New Mexico State Parks Reopen for Overnight Camping Oct 1 -
view of boats on elephant butte lake state park

Santa Fe – The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) State Parks Division announces the reopening of overnight camping in most State Parks beginning October 1st. All camping reservations will be cancelled and refunded through September 30th. State Parks remain open to New Mexico residents only. Reservations from out-of-state visitors will be cancelled and refunded through October 16, 2020. Camping will be available by online reservation only; a valid New Mexico license plate will be required to complete your transaction. Beginning October 1st overnight camping by reservation will resume at all parks that offer
camping except Brantley Lake, Pecos Canyon, and El Vado Lake State Parks. These parks will remain closed to camping due to staffing shortages or normal seasonal closures; however, they will remain open for day-use. Morphy Lake and Manzano Mountains State Parks remain closed due to construction.

Overnight camping reservations must be made online. To the extent possible, available camping spots will be spread out to encourage social distancing. Annual camping permits purchased after March 1, 2019 will be extended.
It is important for visitors to continue to check for details on specific park hours of operation and additional information visit the State Parks website and know before you go.

State Parks advises the additional guidance is still in place:

Limitations on Visitors:

• Only New Mexico residents may enter New Mexico State Parks.
• Visitors must show either a valid New Mexico license plate, a New Mexico driver’s license or ID card, a New Mexico vehicle registration, a federal document attesting to residency, or a military ID to be admitted to a State Park.

Additional guidance:

• Wearing a mask or cloth face covering is mandatory in public settings except when eating, drinking, or swimming or unless a healthcare provider instructs otherwise, and violators could face citations and $100 fines for not complying voluntarily.
• Keep groups to 10 people or less
• Bring hand sanitizer and additional personal protective equipment
• Maintain social distance of 6 feet or more while recreating
• Visitor centers and shower facilities remain closed
• An online reservation is required to camp
• No campfires or open fires
• Water access and trails will be open, but access may be limited to adhere to social distancing requirements
• No group shelter use or large organized events, in accordance with continued restrictions on mass gatherings
• Playgrounds closed
• To limit interactions, please use exact change when paying fees
• Limited concession operations
• Recreate responsibly and pack out all trash
• Follow all safety guidelines when boating or swimming

All current park information can be found on park webpages and on the FAQ page at

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead
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