Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area
Guide

Introduction

The Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area is six thousand acres of public land managed by the BLM in the south-east of the state of New Mexico. The recreation area starts near the rural community of Loving and runs adjacent to the Pecos River, extending southwards to the state border with Texas where it incorporates part of the Red Bluff Reservoir. The area has few distinct boundaries, as privately owned and publicly owned land are often situated side by side throughout the entire zone. The area is bordered to the west by the Carlsbad Caverns National Park and to the north by the Living Desert State Park.

The Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area is perfect for taking a countryside hike over open and flat terrain. There are no hills or mountainous areas to deal with. Most treks are easy going and ideal for taking along a picnic lunch to enjoy by the riverside when you feel like sitting down and taking a rest. There are miles and miles of accessible river bank to fish from as well as acres of reservoir waters. You can also go boating on the river as well as participate in a variety of water sports at the reservoir. As well as endless countryside to explore, there are amazing places to visit nearby like the Pecos River Flume, the Carlsbad Water Park and the Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest.

There are no campgrounds in the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area and all camping is restricted to dispersed tent camping only. Rig owners heading to the recreation area may find the campground at the Brantley Lake State Park a convenient place to pitch up for their RV vacation in New Mexico.

RV Rentals in Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

Transportation

Driving

There are multiple access points to the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area to the north and south of Loving. Visitors should be cautious not to intrude onto private property by accident. To the north of the town you can get to the riverside along Smedley Road from which there are several turn-offs on to roadways running adjacent to the river.

To the south along the US 285 between Loving and Malaga, you'll also find many minor roads leading to Pecos River. Keep on the US 285 southbound and you'll arrive at the state border. Just before reaching the border there are two un-named roads you can take to get to the New Mexico side of the Red Bluff Reservoir.

If you're planning on visiting the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area and are traveling up from Texas after RV camping in the Big Bend Ranch State Park, the easiest way to get there is to head for Marfa. There you can join the US 90 which will be more or less straight driving on a trip that will last four and a half hours and take you by the south-eastern border of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Parking

There are no specific parking areas within the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area. Visitors leaving their vehicles stationed should be careful not to park on private property without premission or block any roadways.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

Campsites in Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Brantley Lake State Park

As there are no campgrounds or camping facilities for RVs in the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area, the campground at Brantley Lake State Park is a great place to pitch up. The state park occupies three thousand acres a few miles north of Carlsbad along the Pecos River and includes Brantley Lake, a man-made reservoir.

The campground at the Brantley State Park is the Limestone Campground. It's open all year round and offers RVers a choice of fifty-one paved campsites that can accommodate rigs up to fifty feet in length. Twenty-three of the campsites are issued on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the twelve months of the year and can not be reserved. The remaining twenty-eight campsites must be reserved online prior to arrival.

All of the campsites at the Limestone Campground are furnished with sheltered picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. Most, but not all, have standard electric and water hook-ups. The campground has good, year-round amenities which include showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. There is a children's playground and a camp host is on-site during the busier periods. Pets are welcome.

Seasonal activities in Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

In-Season

Fishing

The Pecos River is a big draw for avid anglers looking to hook trout. The river presents in many forms from its source in the north of New Mexico to where it joins together with the Rio Grande. Some parts are classed as wild and scenic and are quite shallow but the section running through the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area is wider and slower flowing.

There are still good-sized rainbow, brown and cutthroat to be had whether you wade in and fly fish or cast a line from your boat. Fisherfolk wanting to launch a craft will find a BLM-managed ramp right on the state border line just off the US 285 along the County Road 726 or as it's also known and aptly named – Catfish Road.

Sitting Bull Falls

The Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area falls geographically within the Chihuahuan Desert and as in most deserts, waterfalls are a novelty. The Sitting Bull Falls are not just one but a series of stunning falls in the Lincoln National Forest.

The spring-fed cascades teem down a rock face from a height of around one-hundred-fifty feet into the base of the gorge where they gather in a pool. The hike up to the falls is around a mile long so if you do it on a warm day, once you get there you can reward yourself with a paddle or swim.

Carlsbad Water Park

If you're visiting the Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area with kids during the summertime and the heat in New Mexico gets a bit much for them, cool them off with a splash at the Carlsbad Water Park. The water park is open from Memorial Day through to Labor Day and has all the rides that will keep the kids occupied for hours. They'll love the water slides, speed slides, lazy river and pool so much, the only reason they'll want to leave will be because the park attendants have turned the water off.

Off-Season

Pecos River Flume

Lovers of history, architecture and photography will want to head to Carlsbad to take a look at the Pecos River Flume. The flume is an early twentieth century-built aqueduct that spans the river with four wide concrete arches. The purpose of the construction was, and still is, to carry river water to a nearby lake as part of the Carlsbad Irrigation System.

Add another dimension to your photos by visiting after dusk when the structure is illuminated or when there's a full moon. Don't miss snapping shots of the immense roadrunner statues on the roadside. They're quite unique.

Living Desert State Park

Discover all about the Chihuahuan Desert with a visit to the Living Desert State Park. The park is more of a mini-zoo or wildlife refuge dedicated to showcasing the flora and fauna of the desert. Make the self-guided, one and a half long tour and as you walk around you'll see an orphaned black bear that knows how to paint, a family of javelina, and an aviary. The park is also home to some larger mammals including the Mexican Grey Wolf which is in danger of extinction, bobcats and cougars.

Carlsbad Caverns

Go for a hike with a difference and go underground at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Hit the Big Room Trail and you'll be on a one and a quarter-mile long trail that winds through one of the biggest caves in the States. You'll be left open-mouthed at the incredible rock formations inside.

If you're fit enough go in on the Nature Entrance Trail that drops down over seven-hundred feet in a very short distance. If you want to know more about what you're seeing, you can also go on a ranger-guided tour of the caverns.

Find the perfect campsite.