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New Mexico’s Beaches: Desert Gems

Posted by Jody on July 25, 2011

Believe it or not, we really do have some wonderful recreational beaches in New Mexico! These are just a few of the cool choices you’ll have when you visit us here in the desert!

*Bottomless Lakes State Park*

If you take the 15 mile scenic drive from Roswell,  New Mexico, to Bottomless Lakes State Park, you’ll be very glad you did!  Surrounded by beautiful, high red bluffs, this area was set aside in 1933 as New Mexico’s first state park.  This park is truly one of New Mexico’s best natural treasures.

There are actually seven lakes located within the boundaries of this 1400 acre of the park.   The lakes range in depth from 17 ft. to 90 ft. Lea Lake, the deepest of the lakes at 90 feet, is the only one of the Bottomless Lakes where swimming is allowed.  Lea Lake is spring fed, and the water is cool and crystal clear. It’s no surprise that this lake has also become quite popular with the scuba crowd, due to the clarity of the water.  During the summer months, pedal boats and paddle boards can be rented for a fee. (But you can always build a sandcastle for no extra charge.) This New Mexico swimming beach is well maintained, and life guards are on duty in the summer.

Click here for the Bottomless Lakes State Park brochure.

*Lake Carlsbad Beach Park*

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert along the beautiful Pecos River lies the “Pearl on the Pecos”: the friendly City of Carlsbad, New Mexico.  And in the heart of this desert city you’ll find Lake Carlsbad Beach Park. Some might consider this 1000 ft. stretch of beach less than a “treasure,” but believe me, after a day of exploring in the scorching New Mexico sun, you’ll be happy to settle in under the shady trees of Lake Carlsbad Beach Park and enjoy the cool waters of this little swimming beach, located within the 125.6 acres of The Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area! The swim area is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, when lifeguards are on duty from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Here’s the link to Lake Carlsbad Beach Park.

*Tingley Beach, Albuquerque, New Mexico*

Tingley Beach, as it looks today (© Jody Diehl)

Don’t be fooled!  This isn’t a “beach” at all. It’s really a series of small ponds. Although this is a lovely family recreation area, this New Mexico beach has been closed to swimmers since the 1950’s.  Tingley Beach, part of the Albuquerque BioPark system, was built by diverting water from the Rio Grande in the 1930’s.  A major reconstruction of Tingley Beach began over a decade ago, and The Albuquerque BioPark was presented the  “2008 North American Conservation Award” by the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the Tingley Beach Restoration Project.  Click here if you’d like to find out more about Tingley Beach.

Happy Treasure Beach Hunting in the Land of Enchantment!

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