RV Rental Heron Lake State Park, NM

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The tall pines of northern New Mexico make a terrific location for Heron Lake State Park, which is nestled snug in Tierra Amarilla. With the southern shores of Heron Lake making up Heron Lake State Park, it is a favored motorhome camping destination. Designated a state park in 1973, Heron Lake was named after Kenneth A Heron, an engineer who came up with the idea of diverting water from the wetter areas in the north to the more arid region of the south. Today, outdoor enthusiasts get to soak in scenic views of rock formations, high cliff walls, and densely forested land around Heron Lake. An interesting aspect of Heron Lake State Park is its proximity to the neighboring El Vado State Park and the fact that both parks are interconnected via a 5.5-mile long trail that includes crossing a suspension bridge over the Rio Chama Gorge. 

Renting an RV is a convenient way of getting around, and you’ll find a range of affordable RV rentals in Rio Arriba County. The cities of Espanola and Taos are not too far from Heron Lake State Park, and you could visit them during your trip too. While you’re camping at Heron Lake State Park, look forward to exciting outdoor recreation amid stunning scenery. 

Discover Heron Lake State Park

Getting Outdoors

RV camping at Heron Lake State Park is a great way to connect with nature and indulge in outdoor recreation. While the lake is the main attraction in the state park, fishing is undoubtedly a favored activity. The 5,900-acre cold -water lake is great for trout and kokanee salmon fishing. Record-size trout have been caught in the lake. Popular in winter months too, ice fishing is pretty decent on the lake. Feel free to fish from the shore or the comfort of your boat at Heron Lake State Park. 

As a designated ‘quiet lake,’ boats are welcome to operate at no-wake speeds only. This makes it a great lake for paddle boaters, canoes, and kayaks. Sailing and windsurfing are enjoyable on the lake too. There are four boat launch ramps and four docks at different points of the lake for easy access for boaters, while canoes and kayaks can be launched from quite a few convenient locations around the lake as well.

Put on your hiking boots and check out the trails in Heron Lake State Park during your RV rental vacation. With a relatively high-altitude location, the views along the trails are picturesque, especially the hike to the neighboring El Vado Lake State Park via the bridge across the Rio Chama Gorge. 

Camping at Heron Lake State Park

Park your RV rental at Heron Lake State Park to enjoy easy access to the multiple recreational offerings. The state park has over 300 campsites spread over several campgrounds that dot the shore of the lake. Campgrounds here include primitive and fully developed campsites, depending on your requirements. 

The developed campsites offer amenities like pull-thru sites, big rig access, tent camping, 20 and 30 amp electric service, water, a dump station, and a central water spigot. Campers have access to restrooms, shower stalls, and vault toilets as well. For recreation, there is just so much to look forward to! Explore the trails around the park, enjoy boating and fishing in Heron Lake, go mountain biking, or just sit back and soak in the peace and tranquility of the majestic forest. 

When you’re looking for a place to camp in an RV near Heron Lake State Park, the neighboring El Vado Lake State Park offers camping too. There are 100 sites available here, and the campground offers features like pull-thru sites, big rig access, tent camping, 20 and 30 amp electric service, water, dump station, restrooms, and showers. There’s a playground for the kids to run around in, plenty of trails to explore, and water access for boating and fishing. Bring your furry friends along to this pet-friendly campground. 

Exploring the Area

Rio Arriba County campers find themselves in one of the most scenic areas of New Mexico. After you’ve soaked in the gorgeous Heron Lake State Park, consider a drive to the city of Espanola, about 78 miles away. While the majority of the city sits in Rio Arriba County, a small part of it is in the neighboring Santa Fe County. Of great historical significance, the area where Espanola stands today was considered the very first European-founded capital of the ‘New World.’ Espanola also gained significance as a railroad town. 

Walkthrough the town to soak in its historical significance. You’ll see many historic buildings that tell you about the town’s vast history. This town is also great if you’re keen on getting to know the Pueblo Indian and Tewa people, the original natives of the area before the Spanish came. 

Drive-in your Rio Arriba County camper rental to the Puye Cliff Dwellings where you get to learn about the Anasazi people and their culture. Walking or driving tours are available. It’s an interesting experience to explore the ancient dwellings and ruins. 

Get to know Espanola’s past at the Plaza de Espanola. Two museums showcase the town’s history beautifully. The Bond House Museum and the Mision Museum exhibit artifacts, tools, and religious artwork of families that inhabited the town in previous centuries. 

Stop by at the Chimayo Trading Post and Trujilo House, two landmarks in Espanola that find themselves featured in the National Register of Historic Places.  

The Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area is a few miles out of Espanola and is a great getaway for a hike or some fishing or boating too. 

Espanola has a couple of local restaurants worth trying out if you’d like to savor some local food. Chain restaurants and fast-food joints are available too, and you can’t go wrong with them.

Stop by at a local convenience store to pick up supplies for the road, and fill up your rental RV at one of the gas stations before you head out on your next travel adventure. 

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