Friday, June 8, 2012

Feeling the Enchantment: Eagle Nest Lake State Park, NM



The temps were climbing back to the low 90’s, so we left the rugged, rocky beauty of the Rio Grande gorge and made our way to the Enchanted Circle.


We were not familiar with this scenic byway until we started researching northern New Mexico, but it’s a great place to escape the summer heat. The Enchanted Circle is an 85 mile loop around Wheeler Peak, the highest point in NM. We headed northeast from Taos about 30 miles, and decided to spend some time at Eagle Nest Lake State Park. After our last campsite, we weren’t expecting much, but this is another beautiful area. And our site on the lake isn’t too shabby, either.

Our backyard and views. You can’t see the mounds of dirt in the photos but we are in the middle of a prairie dog town.



This is a primitive park with no hookups or dump but there is water and vault toilets. We are now at 8300’, so the highs are in the upper 70’s, lows upper 30’s. This is the first time in weeks we’ve had decent phone service and fairly good internet. Plus with our NM State Parks pass, it is free (or $10 without the pass).

There are lots of places to hike and explore in this area, including the village of Eagle Nest, the popular ski town of Angel Fire, and Cimarron Canyon State Park, all within 10 miles. At the rate we’re moving through New Mexico, not sure when we’ll make it to Colorado this summer!


  1. Gee, I LIVE in New Mexico and haven't been to some of the places you've camped. The Arroyo Hondo campground looks wonderful - especially with a place to kayak.

    I'm trying to leave for my summer travels, but a mechanic is putting new leaf springs/shocks on my RV. I'm supposed to be in Moab to go kayaking with a group on Monday.

  2. Andy Baird always likes these New Mexico State Parks. They look so inviting, we'd love to visit there some day and see them. Sure enjoy following along with you in your Lazy Daze!

  3. Send us that weather...NOW. I keep asking everyone to send us their weather and it hasn't arrived yet...GEESH.

    We actually haven't visited the northern part of NM. Most of the primitive parks you two have been in are just lovely! Looks so quiet and peaceful.

  4. Now you're starting to get temperatures like I have experienced. At least you aren't getting any rain.

  5. I love the Enchanted Circle. Up near Angel Fire is the DAV Memorial. Don't miss it--it's so well worth the visit. One of the most moving places I've ever been-a place that makes you appreciative of the sacrifices that our service men and women made for us.

    Beautiful building that reminded me of a bird about to take flight off the mountain.

    You can find other information about the Memorial on the web.

    Saw a bear up where you are camping. Great cool weather.

    Don't know where you're headed, but Chama is a great place. I went up through the backroads from Taos--the Cumbres de Toltec RR is located there. From there, I went up to Durango and Silverton. Great weather every day (I hate the heat).

    Have a great time.

  6. Many, many years ago, we did the Enchanted Circle -- had forgotten about it 'til you wrote about it. In the low 30s...brrrr. We still turn our heat on here in the Smokies in the morns just to take out the chill.

  7. This looks like another ideal camping spot. I might just pull up a chair and watch your dog town neighbors. I find them fascinating.

  8. I just bought the NM Annual State Park Pass, so I'm doubly interested in the parks you are visiting. Especially if there is good cell service. Thanks for the good info and photos! :)

  9. All the places you've been to in New Mexico look absolutely stunning! Who needs electric when you can have all that out your back door? Prairie dogs are a weakness of mine...but where there is prairie dogs there are usually rattlesnakes so keep an eye out! Enjoy!