 33 miles east of the Arizona border on US 60, at an elevation of approximately 6,900’.
Reserve Ranger District Gila National Forest The Reserve Ranger District is one of the largest Districts in the northern portion to the Gila National Forest. Grass plains, chaparral, woodland, pine and mixed conifer habitats are found within the 573,537 acres that make up the District. Reserve is located in western New Mexico near the Arizona border. The nearest full-service town is Springerville, Arizona, around 63 miles away.
Rio Chama Campground Santa Fe National Forest Located on the Rio Chama Wild & Scenic River. The Rio Chama campground has no fee. No reservations are required. This site offers camping; hiking and fishing.
Rio Grande Nature Center Rio Grande Nature Center Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is winter home to Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and various species of ducks and other waterfowl. A trail system along the river, classrooms, and an extensive library with viewing areas add to this valuable public resource.
Rockhound State Park Rockhound State Park Located on the rugged west slope of the Little Florida Mountains, Rockhound State Park is a favorite for "rock hounds" because of the abundant agates and quartz crystals found there.
Sandia Crest Byway Sandia Crest Byway,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
Approximately 4 miles north of the town of Cedar Crest, the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway branches westward toward the Sandia Crest. The area offers scenic views of Albuqurque, the Rio Grande River, and Mount Taylor.
Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Management Area Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Management Area
Santa Fe National Forest Santa Fe National Forest The Santa Fe National Forest is located in Northern New Mexico, around the city of Santa Fe. The Santa Fe offers excellent outdoor recreation opportunities in a topography of mountains, rivers and canyons.
Santa Fe National Historic Trail Santa Fe National Historic Trail The route of the Santa Fe Trail extends from a point near Arrow Rock, Missouri, through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico. To date, 16 certified sites and segments are open for public use.
Santa Fe Trail - New Mexico Santa Fe Trail - New Mexico,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
The Santa Fe Trail was the first of America's great Trans-Mississippi routes. The trail, including the Mountain and Cimarron routes, crossed over 1,200 miles from Franklin, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Fe, NM New Mexico
Santa Rosa Lake State Park Santa Rosa Lake State Park Santa Rosa Lake State Park, a high plains Pecos River reservoir, offers a variety of water sports. Anglers often catch bass, catfish, and walleye.
Silver City Ranger District Gila National Forest Silver City Ranger District surrounds the town of Silver City and the communities of Bayard, Santa Clara, Tyrone and Hurley are located in southwest New Mexico. Main access to Silver City is via Highway 180 north of Deming, NM or via Hwy 152 through the Black Range from I-25.
Storrie Lake State Park Storrie Lake State Park Favorable summer breezes attract colorful windsurfing boards to Storrie Lake State Park, which is also popular for fishing and boating. The visitor center features historical exhibits about the Santa Fe Trail and 19th century Las Vegas.
Sugarite Canyon State Park Sugarite Canyon State Park Located on the Colorado border, Sugarite Canyon State Park features heavily wooded mountains and meadows painted with wildflowers.
Summer Lake State Park Sumner Lake State Park Sumner Lake State Park offers fishing for a variety of species including, bass, crappie and channel catfish, and is a winter haven for migrating waterfowl.
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Trail of Tears National Historic Trail The Trail of Tears commemorates two of the land and water routes used for the forced removal of more than 15,000 Cherokees from their ancestral lands in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama to the Indian Territories of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The journey lasted from June 1838 to March 1839.
Turquoise Trail Turquoise Trail,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
This byway provides travelers with an alternative to driving on I-25 when traveling between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The drive passes through several mining towns and has an Old West flavor.
Ute Lake State Park Ute Lake State Park Ute Lake State Park, a Canadian River reservoir, offers some of the best walleye fishing in New Mexico. Anglers can also try their luck for bass, crappie, and catfish.
VIllanueva State Park Villanueva State Park Nestled between high red sandstone bluffs along the Pecos River, near the picturesque Spanish-colonial village of Villanueva, lies Villanueva State Park.
White Sands National Monument White Sands National Monument This National Monument protects a significant portion of the world's largest gypsum dunefield. The dunes rise 60 feet high and cover 275 square miles.
Wild Rivers Back Country Scenic Byway Wild Rivers Back Country Scenic Byway,
New Mexico Scenic Byways
This Back Country Scenic Byway follows the Rio Grande Gorge. The Sangro De Cristo mountains to the east and volcanic mountains to the west add beautiful variety to the countryside.
Wilderness Ranger District Gila National Forest The Wilderness Ranger District is located in the heart of the Gila National Forest north of Mimbres. Mimbres (Spanish meaning willows) is a small rural community with a population of 657 is nestled between rolling hills dotted with mostly Pinion/Juniper trees as well as the Black Range Mountains and Cooks Peak standing majestically behind.
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