Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Our great outdoors: Parks to ponder

New Mexico is comprised of 121,697 square miles.

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s easy for New Mexicans to get out of the house and visit an area around the state.

Luckily there are 35 state parks, which can be pure fun to explore.

Here’s a list of the parks located in the southeast quadrant of the state:

Bottomless Lakes State Park

Located just 14 miles southeast of Roswell, it is home to non-motorized boating in your kayak or canoe, camp, fish, picnic, swim, hike, go birding. The unique lakes are sinkholes, ranging from 17 to 90 feet deep. Park elevation: 3,617 feet.

Brantley Lake State Park

The southernmost lake in the state is an oasis of water, wildlife and plant life. Located 12 miles north of Carlsbad, the park offers boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking trails and more. Park elevation: 3,295 feet.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park

This native wildlife zoo exhibits more than 40 species of animals and hundreds of species of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert. There is no camping and no pets are allowed. Park elevation: 3,482 feet.

Oasis State Park

North of Portales, it is set among cottonwood trees, shifting sand dunes, and a small fishing lake. Although fishing is the park’s main draw, it also has several hiking trails, a campground and an abundance of birds. Park elevation: 4,058 feet.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Set against the dramatic Sacramento Mountains, this park features a historic ranch house, quiet camping in the Chihuahuan Desert, and the unique oasis of pools of water under the cottonwood trees. Park elevation: 4,400 feet.

Sumner Lake State Park

This lake on the grassy plains offers many activities, such as boating, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and birding. Relax at a campsite with views of the lake after a hike along the lakeshore. Park elevation: 4,310 feet.