Bosque Redondo Lake

Bosque Redondo Lake is located south of Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico, and is administered by the city. This site is located just east of the river in the Pecos River flood plain, at an elevation of almost 4,000′. The habitat is riparian on the lake, and is surrounded by grassland and farmed areas. An Audubon-designated “Important Bird Area,” it’s a native habitat for brown thrashers and red-headed woodpeckers, with many other birds stopping by on their migration routes. The lake is stocked with catfish, and bank fishing is a popular activity here. 

We were here in early April, and found this site via freecampsites.net looking for a place near Fort Sumner, where the Billy the Kid Museum is located. It’s also close to the Bosque Redondo Memorial, a site commemorating the forced relocation of 10,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apaches to a reservation here in the later part of the 19th century. We observed a ton of bird activity, particularly around sunset and sunrise, both of which were gorgeous. 

Bosque Redondo Lake is free, and offers fishing, picnicking (there are BBQs at each site), hiking trails, and camping. It’s in an area with minimal light pollution, so stargazing potential is great. There is a very clean vault toilet on-site. It’s very popular with locals: families during the daylight hours, and people looking to party after dark, so if you’re camping, a site away from the entrances is recommended. 

Scroll down to learn more about this site and for visitor resources!