Frequently Asked Questions

Great News! Twenty-six New Mexico State Parks are open to camping for New Mexico residents only. Reservations will be required and there will be no first come, first serve or primitive/dry camping allowed. The following parks will not offer camping or will remain CLOSED to camping: Brantley Lake, El Vado Lake, Pecos Canyon, Morphy Lake, Manzano Mountains, Mesilla Valley Bosque, Cerrillos Hills, Rio Grande Nature Center and Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Parks. Please check back for updates.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available. We look forward to serving you on your next adventure at a New Mexico State Park.

Media Release



FAQ's

Which state parks are open for camping?

Which state parks are for Day Use only?

Can I buy a Day Use Pass online?

Yes. We encourage you to buy a Day Use Pass online from Reserve America even before you get to the park. You can also buy your $5 Day Use Pass when you get to the park at one of our many self-pay stations.

Which Parks remain closed to camping?

During the current health pandemic, several state parks will remain closed to camping and will operate on a limited schedule:

  • Brantley Lake State Park will remain open for day use access from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only.
  • El Vado Lake State Park will remain open daily for day use access from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Pecos Canyon State Park will remain open for day use access Thursday- Sunday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Manzano Mountains State Park and Morphy Lake State Park remain completely closed.


  • PLEASE NOTE: The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, Cerrillos Hills State Park and Living Desert Zoo and Gardens do not offer camping but will continue to provide day use access. Please visit their park page for hours of operation.


I am from out-of-state. What do I need to do to go to a State Park?

The public health order has been amended to restrict out-of-state visitors at New Mexico state parks. Visitors to state parks must demonstrate proof of residency or will not be permitted entry beginning Monday, July 13, 2020. Visitors must show one of the following to demonstrate residency: a valid New Mexico license plate, New Mexico driver’s license or ID card, New Mexico vehicle registration, federal document attesting to residency, or military identification.


Will group shelters or yurts be open to camping on October 1st?

No.


Are state parks collecting day-use fees?

Yes.


What are the state parks day-use fees?

In general, the day-use fee is $5 per vehicle. In an effort to continue to reduce contact between visitors and staff, we strongly encourage visitors to use exact change or a check when visiting open parks. Please use the self-pay stations where available. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens charges a per person fee. Visitor centers remain closed making some credit card payments unavailable.


What are the safety and health guidelines for visiting a state park?

Due to the Public Health Order, masks are mandatory in public places and during face to face contact. Anyone coming to New Mexico from out of state is required to self-quarantine for 14 days. No more than 5 people per group. Maintain six-foot distance between people. Visitors must carry their own sanitizing supplies and PPE, and practice social distancing.

Are state parks selling annual permits?

Annual Day-Use Permits may be purchased at parks at a cost of $40. The Annual Day-Use Permit is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. Be advised that no refunds can be made on the annual permits. We strongly encourage visitors to use exact change or a check. Visitor centers remain closed making some credit card payments unavailable.

Beginning October 1st, Annual Camping Permits will be sold online or at the park.


What day-use activities are allowed?

Boating, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking in small groups.

Is camping allowed?

Yes. Beginning October 1st, 26 state parks will be open by reservations to camping for New Mexico residents only.

What facilities are closed?

Visitor Centers, yurts, special use facilities, group shelters and playgrounds are closed. Check the specific park page for additional information.

Are State Parks hosting special events?

No, special events are cancelled until further notice.

Can I reserve a group shelter for the day?

No, group shelters are closed in adherence to the Mass Gatherings Order by the Governor.

Can I build a campfire?

In parks that are open for camping, some parks may allow for campfires and others may not depending on the local fire conditions. Please see the Parks Alerts section for each park for the latest on fire restrictions and other information.

Are park concessionaires open?

Some parks will have concessionaires open; however, their operations may be limited.

Can I go hiking?

Trails are open for day-use only, please hike in small groups.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are allowed at most state parks. At Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park only service dogs are allowed. Please remember to bring food and water for your furry friends.

Can I go boating?

Yes, boating is only allowed during day-use hours. Remember to wear your life-jacket. People must adhere to social distancing and no more than 5 passengers per motorized vessel. Marine Enforcement Officers will be patrolling the lakes.

My boat is not registered, can I still get out on the water?

All New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department – Motor Vehicle Division field offices are open by appointment only. As a result, the State Parks Division will not be enforcing boat registration requirements at this time. Once the MVD field offices are open, you will have a 30-day grace period to register your vessels. Please note that you may renew your vessel registrations online at http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/boats-atv-s.aspx.

May I use the playgrounds?

No, playgrounds are closed.

Is swimming allowed?

Some parks may designated no swimming areas. In areas where swimming is allowed, swim at your own risk. It is recommended that children have adult supervision and wear a life-jacket when they are near the water (e.g., shoreline, river bank).

Can I park a vehicle and/or leave equipment overnight at the park for the weekend?

No, you may not leave a vehicle and/or equipment overnight. Vehicle may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Where can I get more information?

Please follow us on our press releases and social media channels

  • State Park News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram


    Quick Links


    NM Dept. of Game & Fish

    G&F Logo

    Bureau of Reclamation

    BOR

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    US Army Corps of Engineers logo

    Bureau of Land Management

    Bureau of Land Management logo


    New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department ©
    1220 South St. Francis Drive | Santa Fe, NM 87505
    EMNRD Legal Disclaimer
    Webmaster