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New Mexico has a diverse landscape, ranging from mountains to deserts, plains, and a lot of interesting things in between. When you book an RV in Quay County, you’ll be on the eastern side of New Mexico, near the border that it shares with Texas. Quay County is home to flat plains cut with deserts, which are occasionally broken up by towns, small lakes, and moderate bluffs. Ute Lake State Park is home to one of those lakes and is located between Albuquerque, NM, and Amarillo, TX.
RV camping at Ute Lake State Park is a wonderful way to see the area first-hand by spending time in it. Ute Lake State Park rests at almost 4,000 feet in elevation and is home to Ute Lake, which is fed by the Canadian River. Ute Lake covers over 8,000 acres and is one of the most popular parts of the reservoir, drawing guests who want to fish, boat, swim, and more. Whether you are motorhome camping at Ute Lake State Park to spend time at the reservoir, hike or visit nearby towns, it is a great way to spend a vacation.
Spending time in a rental motorhome at Ute Lake State Park is a great way to experience all that the state park and the on-site lake has to offer. The area surrounding the lake is relatively dry, but the state park and area directly around the lake are filled with rich plant growth and plenty of wildlife. Bird watching is a very popular activity at the state park and lake, and many migratory and native species can be spotted at varying times of the day.
Boating and boat-based activities are also very popular for people camping with an RV here. There are numerous boat launches and boat docks available, and boats are a great way to fish as there is limited access to the shoreline for anglers unless they are willing to hike a bit off-trail. There are over 45 miles of shoreline to explore by boat, and fishing enthusiasts can attempt to catch a wide array of fish species. The most common fish found in Ute Lake include largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black and white crappie, walleye, bluegill, and white bass.
Hiking is also popular at Ute Lake State Park, as is swimming, watersports like waterskiing and wakeboarding, golfing, and lounging by the beach. An on-site 18-hole golf course can be found on the south side of the lake with wonderful views of the lake. Exploring the area surrounding the lake will take you into a different landscape, which can lead to spotting different types of flora and fauna and recording what you see if a fun activity for families with children.
Exploring the country by staying in a state park RV campground is a fantastic, consistent way to see new places while still slightly knowing what to expect. Ute Lake State Park is home to a campground that has over 50 RV compatible campsites for campers to choose from, depending on availability. Some of the campsites are able to be reserved ahead of time, while a small portion of the total campsites is reserved for a first-come, first-served basis.
Each campsite is equipped with barbeque grills, fire pits, a picnic table, and moderate privacy. There are also centrally located dumping stations, a loading dock, a boat ramp, a comfort station, picnic pavilions, flushing toilets, and a playground for all campers to share. Some of the RV sites have electricity and water hookups, while others operate on a more rustic setup. All campsites are located on flat, level ground that is hard-packed and idea for parking RVs though.
While visiting Ute Lake State Park, it is easy to camp in an RV near Tucumcari, a town that is located a short drive to the southwest. Tucumcari is one of the largest towns in the immediate vicinity and is a good place to go for restaurants, museums, and other modern amenities you may be missing while camping. The town is about a 30-minute drive, depending on traffic, so be sure to make a day out of a trip into town.
There are many types of food in town, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to find something that everyone in the family will enjoy. There are many Mexican restaurants, some of which focus on Tex-Mex, while others offer a more traditional menu. There are also Chinese buffets, BBQ joints, pizza places, burger restaurants, and even some old-school style diners. The majority of restaurants in town are found no either 1st Street or Tucumcari Blvd.
After eating, head over to one explore one of the many museums in town. The Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory is a great place to learn about paleontology and geology with a focus on dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and hands-on activities. The Tucumcari Historical Museum is located in a 1900s schoolhouse and contains an eclectic collection of historical artifacts spread throughout various themed rooms. For car lovers, the New Mexico Route 66 Museum is a must-see, as it contains relics from the famous Route 66 area, including autos, photos, and antique gas pumps.