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El Vado Lake State Park is situated in the northern section of New Mexico and is best known for containing El Vado Lake, which holds water from the nearby El Valdo Dam. This state park offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and is just a short distance away from the Rio Chama. During the winter, many birds flock here for warmth, including bald eagles.
The area tends to have an arid climate with plenty of sunshine, although winters can be a little chilly and sometimes even cause snowfall. El Vado Lake State Park is located near towns and cities such as Albuquerque and Taos.
Those that visit El Vado Lake State Park will find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy while here. One is fishing. The park contains El Vado Lake, which is packed with species like bluegill, trout, and bass. Fishers can take a boat out into the water or stand along the shoreline. There is a boat ramp available at the northern end of the lake.
Another activity for park-goers to try is birdwatching. Numerous species live in the park, such as hawks, ouzels, and ospreys. Birdwatchers can trek around the park in search of them or attend one of the many bird-related festivals held throughout the year, such as Ospreyfest, that celebrates this bird returning to the area in the summer.
Visitors can also go hiking while at El Vado Lake State Park. You’ll find plenty of trails to explore, like the Rio Chama Trail that spans 10 miles long and offers panoramic views of the mountains. This trail also connects to a shorter pathway that can take you to Heron Lake.
Book an RV in Rio Arriba County and stay at quite a few motorhome campgrounds situated near El Vado Lake State Park on your outdoor adventure. One close campground is the Rio Chama RV Park. This park provides RV sites that are nestled beneath majestic trees and come with features like electric, WiFi, fire rings, and picnic tables. This RV park also contains parts of the Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Another option is the Sky Mountain Resort RV Park. Situated next to the Rio Chama, this RV campground offers numerous travel trailer sites that come with amenities such as 20, 30, and 50 amp electric, water, WiFi, sewer hookups, and picnic tables. This campground is pet-friendly and has a small dog park pets so Fido can run around in. Reservations are required.
There are many nearby attractions you can drive your travel trailer to if you’d like to explore the area. In Taos, there’s the downtown Taos Historic District. This district is best known for helping the town mix its American and Mexican heritage together to form a local government. Visitors can learn more about its history while also viewing over 21 historic structures such as Taos Plaza, Bert Phillips House, Old County Courthouse, and Taos Inn. You’ll also be able to view where the Taos Art Colony once gathered and more about some of its most famous members, like Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Thornton Wilder. This district connects to the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.
About two hours away in Albuquerque is the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. This center is designed to help preserve the art and culture of local Native American groups. While here, you’ll be able to step inside its museum, where you can view exhibits filled with various artifacts, like pottery and textiles. During the year, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center also hosts a variety of events guests can attend, such as dance festivals.
Drive your RV to Farmington to check out the Salmon Ruins Museum. The ruins are believed to have been constructed around 1090 CE. Today, visitors can see where previous dwelling spaces once were as well as many other interesting archaeological highlights. The museum also contains artifacts found on the grounds and tells more about the people who worked to construct the ruins. Guided tours are available of various areas around the grounds, including one to Chaco Canyon, which contains many important artifacts that tell of the state’s early history. The museum has a small gift shop where museum-goers can buy souvenirs.
In Santa Fe, stop by the San Miguel Chapel. Thought to be one of the oldest churches in the United States, this historic chapel was built in the 1600s and features stunning pieces of artwork. Visitors can take tours of its interior to view the art as well as learn more about the structure’s history, such as how it survived numerous rebellions.