After getting our geek on in Roswell we headed to Bottomless Lakes State Park to spend our final night in New Mexico. I was a little sad because leaving New Mexico meant we were headed back east and bringing our vacation to it’s inevitable close.
Fortunately it’s really hard to be down in the dumps when you’re married to such a GOOF!
We stopped at the Visitor Information Center and spoke to the attendant. He was a talkative fellow and we ended up spending a little more time there than we intended. What a character! He was lacking a politically correct filter, but was without a doubt one of the neatest people we met on our journey. He even had a few “magic tricks” up his sleeve. However, this long talk would cost us the perfect campsite as the rig that pulled in behind us had bypassed the information center and grabbed what turned out to be the best darn spot in the campground nestled below the red gypsum bluff and beside one of the lakes. Lesson learned. Check out the campground first… ask questions later.
What we really liked about Bottomless Lakes State Park was the separation between the Lea Lake Recreation Area where the day use area and full hookup campground is located and the Lower Lakes section of primitive camping. In this way it offers the best of both worlds.
The Lea Lake recreation area sits at the southernmost section of the park and is adjacent to the 15 acre Lea Lake. Other amenties are a playground, volleyball court, bathhouse with hot water, sandy beach swimming area with paddle board and pedal boat rentals, and two small trails. The Bluff Trail is .86 miles and the Wetlands Trail is .54. The campground consists of 26 sites with electric and water, 6 sites with electric, water and sewer, and 27 developed sites with no hookups.
The Lower Lakes Area houses the visitor information center with exhibits and the park office. There are ten developed campsites and you can also access the Bluff Trail from here. The smaller Mirror, Pasture, Cottonwood, Devil’s Inkwell, and Figure Eight lakes are located in this area.
Despite it’s name the Bottomless Lakes didn’t start out as lakes at all. They are sinkholes that range in size and depth from a mere 17′ deep up to 90! The sinkholes formed when water dissolved the salt and gypsum deposits to create subterranean caverns. Over time the roofs of these caverns collapse and the resulting holes filled with water creating the eight lakes that now makeup the park.
We chose to stay in the Lower Lakes section. There was a covered picnic table, grill, centrally located water facet, and pit toilet. The campsites are really well spaced and large enough to accommodate most rigs. A few of the sites are prime and the rest are pretty blah. We didn’t mind so much because we felt like we were camping in the Serengeti and had a great view of the bluff.
Speaking of the Serengeti…
Behind our campsite was a beautiful field of golden colored grass. I could imagine a giraffe or elephant walking by at any moment. Maybe even a lioness. Well this kind of daydreaming always puts some pretty fool notions in my head and today was no exception.
As we were setting up camp and getting dinner started I kept seeing something pop up from the grass out of the corner of my eye. Not knowing if we were in mountain lion territory I began to feel like we were being stalked. I tried to draw Mr. McGee’s attention to the mysterious predator among us, but no sooner than I caught a glimpse of movement the creature disappeared.
As dusk approached our elusive stalker would suddenly appear! For out of the grass sprang the most vicious of all the desert creatures… the desert cottontail! What I had been seeing was bunny heads popping up out of the tall grass to check for predators. Ironic to say the least.
This campground made our list of places we’d like to visit when we just want to get out of Florida and enjoy a little time away from the city. Next trip we’d probably spend more time exploring and fishing the little lakes. Something to think about for our retirement days.
Next stop a disappointing night in Abilene, Texas and we find my Happy Place!
Bottomless Lakes State Park 545 A Bottomless Lakes Rd. Roswell, NM 88201 575-988-3638 Website
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