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Best New Mexico parks

Full of wonders such as volcanoes, lakes, rivers and ancient rock formations, New Mexico is an outdoor family’s dream.

family in grassy park

Caballo Lake State Park

Spring is certainly the most coveted time to visit this popular state park. Located 16 miles south of Truth or Consequences on the Rio Grande, Caballo Lake is the result of a dam built in the 1930s. While the size of the lake varies dependent upon season, it is New Mexico’s third largest lake and can expand to over 11,000 acres in area. Fishing, hiking, boating and especially bird watching draw nature lovers to Caballo Lake State Park every year.

Location: P.O. Box 32, Caballo, NM 87931

Phone: 505.743.3942 or 888.667.2757



Capulin Volcano National Monument

This national monument and park is located in the northeast corner of the state, honoring a cinder cone volcano that is part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. Any kid, big or small, will enjoy seeing this unique form of Mother Nature. A paved road winds its way around the volcano, and a visitor center provides oodles of information on the area’s geological and cultural history. Don’t miss the hiking trail that circles the rim of the volcano where there are unobstructed views of four states (Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico) from its peak, offering an awe-inspiring moment to remember forever.

Location: 46 Volcano Road, Capulin, NM 88414

Phone: 575.278.2201



City of Rocks State Park

At more than 34 million years old, this park is ancient! Your family definitely won’t be one of the first or last to visit this sanctuary showcasing large rock formations some of which reach 40 feet high! The visitor center is a great place to start, with loads of information on the area and the peoples who have inhabited the park over thousands of centuries. Walk, hike, picnic and view wildlife during the day, and stay after dark for some of the most incredible start gazing. Telescopes are located at the park to help you view the nighttime magic.

Location: P.O. Box 50, Faywood, NM 88034

Phone: 575.536.2800



Navajo Lake State Park

The state’s second largest park, this reservoir with two beaches offers over 200 camping and picnic sites, two boat ramps and a marina. Located near the border of Colorado, the lake boasts incredible fishing year-round including handicap-accessible fishing. Keep your eyes peeled for houseboats, canoes, pontoons and even kayaks on the 15,000 acres of surface water. It’s a popular recreation area for all types of boaters and water enthusiasts including water-skiers and sailors. Restrooms, showers and a playground are all on-site.

Location: 1448 NM 511 #1, Navajo Dam, NM, 87419

Phone: 505.632.2278 or 888.667.2757



Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

This day-use only park is located along the flyway of the Rio Grande. Bird watching is a major draw year-round as visitors can view nearly 250 different varieties of birds including rare and popular species such as the road runner. The park’s visitor center, famous for its architectural design by renowned architect Antoine Predock, offers a glass-walled library and is located right on the water. From long-legged cranes to porcupines, everyone must keep their eyes and ears open for nature’s bounty of wildlife. The park also offers various educational programs throughout the year.

Location: 2901 Candelaria Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone: 505.344.7240 or 888.667.2757



Sugarite Canyon State Park

Another park located on the Colorado and New Mexico border, this natural wonder boasts a stream lined with basalt cliffs near the Barlett, Horse and Little Horse Mesas. Stop at the visitor center first to get your bearings, then decide which one of the many outdoor activities you want to enjoy. Rock climbing, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, camping and picnicking are all offered to visitors. Keep your eyes open for an array of wildlife as well, including elk, deer, mountain lions, turkeys, birds and more.

Location: HCR 63, Box 386, Raton, NM 87740

Phone: 575.445.5607


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