Dirt Dam

(Elephant Butte NM)
Around the west side of Elephant Butte Lake, the State Park has many drycamping and boodocking spots outside of their several campgrounds. I wanted to find a place for overnight that wasn’t too far off of a paved road.

Elephant Butte Lake

Dirt Dam at Elephant Butte Lake

I found a gravel parking lot, at the end of the pavement, overlooking what they call the Dirt Dam. There were no signs prohibiting camping. So, I was able to stay without any issues. Perhaps during their busy season it would have been different.

Elephant Butte Lake

Marina del Sur viewed from campsite

Elephant Butte Lake

Fra Cristobal Range beyond the lake

A trail went from the lot down to the dam and across it. There were also trails into the brush which led to a viewpoint looking toward the lake and the back side of the Dirt Dam. It’s a secondary structure west of the primary concrete dam.

Elephant Butte Lake

Part of lake below campsite

From Elephant Butte

Looking south at Turtleback Mountain

Visible from the lot was a primitive camping area with pit toilets. Narrow gravel and dirt tracks lead to the various spots. Those sites were accessible after going through the main entrance. Good to know about for the future.

I was expecting mail at the post office, which was closed when I first arrived. The spot was perfect for my purpose.

Camp: Elephant Butte Lake SP-Primitive boondock
Scene: Dam, lake, mountains

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