Santa Rosa Lake State Park

14 03 2015
Santa Rosa State Park

Santa Rosa State Park

Good Morning from New Mexico.  After a mid-day departure from Trinidad Lake State Park and an unprecedented tail wind across Raton Pass, we’re about 60 miles west of Tucumcari, NM at Santa Rosa Lake State Park.  With the Pecos River and Historic Route 66 running through town, this place is a quirky mix of budget motels, car museums, road house cafes and natural lakes.  Most famous perhaps is the Blue Hole, a natural artesian pool known as the one of the most unique and popular diving locations in the US.  60 feet wide at the top and 130 feet wide at the bottom, the bell shaped pool maintains a constant temperature of 64 degrees and a constant inflow of over 3000 gallons per minute.

Santa Rosa Lake is the first major impound of the Pecos River with a water surface area of 26 square miles.  Camping facilities around the lake include Juniper Park, Rocky Point and the primitive area Los Tanos.  Only loop A of Rocky Point is open currently, with 23 electric sites.  Sites #1 through 8 also provide water hookups.  All sites except 20-23 are reserveable online with only a 1 day booking window.  Sites 20-23 are first-come-first serve sites.  The electric sites on A loop are $14/night, the 26 dry camping sites on loop B are $10/night.  There are water faucets scattered throughout for tank filling.  A modern camper services building with flush toilets and free showers along with a playground is located between the two loops.  There’s a mix of back-in and pull-through sites, all with fairly level asphalt pads, a covered picnic table and grill.  We’re in site #14 a nice private site on the NW corner of the A loop.  New Mexico State Parks use a red/green system for all sites.  A green tagged site allows for 1 night stay, red sites are previously reserved.  Parking in a green site is OK, but you might be required to move the next day if someone makes an online reservation.

We were in Santa Rosa a few years ago and wanted to stay at the lake. But, the cellular service is nearly non-existent once you drop down across the dam and into the campgrounds. However, with our Wilson cellular booster, we are able achieve workable phone and internet coverage.  The gusty north winds subside around sundown and we’re treated to a wonderful starry sky and a quiet evening.  The next morning our site is still “green-tagged” so we decide to stay another night. We’ll check out more of Santa Rosa and the surrounding area before heading to Carlsbad.

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