Bluff Trail

(Roswell NM)
I was dry camped next to the trail head for Bluff Trail, so it was an easy choice. It starts on the north side of Lea Lake and goes a mile to Pasture Lake. A nice wide flat trail, with a rest shelter and bench about every quarter mile, is a favorite of bicyclists.

Lake next to a cliff

Lazy Lagoon at Bottomless Lakes

Along the way, a side path takes you to Lost Lake, which is kind of hidden, up a hill and amongst trees. Then, the trail goes through a grove of Tamarisk trees and another side trail to a dry sink hole with picnic tables.

Desert path amid trees

Bluff trail through the tamarisk trees

The trail officially ends at Pasture Lake. But, I continued another mile in order to see the other bottomless lakes that are strung out along the base of the bluff.

Lake below cliff

Pasture Lake

Figure Eight Lake appeared to be two separate ones; perhaps a low water level prevented a connection. The map shows two ovals together.

Pond amid bushes by cliff

Figure Eight Lake

Inkwell Lake was the most difficult to photograph. The water level is perhaps 30 feet below the lowest point of the rim, and cliff walls go straight up on all sides. Obvious how it got the name.

Dark pond enclosed by cliffs

Inkwell Lake

There are a few other trails in the park. The Wetlands boardwalk that goes about a quarter mile past three ponds. Skidmarks is a winding, hillside, mountain bike trail, at the far north end of the park near Lazy Lagoon, is a 3 mile loop.

Lake with sandy beach and cliff

Mirror Lake

I followed a trail that runs between Mirror Lake and Cottonwood Lake, and goes into and out of a dry sink hole between them. It emerges onto the side of Mirror Lake, hugging a cliff. I called it the Goat trail.

Trail hugging edge of cliff

Goat Trail

Lake with cliff and trees

Cottonwood Lake

Then there’s the unofficial trail that skirts the base of the cliffs along the bluff. I only followed it a short way to a slot, then returned to the rig.

Pond hidden in the bushes

Lost Lake

Lazy Lagoon is at the beginning of the entry road to the park that goes between the lagoon and a cliff wall. There’s a pull-off with a short path to a spot for photographing the lake and the cliff.

Lake with cliffs on far edge

Lea Lake

Anyway, the one mile Bluff Trail turned into a four mile round trip for me. I went slow and took lots of pix, so it was not difficult. If you want to see the lakes, this is the way to do it.

Bottomless Lakes – south to north: Lea, Lost, Pasture, Figure Eight, Inkwell, Mirror, Cottonwood, Lazy Lagoon

Camp: Bottomless Lakes SP
Scene: Bluff, lakes, cliffs, trails

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