Where is Bottomless Lakes State Park
Located along the Pecos River, Bottomless Lakes State Park resides entirely within the state of New Mexico. The state park’s most notable features are the nine lakes which reside within its borders. However, the state park also contains hiking trails, a campground, and areas designated for fishing and picnicking. The closest city to Bottomless Lakes US State Park is Roswell, New Mexico. The state park is located 162 miles or a two-and-a-half-hour drive west of Lubbock, Texas. Tucson, Arizona is about 478 miles (seven hour and thirty-minute drive) east of Bottomless Lakes. And about 213 miles south (three-hour drive) from the park is Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bottomless Lakes State Park also resides near several other recreation areas. These outdoor recreation areas include the Lincoln National Forest, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
How Large is Bottomless Lakes State Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park covers a total area of around 1,400 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of nine lakes, steep cliffs, and open expenses filled with sparse vegetation. The largest lake contained within Bottomless Lakes State Park is Lazy Lagoon. This lake covers a total surface area of more than 26 acres. The deepest point of Lazy Lagoon measures a depth of around 90 feet. The only lake that is designated for swimming in the park is Lea Lake. A natural spring constantly replenished the water found in Lea Lake. The daily flow measurements for the spring measure over 2,500,000 US gallons. The average elevation of Bottomless Lakes State Park is 3,617 feet.
Bottomless Lakes State Park Weather
The weather at Bottomless Lakes State Park changes frequently throughout the year. In summer, temperatures in the park average between 60- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures in the park average between 20- and 60-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest days of the year appear in Bottomless Lakes State Park in June, July, and August. The coldest days in the park arrive in December and January. On average, Bottomless Lakes State Park and the surrounding area receives around 25 days of rain per year. These 25 days of rain normally result in a total of around 15 inches of rain per year. The park also occasionally sees snowfall during the winter months of the year. The yearly snowfall average for the park is around six inches.
When did Bottomless Lakes Become a State Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park first became a state park in 1933. The state park was the first state park to be established by the New Mexico state park system. The lakes contained within Bottomless Lakes State Park are actually the consequence of several limestone caves in the area that have collapsed throughout the area’s long history. These lakes are deep, almost circular, and referred to as cenotes. The same limestone formation process that formed the lakes of Bottomless Lakes State Park also played a role in the formation of the caverns found at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The state park is managed and maintained by the New Mexico State Parks Division.
Things to do in Bottomless Lakes State Park
Visitors arriving at Bottomless Lakes State Park will find a variety of outdoor experiences and activities that pique their interest. The park is well known for providing access to hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The most popular and intriguing adventures found within the state park are listed below:
Explore the Visitor Center
Our State Park Visitors Guide suggests the visitor center found at Bottomless Lakes State Park is the perfect place to start to get oriented with the area and begin their New Mexico state park adventure. The visitor center is not only the perfect place for visitors to obtain park maps and information about hiking and camping within the park, but it also contains several education exhibits and displays. These exhibits and displays discuss topics related to the park’s ecology, geography, geology, and history. Park staff working in the visitor center can also aid visitors of the park by answering specific questions or alleviating concerns.
Participate in an Interpretive Program
Visitors looking to learn more about Bottomless Lakes State Park after visiting the visitor center will want to participate in one or more of the park’s interpretive programs. The topic of these programs varies on a rotating schedule, but normally discusses issues and features of the park’s wildlife, geology, or history. All programs offered at Bottomless Lakes State Park are led by knowledgeable park staff or experienced volunteers. The schedule for these events varies from week to week but is normally displayed in the park’s visitor center and on the park’s website.
Hike the Park Trails
The trail system at Bottomless Lakes State Park contains several miles of hiking trails that will allow visitors to traverse several environments found in the park. These trails take visitors along the shore of several of the park's lakes and through the desert shrubland that blankets a wide portion of the park’s surface. The various trails in Bottomless Lakes State Park all vary in difficulty and length. Visitors looking for up to date information on trail conditions and difficulty can approach staff working in the park’s visitor center with questions.
