The 10 Best State Parks in New Mexico!

State parks highlight diverse and varied natural landscapes, offer family-friendly recreational activities and provide outdoor opportunities to suit the novice to experienced adventurer. Take a break from the daily grind at any one of these close-to-home getaways in New Mexico! 

Caballo Lake State Park, Caballo, NM

Against a backdrop of the arid Caballo Mountains sits the steel blue water of Caballo Lake, a place where water recreation abounds. Activities like boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming bring water-lovers to this refreshing spot. Spend the night at one of the campsites, primitive as well as with hookups, and watch the sun rise. Head out for a hike, horseback ride or fishing excursion in the cool of the early morning.

Hyde Memorial State Park, Santa Fe, NM

Not far from the Santa Fe city vibe is the deep conifer forest of this high mountain park in the Sangre de Cristo range. This state park, New Mexico’s first, is a hiker’s delight, filled with well-maintained trails and spectacular vista points. Winter brings snow and that means snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing. Stay in a yurt or any one of the dozen campsites to extend your stay on the mountain.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, NM

Open year-round, the park is a magnet for hikers, campers and picnickers. The diversity of Lincoln National Forest in the rugged Sacramento Mountains brings with it opportunities to see the flora and fauna of the unique region. A highlight of a visit is a tour of the park’s namesake’s historic 19-century ranch house. Two trails, the Riparian Nature and Dog Canyon, are time well-spent.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, Carlsbad, NM

The Chihuahuan Desert is home to this sanctuary for rescued and captive-born animals that cannot be released into the wild, as well as hundreds of species of plants native to the area. The hiking trails take you through desert sand hills, past gypsum deposits, across an arroyo and provide access to the animal exhibits. Camping available. No pets. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, Albuquerque, NM

Ever seen an American wigeon or a black phoebe? These migratory birds, and many others, make a pit stop here in winter or summer. This is prime birdwatching territory. Interpretative trails wind through 270 acres of land, through the bosque, a cottonwood forest, along the river, past meadows and wooded areas and farmland full of native grasses, wildflowers and willows. A Nature Center provides hands-on exhibits.

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Manzano Mountains State Park, Mountainair, NM

If you’re looking for a spot that is quiet and peaceful with few people, this is the place. At 7,400 feet, the hiking trails wind through fragrant pine forests full of wildlife. Birding activities are numerous. This is a small park with about a dozen camping sites, a few with hook-ups. Potable water is available. A lovely get-away on the eastern slope of these picturesque mountains.

Leasburg Dam State Park, Radium Springs, NM

Do you love being in the water? Lake activities are plentiful and include swimming, kayaking and canoeing, as well as just bobbing around in the summer heat during the day. At night, however, look up into the cosmos for an eye-opening view of the stars. This is a night sky park, complete with observatory that’s open once a month. There’s also camping, a Visitor Center, playground and native plant garden.

Oasis State Park, Portales, NM

Fishing is what draws visitors to this tiny oasis of a park in the southwestern part of the state. Cathin’ also happens, since the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. Cottonwoods dot the shoreline and there are several hiking trials around the lake and across shifting sand dunes. With more than 80 species of birds that call this park home, birdwatchers will see a bevy of birds including great blue herons, ring-neck pheasant, quail and western sandpipers year-round.

Cerrillos Hills State Park, Cerrillos, NM

This park, open year-round, is full of things to see and do. Miles of hiking trails traverse much of the 1,100 acres and take visitors past historic mining sites and across the Galisteo Basin with dramatic views of the Sandia, Ortiz, Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. Interpretive information is posted along many of the trails. There’s a herbarium, filled with native plants, educational programs that showcase the history of the area as well as the wildlife and a night sky program that features moon hikes and star parties. Day-use only, no camping.

Navajo Lake State Park, Navajo Dam, NM

You might just want to get out on the water in a boat at this lake, the second largest in the state. With 150 miles of shoreline and dozens of canyons to explore, it is brimming over with adventure. Take a fishing pole along and you might just snag a smallmouth bass or rainbow trout. Overnight and day use area campsites available. Beach and boat-in camping and option. Hiking, mountain biking, hunting (seasonally) and some of the best fly fishing in the state.

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Mile Marker 3, Hwy 131, Mountainair, NM
Manzano Mountains State Park is an excellent destination for hiking and camping. Nestled in the wooded foothills of the Manzanos, this park provide... Read More
87 North Frontage Road, Edgewood, NM
About Us: Wildlife West Nature Park is New Mexico's premier facility dedicated to native wildlife and ecology. Located just minutes east of Albuque... Read More
1606 San Pedro SouthEast, Albuquerque, NM
Dog Park Rules:  - Park users and dog owners assume all risk related to dog park use.  - Parks Hours - 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise stated.... Read More
135 Dodge Road, Villanueva, NM
The park is nestled between high sandstone bluffs that form a canyon along the Pecos River. Camp or picnic under the shade of cottonwood trees. Enj... Read More
301 McKnight Avenue NorthWest, Albuquerque, NM
Dog Park Rules:  - Park users and dog owners assume all risk related to dog park use.  - Parks Hours - 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise stated.... Read More
37 Main Street, Cerrillos, NM
Cerrillos Hills, New Mexico's 35th State Park, is a year-round, day-use park located off the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway between San... Read More
2901 Candelaria Rd., NW, Albuquerque, NM
Located on the Rio Grande flyway, the park offers excellent birdwatching opportunities throughout the year. There are indoor and outdoor wildlife v... Read More
3650 State highway 528 North East, Rio Rancho, NM
Stagecoach Stop RV Park has been under new management since February 2008. It is our philosophy to maintain the park as we would our own homes. My ... Read More
3200 Civic Center Circle NE, Suite 100, Rio Rancho, NM
The City of Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department is committed to providing activities and events that promote a healthy ... Read More
301 Southern Boulevard SouthEast, Rio Rancho, NM
Amenities -- 14.7 Acres -- Basketball Courts -- BBQ Grills -- Dog Park with Shade Structure -- Drinking Fountains -- Grass Area -- Handicap Access... Read More
PO Box 418, Pecos, NM
Pecos National Historical Park preserves over 12,000 years of rich cultural history including Pecos Pueblo and Spanish mission ruins, the ruts of t... Read More
740 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico’s first State Park is set in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains amongst a forest of pines along Little Tesuque Creek. The park is a sh... Read More
Highway 518, Mile Marker 3.5, Las Vegas, NM
This serene lake offers great opportunities for fishing, bird watching, and windsurfing. Choose from a variety of campsites with utility hookups fo... Read More
2760 Canyon Road, Los Alamos, NM
Mission StatementTo promote a variety of exceptional recreational opportunities and experiences to enhance the quality of life for the citizens and... Read More
NM Highway 91, Santa Rosa, NM
This reservoir on the plains of eastern New Mexico offers fishing, boating, camping and hiking, as well as abundant bird watching opportunities. Eq... Read More
Murphy Lake Road, Mora, NM
Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 8,000 feet in elevation, this hidden lake sits at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness. The lake is stocke... Read More
455 Fenton Lake Road, Jemez Springs, NM
The Jemez Mountains provide the backdrop for this stunning year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. Fenton Lake State Par... Read More
3115 NM-161, Watrous, NM
Exposed to the wind, within a sweeping valley of short grass prairie, amid the swales of the Santa Fe Trail, lie the territorial-style adobe remnan... Read More
32 Lakeview Lane, Sumner Lake, NM
This lake on the grassy plains offers many activities, such as boating, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and birding.  Relax at a campsite... Read More
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