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State Park Guide | New Mexico State Parks

Top New Mexico State Parks


New Mexico is a fascinating state. One way to enjoy all of the history and environment of the state is to explore some of the State Parks. Here are a few of the top parks in New Mexico.

Cimarron Canyon State Park

This park is located in the high country of New Mexico and is a wonderful destination to enjoy cliffs and clean and clear waters. Part of the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area there are plenty of activities to enjoy the diverse animal life that calls the park home. While hiking or fishing or even cross-country skiing visitors can keep a look out for elk, deer, bear and many more species of animals.

City of Rocks State Park

City of Rocks State Park gets its name from the incredible rock formations that dot the landscape. There are only a few other locations in the world that have similar formations, so the opportunity to enjoy this state park is fantastic. While exploring the rock formations created by volcanic ash and years of erosion from wind and rain visitors can enjoy hiking on the trails, learning about the area at the visitor center or even exploring the botanical garden at the park. Another fantastic feature of this park is the nigh sky viewing at this location.

El Vado State Park

This mountain park is a fantastic destination to enjoy recreating in New Mexico as well as wildlife viewing and more. El Vado Lake is great for water-skiing, boating and fishing. Fishing enthusiasts can find kokanee salmon and trout. In addition there is a wonderful scenic trail running along the Rio Chama that connects El Vado Lake and Heron Lake.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Elephant Butte Lake is one of the most popular and the largest lake in the state. Visitors to this fantastic park can enjoy plenty of water recreation, including boating, swimming, fishing and much more. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, with trails. The lake also has over 200 miles of shoreline. Visitors can enjoy bird and wildlife watching as well at this fantastic state park.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

This state park provides visitors with a wonderful opportunity to learn about the native species of New Mexico, as well as plants from around the world. With both indoor and outdoor exhibits, visitors are sure to have a great time enjoying all that the park has to offer. Visitors can see lots of bird species, such as owls or hawks, or maybe catch sight of a mountain lion or badger. The park is also home to elk, bison and even endangered gray wolves. In addition to the wide variety of animals, the gardens with lots of desert species are spectacular.

Navajo Lake State Park

Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in the state and offers visitors lots of water recreation. Visitors to this park will find multiple boat ramps and full service marinas. In addition, the park also has visitor centers with interpretive exhibits for visitors to enjoy. Fishing enthusiasts should be sure to visit the San Juan River Recreation Area, which has a world renowned trout fishery.

Pancho Villa State Park

This park is located on the site of Camp Furlong, where the U.S launched its pursuit of Pancho Villa after the 1916 attack on the military camp in the town of Columbus. Visitors to this park can learn all about the raid, the U.S. response and more at this park’s Exhibit Hall. At this location visitors will learn about the history from the Mexican Revolution through the start of World War I. At these exhibits visitors will see replicas of airplanes, examples of the cars used at the time and even an armored tank.

Percha Dam State Park

Percha Dam State Park is known for its amazing bird watching. The park is quite and often uncrowded, making it a wonderful destination for a quite getaway. During the spring and fall many species of migrating birds can be found at the park.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

The Rio Grande Nature Center is an amazing destination for wildlife viewing. Visitors can enjoy walking on the trails through the riverside forest, also called the bisque. These trails provide an opportunity to observe hummingbirds, porcupines, Sandhill cranes and many more species. The park also features a wonderful visitor center, with a a glass walled library looking out onto a pond, allowing visitors to watch the many animals that live in the pond. This park is also located on the central Rio Grand flyway, making it another amazing destination for birdwatching in New Mexico.

Sugarite Canyon State Park

This park is located on the site of the Sugarite coal camp. Visitors to the area can see the remains of the camp while enjoying the walk on the Coal Camp Interpretive Trail. This park allows visitors to learn about the history of coal mining in the region and how important the industry was to the state. Another feature visitors can enjoy is rock climbing on the basaltic rock columns that make up the cliffs, also known as caprock, within the park.

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