Go Swimming or Fishing in the Lakes
The lakes at Bottomless Lakes State Park are highly protected. However, a few are still open accessible by visitors looking to fish or swim in the park. The only lake designated for swimming in the park is Lea Lake. Anglers visiting the park should remember to bring all of their freshwater fishing tackle with them to the park. All visitors looking to fish within the park will also need to obtain a valid New Mexico fishing license prior to casting a line in the park. All New Mexico freshwater fishing regulations also apply within Bottomless Lakes State Park.
Wildlife Viewing in the Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park provides a home to a variety of wildlife species. The species most commonly spotted within the park by visitors include desert hares, coyotes, and an array of avian species. The park also protects four endangered species. These species include the Pecos Pupfish, the Rainwater Killifish, the cricket frog, and the Eastern barking frog.
Camping at Bottomless Lakes State Park
The campground at Bottomless Lakes State Park contains 32 campsites suited for recreational vehicles and tent campers. Visitors looking to stay within the campground can make reservations online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to camp within the park in the summer months should make their reservations several weeks in advance to ensure availability.
When to visit Bottomless Lakes State Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park is open year-round, and visitors looking to plan a trip to the park can do so throughout the year. However, the park receives its highest visitation during the summer months. During the season temperatures in the park are at their highest. These temperatures allow visitors to experience long days of sunshine that are conducive to outdoor recreation. Wildlife found in the park is most active during the spring and fall. Occasionally in the winter the park will receive snow. Inclement winter weather may temporarily close park roads and facilities.
Must Have Items to Bring to Bottomless Lakes State Park
Visitors traveling to Bottomless Lakes State Park should have a variety of essential items packed along with them. Every outdoor recreation trip requires packing and planning. A trip to Bottomless Lakes State Park is no exception. The following items are essential:
Water, Electrolytes, & Snacks
List of Parks advises that water is the most important item needed for every outdoor recreation trip. Electrolyte beverages and high energy snacks are a close second and third. The best snacks for visitors looking to hike or camp within Bottomless Lakes State Park will be lightweight, easy to consume, and full of energy. Beef jerky, trail mix, protein bars, and dried fruit are good examples.
Swimsuit, Sunscreen & Sunglass,
Visitors looking to spend extensive time in, on, or around the nine lakes that make up Bottomless Lakes State Park will want to bring their swimsuit, sunscreen, and a pair of sunglasses with them to the park. These items will keep visitors comfortable while swimming in Lea Lake or fishing on Devil’s Inkwell. Visitors should look to bring an inexpensive pair of sunglasses they don’t mind damaging or losing with them to the park.
Fishing Equipment & Tackle
Anglers looking to target species found in Bottomless Lakes State Park should look to bring all of their rods, reels, and tackling equipment with them to the state park. Visitors should also look to bring a valid New Mexico fishing license with them to the park. These licenses can be obtained online from the state’s license portal or from several in person retailers.
The best way visitors can ensure they bring all of the necessary camping equipment with them to Bottomless Lakes State Park is by creating and utilizing a camping checklist. This checklist can be checked during initial packing and again when visitors leave for the park.
Where to Stay in Bottomless Lakes State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Bottomless Lakes state park will want to make a reservation for one of the park’s campsites. The campsites can be reserved online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay at a hotel or other lodging establishment near the park will want to first seek options in Roswell and the surrounding area. Visitors looking to stay in a larger city can make the drive to Albuquerque.
Food Near Bottomless Lakes State Park
The closest food to Bottomless Lakes State Park resides in Roswell and its surrounding area. The city contains several restaurants, fast food establishments, and grocery stores that are sure to provide needed sustenance and supplies. Visitors looking to camp in Bottomless Lakes State Park can shop for groceries and supplies in the city before arriving at the park.
Airports Near Bottomless Lakes State Park
The closest international airport to Bottomless Lakes State Park is located in Lubbock. The Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is about 169 miles and a two hour and thirty-minute drive away from the park. The next closest international airport to the park is located in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque International Sunport is about 217 miles and a three hour and fifteen-minute drive away from Bottomless Lakes State Park.