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One of the lakes of Bottomless Lakes State Park in the distance

Deep, dark greenish-blue pools of water surrounded by limestone lie nestled within a shallow valley 15 miles southeast of Roswell in Chaves County, New Mexico. Bottomless Lakes State Park surrounds these 9 small, deep lakes that were originally caves or sinkholes that flooded over time; plants help create their greenish-blue color and the illusion of being bottomless.

This unique area, located outside the state’s largest city, attracts many visitors. Once here guests are welcomed with opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping, paddling, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and bird watching.

Activities

While visiting Roswell be sure to take some time to check out Bottomless Lakes State Park. Come see for yourself why early explorers thought these 9 lakes were bottomless and how this area became the first state park in New Mexico.

And while you’re here explore the trails to get a closer look at these amazing sinkholes, the Pecos River, and some of the local wildlife that calls this prairieland home. The park also features scenic picnic areas, a playground, volleyball court, and educational programs that include stargazing.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Bottomless Lakes State Park:

Boating at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Spend a peaceful day boating on Lea Lake, the largest of all of the ‘sink holes’ inside Bottomless Lakes State Park.

This deep lake allows swimming, scuba diving, and most non-motorized boats. Paddle boards, pedal boats, and life jackets are available to rent inside the park during the summer.

Swimming at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park proudly features a series of small lakes (actually sink holes) that flow from the Pecos River. These lakes range from 17 to 90 feet deep and guests are allowed to swim in the largest, Lea Lake.

Guests may swim, float, scuba dive and paddle in Lea Lake. And the lake lies along a sandy beach area, the only designated beach area with summer lifeguards in the entire state.

Hiking at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park has a series of short trails that wind through the campgrounds, day use area, and past the many sinkholes and lake. The trails together equal almost 5 miles and offer guests a closer look at the park’s unique landscape.

Here are a couple of the trails at Bottomless Lakes State Park:

  • The Bluff Trail – This easy 1.9 mile trail loops from the Lea Lake Campground to the Lower Lakes primitive campsites.

    This nature path has covered areas along its route where guests may stop, relax, and take in the views all around.

  • The Wetlands Trail – An easy 0.6 mile trail across a boardwalk that features interpretive signs meant to educate visitors on some of the area’s flora and fauna.

Biking at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park has a fun 3 mile bike trail, Skidmarks Mountain Bike Trail, that’s considered challenging for beginners and rocky rough for more experienced riders.

Fishing at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Planning to visit Bottomless Lakes State Park between November and March? Remember to pack your fishing gear! The park has 2 prime fishing spots, Devil’s Inkwell and Cottonwood Lake, open for anglers to catch trout during the winter months. Also remember to pick up a New Mexico fishing license ahead of your visit.

Birding at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Wildlife Viewing Blinds, located within the park and along the trails offer a better look of some of the park’s wildlife. Bird lovers will enjoy taking the time to stop and observe many of the different species within this area.

Here are some that you may see during your visit: Prairie Falcon, Gray Vireo, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Dark-eyed Junco, Sandhill Crane, Snow Goose, Pinyon Jay, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Common Black Hawk, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Red-faced Warbler, Bendire’s Thrasher, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, House Sparrow, Flammulated Owl, and the American Three-toed Woodpecker.

Nature and Wildlife at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park’s unique feature is its 7 small lakes, actually sink holes, that appear ‘bottomless’ to observers. This interesting area is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the Pecos sunflower, deer, white-tailed rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards, elk, antelope, gray squirrels, wolves, coyotes, and black bears.

Pets at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Well behaved pets are allowed at Bottomless Lakes State Park but must be supervised and leashed.

Camping at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park’s Lea Lake Campground features 32 campsites with electric and water hookups for tents, trailers, or RVs. Six of these sites also have sewer connections. All campsites have a covered picnic table, grill, and a fire ring, and are located near restrooms with flush toilets and outdoor showers. A dump station is also located within the campground.

Another 10 campsites are available over at the Lower lakes area. These campsites have access to vaulted toilets.

Park Location

Bottomless Lakes State Park
545A Bottomless Lakes Rd
Roswell, NM 88201
Phone: 575.988.3638

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Bottomless Lakes State Park: