Ute Lake State Park ~ New Mexico

Ute Lake State Park ~ New Mexico

A great choice for an aquatic cool off near Route 66 Tucumcari, New Mexico is Ute Lake State Park.  In fact, back in the golden age of automobile travel when Route 66 was a prime time tourism corridor, Ute Lake was popular attraction for those touring the Mother Road.  Tucumcari actually was the hub for tourists heading to Ute Lake when old Route 66 was still alive and well. Many a boater did an overnighter in Tucumcari after a long road trip, before hauling the trailer to Ute Lake back way back then. 

From Tucumcari, following U.S. Highway 54 will take a visitor to Ute Lake State Park.  U.S. 54 is also part of the La Frontera Del Llano Scenic Byway, which is a great scenic drive in its own right.  Plenty of Mule Deer, wild horses and Pronghorn Antelope can be seen along the stretch of road that runs from Tucumcari to Ute Lake, so the ride can be an eventful one.   A few big freight trains rolling by add to the charm of this majestic scenery where the grassy Great Plains meet the mountains. 

The access road to Ute Lake State Park can be found in Logan, New Mexico. The Logan economy still caters to Ute Lake boaters, anglers and campers, but as one can imagine, times have been tough through the years. The Route 66 bypass, high fuel prices and multiple recessions and have decreased visitor numbers in remote places that were once bustling with seasonal tourism business long ago. Because of the changing demographics, it is best to research which businesses have open doors in the Logan area ahead of time before making travel plans. 

New Mexico definitely has one of the best State Park management systems in the west!  Ute Lake State Park is immaculately maintained and the facilities are top notch.  The RV slips and the boat ramps are up to snuff, so the boating and camping experience in Ute Lake State Park will be a good one from the start. Ute Lake is a great destination and it shows that New Mexico takes pride in their public recreation areas. There are many more good New Mexico State Parks like this one and yearly passes are available for a reasonable price.

The spring season is when things start to happen at Ute Lake. As the weather warms up, campers start frequenting the area. When the water warms up in early summer, Ute Lake becomes an aquatic playground that offers relief from the heat of the Desert Southwest. There is plenty of sunshine to soak up at this place and Ute Lake State Park even offers covered picnic tables for those who are just doing an afternoon getaway. There are some enticing shade trees by the lake too, which are perfect for snoozing while the fishing line is in the water.  The best part is, Ute Lake State Park is rarely overcrowded because of the remote location and that is a good enough reason to keep the destination in mind when summer rolls around!    


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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