Brantley Lake State Park occupies 3,000 picturesque acres of desert and oasis near Carlsbad, New Mexico. This undeniably scenic park bears the name of its Brantley Lake, a man-made water body created during the construction of Brantley Dam on the Pecos River. The park offers year-round RV and tent camping for those who want to enjoy the outdoors in a desert landscape. The park bears a charming ambiance amidst delightful recreational activities. There are hiking trails abounding with the charms of nature and birdwatching in a unique desert environment.
There are opportunities for a fantastic picnic party and spectacular horse riding. Brantley Lake is sparkling with opportunities for boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Brantley Lake is the oasis to the desert of Brantley Lake State Park and is the most visited tourist spot in the park. You won’t help but admire the gorgeous skies with seasonal events like kite flying and Star Party.
RV camping is fantastic at the park – Limestone Campground is a well-maintained RV campground with partial as well as a few full hookup campsites. You will have a comfortable, convenient stay in your RV with a gorgeous desert setting in the backdrop. You can even immerse in a tent camping experience at Ricky Bay Primitive Camping. Mid of March to the beginning of October is the busiest camping season at Brantley Lake with hundreds of RVs crowding the campground.
RV Rentals in Brantley Lake State Park
Transportation in Brantley Lake State Park
Brantley Lake State Park is easy to access via car or RV from Carlsbad as it is just 12 miles north of the town. The locals of Eddy County will easily get to the park via US 285 Highway in their RV. Roads are usually closed due to snow conditions in the winter. Sometimes roads may be closed due to construction. In such cases, you will have to drive through an alternative route which you will find easily.
Upon arriving at the park, get a park permit for your car or RV, and your vehicle is good to enter the park. There are no driving restrictions for RVs and trailers. The roads are paved, well-maintained, but a little too narrow at times. But you won’t face any major difficulty in driving your rig on the roads.
You will find plenty of parking options in the park. You can park at the park office, visitor center, day use areas, and your designated campsite in the campground. Parking is mostly sufficient and even during the busiest visiting months, you will be able to find a spot for your car or trailer at any parking lot. Towed parking is also available.
Campgrounds and parking in Brantley Lake State Park
Campsites in Brantley Lake State Park
Sitting near the desert oasis that is called Brantley Lake, Limestone Campground boasts 51 RV campsites with a combination of partial and full hookup sites. As the park is a desert in itself, the campground features inherent desert beauty like Claret Cup Cactus and many other wildflowers. There are 38 partial hookup sites with 30-amp electric and water hookups, ten partial hookup sites with 50-amp electric and water hookups, and three full hookup sites with 50-amp electric, water, and sewer hookups.
You can enjoy on-site amenities like a pay station, soda machine, dump station, restroom with hot showers, and drinking water. Fancy picnic sites overlook the lake just across the campground. A playground equipped with swings and slides can also be found nearby. The East Side Day Use Area is within walking distance from the campground.
Generators are permitted but cannot be used in the campground during the park’s quiet hours when all noise-creating devices are restricted. Wi-Fi is not available. Various cellular connections are supported. This campground is also pet-friendly.
Some of the sites at this campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, during the peak season reservations are highly recommended.
Seasonal activities in Brantley Lake State Park
During your camping trip at Brantley Lake State Park, you will be drawn to the park’s central piece of attention, Brantley Lake, which also happens to make a fabulous destination for kayaking, canoeing, and boating. With the availability of two boating ramps, the experience is no less than perfect. If you want to get into the lake, bring your boat, canoe, or kayak in your trailer as you will find lots of opportunities for paddling here. Or do you own a jet ski by any chance? Make some room for it in the camper because the lake happens to offer jet skiing as well.
If you are keen for some fishing at Brantley Lake State Park, don’t forget to pack your fishing equipment as there is a wide range of game species that call Brantley Lake home. Various species at the lake include largemouth bass, white bass, bluegill, catfish, walleye, crappie, and carp. There is a fishing pier at the lake to ease your angling experience. Officials have declared these fish unfit for eating due to high levels of DDT, but if fishing makes you feel sporty, we highly recommend showing off your skills at Brantley Lake.
The park’s nearly two and a half mile hiking trail is a hit among hiking lovers bringing their RVs for a few days camping leisure. The trail is immensely beautiful featuring the desert in the background and its oasis nearby. This is the only hiking trail in the park so may get a little crowded during the peak months. If you are looking for peace and some quiet time, an off-season hike is the best idea.
There are several picnic areas at various locations in the park: just outside Seven Rivers Day Use Area, outside East Side Day Use Area, and inside Limestone Campground. Two group picnic shelters are provided for you to celebrate an outdoor birthday party, a business outing, or just a lunch with friends or family in a desert landscape. Don’t worry about bringing your own grills as RV campers are offered complimentary grills for their picnic meals.
Do you want to ride your horse in a desert landscape with sand dunes in the background? If the answer is yes, then Brantley Lake State Park’s developed horseback trail will certainly be your happy place. The park boasts a two-mile trail for equestrian rides. Bring your horse for a camping vacation to the park. Even though your horses won’t be staying with you in the RV campground, there are arrangements for horses in the primitive camping areas.
The park will steal your heart with its spectacular bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities. Birds that are frequently sighted include roadrunners, pelicans, shorebirds, bufflehead, gulls, doves, and yellowlegs. In fact, Pecos River, from which Brantley Lake feeds, is an important waterfowl migratory route, so Brantley Lake is usually bustling with lots and lots of them. You will come across lots of birds while hiking the trail and even from inside your RV if you look closely. You may also bump into a cotton tail rabbit if you are lucky enough.