Located just 15 miles from Las Cruces, Leasburg Dam State Park offers a quiet escape from the city along the Rio Grande. With a range of recreation options, educational programs, and peaceful campsites, Leasburg Dam State Park is an excellent choice for your next RV getaway.
Visitors with many different interests will have something to explore at Leasburg Dam State Park. Paddlers can enjoy canoeing or kayaking along the Rio Grande, anglers can enjoy fishing for catfish and bass, birders can look out for a wide range of species from the park’s multiple wildlife viewing areas, and hikers and mountain bikers can take advantage of the park’s miles of trails. After a day full of outdoor adventure, visitors can cap off the day with a stunning view of the stars—the park offers stellar views of the night sky, and even offers monthly night sky programs that take place at the park’s own observatory.
Guests who plan to camp at Leasburg Dam State Park can take advantage of the park’s 23 total RV sites, which include mostly water and electric sites, and offer a mix of reservable and first-come, first-serve sites. The park’s southern New Mexico location allows it to stay open year-round, so visitors can enjoy the park and its range of activities any time of year.
Situated about 25 minutes north of Las Cruces, Leasburg Dam State Park is very accessible by RV or car. The park sits just about a mile west of Interstate-25, so the park can be reached easily from the highway.
Once inside the park, visitors will find sites suitable for larger rigs, but may encounter some challenges on the interior roads. Many of the roads inside the park, particularly in the campgrounds, are unpaved, so visitors should be prepared to navigate gravel and sandy roads in their rigs. Some of the signage inside the park can also be difficult to follow, so visitors should pay close attention while driving. Visitors can find parking for their rig at their campsites, or in various designated areas throughout the park, including in the North Picnic Area, South Picnic Area, and Visitor Center. Visitors should also be aware that the campground gate is closed from sunset until seven in the morning, so guests should plan their arrival time accordingly.
For supplies, visitors can find a few restaurants and shops just outside the park in the town of Radium Springs, but for a wider selection of shops, restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores, visitors can drive a few miles south to Las Cruces.
Visitors will find an additional set of RV campsites further north from Greasewood Campground in the center of the park at Cactus Patch Campground. This campground offers 10 additional sites, which all offer water and electric hookups. Some of the sites offer pull-through access, and sites in the campground can accommodate rigs of up to 40 feet in length. Since there are no sewer hookups, visitors can make use of the restrooms and the dump station located just south of the entrance to the campground, near the park Visitor Center. The sites in Cactus Patch Campground can be reserved online, so visitors eager to snag a spot at this loop should make sure to book one ahead of time. Guests staying at Cactus Patch Campground can also enjoy easy access to Upper Mogollon Trail, Buffalo Soldier Trail, Cactus Garden Trails, and the gardens located near the campground entrance.
In the northern section of Leasburg Dam State Park, visitors will find an additional handful of campsites at Cholla Loop Campground. This northernmost campground offers five additional campsites featuring water and electric hookups. Guests staying in this campground can also take advantage of the dump station and restrooms located down the road near the park Visitor Center. Cholla Loop Campground also features easy access to Cholla Trail, Upper Mogollon Trail, and a great wildlife viewing spot located along the Upper Mogollon Trail, which visitors can reach by crossing a short bridge. The sites in Cholla Loop Campground are not currently available for reservations online, but visitors can plan to secure one of these sites on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Leasburg Dam State Park has 23 total RV sites to offer visitors, with 14 available for reservations, and the remaining nine open on a first-come, first-serve basis. These 23 sites are spread across three campgrounds in the park. Greasewood Campground is the southernmost campground and features a mix of sites with electric hookups and sites without electric hookups. Guests in Greasewood Campground can make use of the restrooms located within the campground, and the dump station located just up the road near the entrance to Cactus Patch Campground. Guests staying in Greasewood Campground can also enjoy nearby access to the Rio Grande, and easy access to Buffalo Soldier Trail and Creosote Trail, for visitors hoping to stretch their legs during their stay.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy a visit to Leasburg Dam State Park is to head out onto the Rio Grande in a boat. The park permits only non-motorized boating, so canoers and kayakers will enjoy a great time on the river without having to worry about wakes from motorized boats. The river offers class I canoeing and kayaking, and a popular route is to float down about three hours to Shalem Colony Trail Road Bridge. For a longer paddle, visitors can continue on to Las Cruces, which would add about two or three hours to the run and add up to a trip of about eight miles total.
Visitors eager to try their hand at fishing at Leasburg Dam State Park will be happy to hear that fishing is a popular activity at this New Mexico state park. Anglers can enjoy fishing in the South Day Use and Trail Area only, as fishing is not allowed at the North Day Use Area or the canal. In the South Day Use area, anglers can try to catch channel catfish and occasional bass. Visitors who plan to fish in this area can also take advantage of nearby parking and a picnic area.
For a different way to experience the river, visitors can also plan to swim and lounge on the beach during their stay at Leasburg Dam State Park. Swimming is permitted within the park in the North Picnic Area and Beach, though no swimming is allowed within 150 feet of the diversion dam. After enjoying a refreshing swim, visitors can plan to have a meal in the picnic area, take in the wildlife from the wildlife viewing area, and walk a short distance to the Historic Dam Keeper’s House, to connect with the park’s history.
Any time of year, visitors can enjoy looking out for some of the many diverse species present at Leasburg Dam State Park. Visitors can look for different species all throughout the park and can head to the wildlife viewing areas located near the North Picnic Area and Beach, near the Cholla Loop Campground, and on the Upper Mogollon Trail, for even better spotting opportunities. In particular, visitors can look out for Wilson’s snipe, Franklin’s gull, long-billed curlew, American pipit, rock wren, crissal thrasher, ladder-backed woodpecker, warbling vireo, Bullock’s oriole, and more. The park also offers monthly bird identification programs, so visitors hoping to learn more about birds should check the park’s website for the latest event updates.
Visitors looking to get their heart rate up and explore as much of this New Mexico state park as possible can rest assured that the park has miles of hiking, biking, and interpretive trails. Visitors can take advantage of the more than two miles of multi-use trails that wind through the park, exploring them either on foot or on two wheels. To soak in the views along the river, visitors can plan to hop on the Lower Mogollon Trail, which stretches for about half a mile along the river as it runs through the park.
In addition to the many recreation opportunities available at Leasburg Dam State Park, the park also offers a mix of educational programs, the highlight of which is arguably the monthly Night Sky Programs. The park has its own observatory, which is open only once a month for these special events, so visitors eager to get a stunning view of the night sky should check the park’s event schedule before planning their visit. The park also offers additional events throughout the year such as ranger-led hikes, lectures on key historical figures, special celebrations, guided tours of exhibits, and more.