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Bottomless Lakes State Park Does Not Disappoint
Unless Of Course, You Expected Bottomless Lakes.

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Okay so none of the eight small lakes at Bottomless Lakes State Park just east of Roswell, New Mexico, is actually bottomless. But considering their small circumference, they're very deep (between 17 and 90 feet). In fact, scuba divers come here to practice depth diving.

At first glance, you don't even realize these are lakes. The colourful limestone wall that lines the northeast side of the park seems to be dotted with amphitheater-shaped depressions, possibly dry sinkholes.

bottomless lakes

It's not until you step up to the edge that you see the relatively clear water - a lake - in each location.

bottomless lakes

The lakes formed when water, reacting with salt and gypsum layers created underground caverns. Gradually the ceilings of these caves collapsed, leaving the sinkholes, which filled with water to become small lakes. The water is runoff, seeping through cracks from the mountain ranges to the west, actually flowing underneath the Pecos River.

bottomless lakes

bottomless lakes

The view to the east is of the open desert.

bottomless lakes

Each lake is unique.

With the recent years of drought through much of the southwest, it was a treat to see this string of tiny lakes filled to normal capacity.

The park wasn't busy despite it being a long weekend (Martin Luther King Day) and beautiful summer weather. The facilities are exceptional and a large sand beach, with a well-designed shaded, stone corridor for picnic tables is, I'm sure, very popular in summer. A local person I met on the trail mentioned temperatures often hover above 100 degrees.

bottomless lakes

The beach viewed from under the shady, stone corridor.

We camped in the park's main campground, in Lea Lake Recreation Area, but there are also $10.00 non-hookup sites spread throughout the length of the park near the smaller lakes. Some are very appealing with a lot more privacy but we chose our site for proximity to the RV dump, fresh water, and showers since de-winterizing the RV was our primary reason for paying for camping.

Lea Lake Recreation Area

Our campsite. That's white sand, not snow in the grass.

Lea Lake at Bottomless Lakes State Park

In the evening, the lake was clear as glass.

I enjoyed solitary hikes on the 1-mile Bluff Trail and the 1/2-mile Wetlands Trail. Actually, you could hardly call it hiking – just walking – since the trails are wide and without elevation change. Actually Randy had intended to join me but he didn’t get great value in this park; he came down with the flu and spent most of the two days in bed.

Lea Lake

View of Lea Lake at the Bluff Trail trailhead.

Wetland Trail at Bottomless Lakes

The Wetlands Loop includes a 1/4-mile of boardwalk.

Our First True Boondocking of the Trip

On Monday we left the park and moved on to Las Cruces and our first real boondocking site of the trip. Ahhhh!!! Now it feels like we've arrived!

near Las Cruces

Ahhh, this is more like it! Boondocking near Las Cruces

We know this area from previous visits so we are pretty sure of the public land boundaries but we're excited to have a new tool on this trip. So far, I think it's going to come in guite handy. The Public Lands App doesn't require an Internet connection once it's installed. A quick glance at our phone indicates our location (a small blue dot on the map) and various map colors show whether the surrounding land is private or public (BLM, NF, etc. where free dispersed camping is usally allowed).

The app seems to work equally well while we're in transit as when we're stationary. Of course, it's still important to check for signage that may indicate differently but the app is just one extra tool to put our minds at ease that we're camped legally.

Unfortunately, Randy's still not feeling well. I had thought the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and warm, sunny days would be enough but alas, after day three, we have resorted to the standby remedy that, hopefully, works in any climate and country: bed rest and fluids, fresh fruit and veggies, and homemade chicken soup. He must have picked this bug up at home; surely, there's no flu season down here, is there? It was probably that goodbye kiss from the grandkids. Darn kids aren't old enough yet to realize full-on lip kisses are yucky :-)

Days On The Road at time of writing: 9

Camping Costs To Date: $20.00

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BloggerFest 2015 
Ooops, I meant to mention how much I enjoyed meeting you at the BloggerFest. I love your Shunpiker e-guides! Hope we cross paths again during our travels. …

Bottomless Lakes 
I've gotten the New Mexico State Park Annual Pass every year, so camping at their parks is free if I'm dry camping, which is about 99.5 percent of the …

Bottomless Lakes SP 
We stayed in the park last year in February. It's a nice park as are the other New Mexico state parks we stayed in. Perhaps we will explore the boondocking …

Sick on the Road 
Being sick on the road is no fun at all that's for sure. Hope he gets to feeling better quick!

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