Bottomless Lakes

(Roswell NM)
East of town on US-380, and down a side road, takes you to Bottomless Lakes SP with eight small lakes spread along a three mile stretch. These are sink holes that turned into small lakes along a limestone bluff.

Sailboard on lake with cliff backdrop

Lea Lake at Bottomless Lakes State Park

The RV campground is 2 miles from the Visitor Center, and next to spring fed Lea Lake, the largest of the series. It has 13 reservable sites next to the lake, and 16 non-reserved in a loop behind those. All with electric and water. Plus a few tent sites.

Lea is a nice size lake, with cliffs along the eastern edge. Around the lake are a beach, extensive rock picnic shelters built by the CCC, playground, sand volleyball court, lots of parking. And, as usual, the park has nice restrooms and showers.

Stone shelters on beach

Beach area by Lea Lake

On the other side of the lake is a large picnic area with 24 shelters, grills and plenty of parking. You can dry camp over there; which is what I did for half my stay. From this area, the Bluff Trail starts and takes you past the other lakes, with benches every so often.

RV camp next to lake

Tardis in dry camping area

There are dry camping spots near each lake. To my way of thinking, any of the dry camping sites have more privacy and better views than the electric sites. These areas have shelters with picnic tables, grills, and nearby vault toilets. My guess is that they would be hard to claim during holidays or Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Ducks in pond with tall grass

Pond by wetlands boardwalk

Across the road from the RV campground is a wetlands boardwalk with three blinds, each near a pond. A good place to see birds early or late in the day. It’s about a quarter mile loop with a few interpretive signs along the way. Great for an early morning stroll.

Lake edge with cliffs beyond

North end of Lea Lake

On the way out, you can stop at an overlook atop the bluff, where you can see the lake and campground from above. There was a good Verizon 4G LTE signal, 3 bars in the day and 4 bars at night. The park also has free WiFi. I enjoyed six days of camping and hiking at this park.

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

8 Responses to Bottomless Lakes

  1. J. RICHARD SECOR March 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    A beautiful section of Roswell NM – nice post and photos. We stopped in Roswell on our way from Santa Fe to San Antonio TX when we started out on our full time journey..

    • Pleinguy March 23, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      The state park and town of Roswell turned out to be nicer than I had expected.

  2. Gypsy March 23, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    It looks like a great place to spend some time, and I like your photos. Boondocking is one thing I’m sorry to say I was never able to do when I had a 5th wheel. Just wasn’t set up for it.

    • Pleinguy March 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      I love camping off grid; and yes, you do need to be set-up for it. That’s one reason I bought a smaller rig.

  3. J. RICHARD SECOR March 24, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    We did very little boondocking – just a few times for an overnight in a Wal Mart parking lot or such – we were setup for it but it just did not interest us – spoiled I guess :>)
    We would spend 2 weeks to 4 weeks in one spot so the rate was always discounted from the daily rate.

    • Pleinguy March 25, 2014 at 1:59 am #

      Obviously a different travel style than my own. But, that’s the beauty of RVing; it can be done anyway that suits the enthusiast.

  4. WxToad April 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Your article is deja-vu for us – we were at Bottomless Lakes last fall and did the same hikes. The flies were horrendous in the CG, though. Ted

    • Pleinguy November 16, 2014 at 12:05 am #

      I don’t recall flies being a problem. Probably because of the time of year I was there.

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